Calado wins maiden GP2 race at Sepang
25 March 2012 – James Calado has picked up a GP2 race victory on only his first weekend in the series, taking the chequered flag in Sunday morning’s Sprint Race. The Englishman led home Lotus GP team-mate Esteban Gutiérrez, the Sauber F1 reserve driver, as British Formula 3 Champion Felipe Nasr completed the podium for DAMS.
Starting from pole, the impressive Calado was never headed as he led lights-to-flag. Both Lotus cars made ideal getaways, with Nasr shooting up the order and passing Stefano Coletti; as the Monegasque driver attempted to make up ground he ran wide and plummeted to ninth behind Davide Valsecchi.
It was Valsecchi himself who retired early in a spectacular crash; running off-track and being hit by Marcus Ericsson as he rejoined, the latter was sent flipping into a barrel-roll.
It was a strong morning for Giedo van der Garde, the Dutch Caterham F1 reserve who managed fourth place for the GP2 operation. Luiz Razia – winner of yesterday’s season-opening Feature Race - narrowly stayed out of trouble for a top five result, with seventh-placed Max Chilton being the second Briton in the top ten.
Ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix Formula 1 race, rain is in the vicinity of Sepang and will almost certainly begin to fall before the red lights go out.
GP2 continues in Bahrain in four weeks’ time