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Marcus Ericsson made light work of his maiden GP2 victory in this morning’s sprint race, dominating from lights to flag to lead home Giedo van der Garde and Michael Herck. The win was set up at the start, when poleman Herck made a good start but the Swede’s was even better, outsprinting his rival to turn one and a lead that he never relinquished.
Van der Garde and Dani Clos also got a good run through the first complex, with the Dutchman pushing up to P2 but the Spaniard cutting an apex and undoing his hard work, falling back behind Charles Pic for P5.
But all eyes were on the mayhem behind them: Sergio Perez made an astonishing start to put himself in the lead group but was spun around by Alberto Valerio, dropping the Mexican to the back for the second time this weekend, while Christian Vietoris flew over the top of the luckless Giacomo Ricci and Johnny Cecotto found the rear of Fabio Leimer’s car.
Fast work by the marshals ensured that the race continued uninterrupted, but it only lasted for a lap: Josef Kral was caught out and went over the top of Rodolfo Gonzalez’s car, putting both drivers into the wall and prompting the safety car to come out in conjunction with the medical car to attend to the Czech driver, who was taken to the local hospital for a check up.
The race went live again on lap nine, but everyone was awake to the safety car line ahead of the final turn: Ericsson easily controlling the restart before setting a string of fastest laps to try and break his rivals. One lap later Clos seemed to have a problem along the harbour as Pastor Maldonado, Davide Valsecchi and Luiz Razia slipped through, but the Spaniard was soon back on their tails and fighting hard for his position.
But with the lengthy safety car period the clock soon wound down to zero and it was the Swede who was able to control a late charge by van der Garde to hold on for his maiden win, with Herck right behind the pair for his first main series podium, and Pastor Maldonado filling his mirrors down the front straight. Pic was the next man to cross the line, ahead of Valsecchi who had a train of drivers on his rear wing for most of the race but held on for the final point.
|GP2: Europe 2010|
|27 Jun '10||First GP2 victory for Ericsson in Valencia|
|25 Jun '10||Pérez seizes Valencia pole for Addax|
|25 Jun '10||Pérez fastest in Valencia practice|
|10 May||Ericsson takes pole for Feature Race|
|14 Dec '12||Ericsson and Richelmi sign for DAMS|
|1 Sep '12||Ericsson wins much-delayed Feature Race|
|1 Nov '11||Ericsson remains with iSport for 2012|
|19 Oct '11||Ericsson fastest in Barcelona|
|24 May||Cecotto Jr. suspended from Sprint Race|
|24 May||Latest GP2 photos: Friday in Monaco|
|24 May||Bird avoids drama to win opening race|
|24 May||Video: First corner pile-up in Feature Race|
|24 May||GP2 race halted after first corner pile-up|
|More Marcus Ericsson photos|