Jon Lancaster takes victory in GP2 Sprint Race at the Nurburgring
Hilmer driver picks up second win in eight days
By William Esler. Last Updated: 17/09/13 1:31pm
Jon Lancaster took his second GP2 victory in eight days as he controlled the Sprint Race at the Nurburgring.
The Englishman got past pole-sitter Tom Dillmann at the start and no-one could get close to him as he eased to the win for Hilmer Motorsport.
Behind Lancaster, two other Brits made fantastic starts - James Calado went from seventh on the grid to third, whilst Sam Bird did even better by going from 13th to sixth.
The safety car neutralised the race on lap three with Stephane Richelmi's car stopped in the middle of the circuit and facing in the wrong direction, eroding the 3.2-second lead Lancaster had built up over Dillmann.
The action got underway again at the end of lap four and the Leeds man judged the restart to perfection, opening up a 1.1-second advantage as they crossed the line. Dillmann was struggling for grip having opted to use both of his sets of the medium compound during the Feature Race and he was easy pickings for Calado who dived past at turn four a lap later, with Fabio Leimer following him through.
The ART driver took nine tenths out of the leader on the following lap, but the team were quickly on the radio to tell him to look after his tyres.
Behind them, a fierce battle was shaping up for fourth as a train of cars formed behind Dillmann. On lap nine, Bird looked to the inside of Marcus Ericsson at turn three, but as he did that Robin Frijns tried to pass him and the pair made contact. Bird continued, but Frijns spun and would retire five laps later.
That string of cars would eventually get past Dillmann on lap 11, dropping him out of the points and he retired from the race a couple of laps later.
Another man struggling for grip was championship leader Stefano Coletti who having dropped to 17th gambled on pitting for supersoft tyres. But with no further safety cars to close the pack up, he would finish in 20th.
One driver that was charging through, however, was Jolyon Palmer. The Carlin driver had started 24th, but worked his way up to 11th at the chequered flag.
As the race entered the closing stages the action heated up throughout the field. At the front the ART pitwall told Calado to, "Push! Go for the win," whilst Mitch Evans in tenth was told to "Be ready," for a last push as drivers started to struggle with their tyres.
Ericsson was one such driver struggling with his tyres and that was holding Bird up. The Brit could not find a way past and that allowed Felipe Nasr to nip up the inside at turn four. A lap later, the Brazilian was past Ericsson as well, but would run out of laps as he hunted down Leimer for the final podium spot.
Bird would slip further down the order with four laps to go when Johnny Cecotto tried to replicate Nasr's move on the RUSSIAN TIME driver, but they made contact forcing the Brit wide and allowing Alexander Rossi and Evans past as well.
A lap later, Cecotto was past Ericsson as well who fell through the field dramatically, eventually finishing 13th.
At the front Calado was pushing, but Lancaster had the situation under control and was able to maintain a gap over the ART driver to win by 1.5 seconds.
GP2 Germany - Sprint Race
1) Jon Lancaster (GBR) - Hilmer Motorsport - 42:37.655
2) James Calado (GBR) - ART Grand Prix - +1.528
3) Fabio Leimer (SWI) - Racing Engineering - +25.797
4) Felipe Nasr (BRA) - Carlin - +27.527
5) Johnny Cecotto (VEN) - Arden International - +32.336
6) Alexander Rossi (USA) - Caterham Racing - +34.479
7) Mitch Evans (NZL) - Arden International - +34.751
8) Sam Bird (GBR) - RUSSIAN TIME - +36.635
9) Simon Trummer (SWI) - Rapax - +40.088
10) Rene Binder (AUT) - Venezuela GP Lazarus - +40.237
11) Jolyon Palmer (GBR) - Carlin - +41.402
16) Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) - +53.763
20) Stefano Coletti (MON) - +1:09.152
1) Stefano Coletti - 135
2) Felipe Nasr - 108
3) Sam Bird - 90
4) Fabio Leimer - 88
5) James Calado - 84
6) Jon Lancaster - 65
7) Stephane Richelmi - 47
8) Tom Dillmann - 47
9) Robin Frijns - 45
10) Jolyon Palmer - 39