Home Formula 2 Cecotto fends off Racing Engineering duo to take sprint race victory

Cecotto fends off Racing Engineering duo to take sprint race victory

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Johnny Cecotto

Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service

Venezuelan racer Johnny Cecotto was made to fight for his second victory of the season as he withstood severe pressure from opponents to win the GP2 sprint race at Spielberg.

Just as in yesterday’s race, front row starters Alexander Rossi and Mitch Evans struggled to get going when the lights went out, allowing third-placed Cecotto to assume the lead into turn one.

Poleman Rossi managed to hold on to second, while Evans lost positions to the Racing Engineering duo of Stefano Coletti and Raffaele Marciello. Further down the order, Takuya Izawa made contact with Felipe Nasr, which resulted in front wing damage and a subsequent black-and-orange flag for the feature race winner.

Shortly thereafter, Marciello managed to overtake his teammate Coletti and then proceeded to pull off a gutsy move on Rossi to take second. The Italian then set out after Cecotto, trailing him by just half a second after the next few laps.

However, the Italian’s race win bid would not come to fruition as he had to ease off from behind the leader and started to lose time as tyre wear proved more extreme than expected.

At that point, his teammate Coletti wound his way around the outside of a struggling Rossi into Schlossgold, with better traction allowing him to keep the position. Just one lap later, he passed Marciello into Remus.

The Monegasque then set out after Cecotto with the race now in its final laps. The Venezuelan was three seconds up the road, but Coletti made up two of those over three laps, putting in the fastest lap the race while he was at it.

Cecotto ramped up his pace in the final five laps but, with two to go, Coletti was just half a second down. He was even closer the following lap, but wasn’t allowed any overtaking chances and had to settle for second.

Marciello’s final stint was a difficult one as he struggled with tyre wear, but the Italian managed to keep a quicker Evans behind to claim his second podium of the weekend.

Despite struggling for pace, Rossi crossed the line to take a well-deserved fifth place. Championship leader Jolyon Palmer managed to make use of the American’s issues to overtake Julian Leal for sixth, but himself couldn’t find a way past the Caterham Racing car.

With Leal in seventh, Izawa rounded out the points way down the road.

Race results
Pos. Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Johnny Cecotto Trident 28 laps in 36:14.395
2 Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering +0.742
3 Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering +6.813
4 Mitch Evans Russian Time +7.139
5 Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing +7.990
6 Jolyon Palmer DAMS +8.828
7 Julian Leal Carlin +9.317
8 Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix +19.410
9 Sergio Canamasas Trident +26.716
10 Stephane Richelmi DAMS +27.062
11 Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus +27.625
12 Rene Binder Arden International +28.381
13 Arthur Pic Campos Racing +28.861
14 Andre Negrao Arden International +30.084
15 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix +30.446
16 Artem Markelov Russian Time +32.025
17 Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing +36.046
18 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax +37.139
19 Kimiya Sato Campos Racing +37.901
20 Simon Trummer Rapax +42.508
21 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport +43.754
22 Tio Ellinas MP Motorsport +45.236
23 Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport +45.606
24 Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport +46.924
25 Nathanael Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus +50.361
Not classified
Felipe Nasr Carlin +26 laps
Championship standings
Pos. Driver Team Pts.
1 Jolyon Palmer DAMS 117
2 Felipe Nasr Carlin 84
3 Johnny Cecotto Trident 76
4 Julian Leal Carlin 50
5 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 43
6 Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 41
7 Arthur Pic Campos Racing 41
8 Mitch Evans Russian Time 38
9 Stephane Richelmi DAMS 32
10 Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 26
11 Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 25
12 Sergio Canamasas Trident 22
13 Simon Trummer Rapax 18
14 Tom Dillmann Arden International 14
15 Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 11
16 Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 10
17 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 10
18 Tio Ellinas MP Motorsport 7
19 Rene Binder Arden International 3