Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service
Stefano Coletti ended the first weekend of the 2013 GP2 season with a win in the sprint race at Sepang, holding on under late pressure from Felipe Nasr.
Coletti, who finished third in the feature race after claiming pole on Friday, took the lead from the fast-starting Julian Leal through turns one and two.
The Rapax driver held the lead until the chequered flag despite Nasr closing to within 0.4 seconds by the start of the 22nd and final lap.
Nasr had dispatched of Coletti?s fellow Monegasque driver and polesitter Stephane Richelmi on lap two, and Richelmi later lost a podium spot when he outbraked himself at the final turn. The man who capitalised at his expense was Mitch Evans, the GP3 champion completing a debut weekend where he suffered from food poisoning with a fine third spot.
Evans? Arden teammate Johnny Cecotto finished behind Richelmi in fifth as he recovered from his exclusion from qualifying. Simon Trummer finished sixth in the second Rapax car, holding off another impressive debutant Conor Daly with new team Hilmer. Rene Binder completed the points in eighth, just 0.6s ahead of Jolyon Palmer who put in a fantastic drive after starting from the pits having stalled from third at the start of the warm-up lap.
James Calado was a first lap casualty as he tripped over feature race winner Fabio Leimer under braking for turn four, then smashing into Leimer?s teammate Leal and finding the gravel, an incident he will be investigated for after the race. Leimer continued running in sixth before a trip through a gravel trap saw him finish down in 12th.
With Calado and Leimer failing to score it is Coletti who takes an early points lead ahead of round two in Bahrain on 20-21 April.
|1||Stefano Coletti||Rapax||22 laps in 40:49.455|
|3||Mitch Evans||Arden International||+8.358|
|5||Johnny Cecotto||Arden International||+15.874|
|7||Conor Daly||Hilmer Motorsport||+17.479|
|8||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||+23.726|
|10||Kevin Giovesi||Venezuela GP Lazarus||+29.020|
|11||Tom Dillmann||Russian Time||+30.522|
|12||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||+30.802|
|14||Daniel De Jong||MP Motorsport||+32.391|
|15||Sergio Canamasas||Caterham Racing||+35.336|
|16||Daniel Abt||ART Grand Prix||+36.339|
|17||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||MP Motorsport||+37.033|
|18||Rio Haryanto||Barwa Addax Team||+43.468|
|19||Pal Varhaug||Hilmer Motorsport||+46.092|
|20||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||+51.244|
|21||Nathanael Berthon||Trident Racing||+53.777|
|22||Kevin Ceccon||Trident Racing||+1 laps|
|Sam Bird||Russian Time||0 laps|
|Julian Leal||Racing Engineering||0 laps|
|James Calado||ART Grand Prix||0 laps|
?Drivers? standings top five after 1 of 11 rounds
|2||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||25|
|4||James Calado||ART Grand Prix||18|