Van der Garde wins Saturday Feature race
12 May 2012 – Giedo van der Garde, Caterham Formula 1 reserve driver, has won Saturday's GP2 Feature Race in Spain. The Dutchman not only took advantage of slow starts for those ahead plus traffic for pole-sitter James Calado and Fabio Leimer, but an inspired strategy as Caterham changed only two of his tyres at the pit-stop.
Following on from the dramatic F1 qualifying session at Barcelona, there was more excitement as the front two rows of the GP2 grid both made poor getaways off the line. This helped van der Garde and Stefano Coletti to shoot through, rising to third and fourth places as the field filtered around the first s-bend.
Reigning British F3 Champion Felipe Nasr was first to stop, with Calado – who had brilliantly seized a career-first pole yesterday – coming in at the same time as Leimer; the duo ran side-by-side out of the pits, with the latter emerging ahead. However, van der Garde jumped the pair of them when only his rear tyres were changed.
The top three then engaged in a titanic tussle over the final few laps, with tyre wear remaining a key factor just as it does in F1. Van der Garde eventually held on to win by eight tenths of a second, with Calado registering his best result to date. After Coletti came home third, Davide Valsecchi finished fourth to retain his championship lead.
Sunday’s Sprint Race starts at 10:35am local time (BST +1)