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Charles Pic has claimed his first ever GP2 race victory after avoiding drama in an dramatic Sprint race in Bahrain on Saturday afternoon. Having passed leader Adrian Zaugg, the Frenchman went on to victory as newly-crowned Champion Davide Valsecchi picked up damage and lost significant amounts of time down the field.
Today's pole-sitter on the reversed grid, Zaugg, took off perfectly and kept the lead coming out of the first corner. Behind him, chaos ensued when Alvaro Parente and Sergio Perez came together while fighting for second place at Turn 4, with Perez earning a broken wing and Parente spinning into the barriers a few meters farther. More contacts in the field led to newly crowned Davide Valsecchi and countryman Luca Filippi having to go back to the pits to fix their damaged cars.
Once the dust settled a little, leader Zaugg found it impossible to pull away from a hard-pushing Pic quickly followed by Ricci, Jules Bianchi and Villa. On Lap 4, Pic overtook Zaugg at the end of the backstraight, with Ricci following him in the next corner.
But while Zaugg tried to retaliate, Bianchi got alongside him with all three cars side-by-side through the last corner, down the long straight and into Turn 1 where Bianchi and Zaugg eventually came together, leaving Ricci free to chase after Pic, Villa in tow. However, by then, Pic had already managed a gap of over two seconds. This left Ricci and Villa fighting for second place, with the Spaniard all over the Italian for many laps until Ricci picked up the pace, closing in the gap on Pic, but he was never close enough to pretend for the win.
The Top three then settled, there was still a lot of action behind to secure the remaining points, starting with Sam Bird charging from tenth to fourth and closely followed by Edoardo Piscopo emerging from fifteenth on the starting grid. Both men overtook Daniele Zampieri in the very last stages of the race. The Italian also handed the last point to Oliver Turvey two laps from the end. This single point scored by iSport International today offered the British squad the Series crown.
With one round left in the season, and both titles now decided, second and third places are still up for grabs. Giacomo Ricci moves up to second place two points ahead of Turvey, while following a strong weekend Arden now stands second in the team championship two points clear from DPR.
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