“GP2 Series: Quaife-Hobbs holds on for Sprint race win”

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took his first and Hilmer Motorsport’s fourth GP2 Series win of the season at Monza this morning.

The 22-year-old grabbed the victory ahead of a recovering Alexander Rossi and Julian Leal.

As with the rest of the field, Quaife-Hobbs also had to deal with a very brief rani shower on the ninth lap of the race; however all but James Calado – who had stalled on the grid – stayed out on the greasy surface, as the surface quickly dried.

The Englishman jumped straight into the lead when the polesitter Rossi stalled briefly off the line; however Quaife-Hobbs did not have it all his own way as he held a narrow lead for much of the race
Yet Quaife-Hobbs rarely looked under real threat from behind as Leal and Rossi battled amongst themselves and Sam Bird in order to displace the Hilmer runner.

The improving Leal kept a tight clasp of the runner-up spot until the tenth tour, when in holding off Bird, he ran wide at the Roggia chicane, allowing Rossi through to take both.
From there Rossi kept pushing, but Quaife-Hobbs had an answer for every challenge, ensuring a gap of 1.8s across the line at the end of 21 laps.

For Leal, 3rd became more secure as the laps ticked over and Bird began to struggle for grip. Yet Bird too was also not threatened by a rearguard action as teammate Tom Dillmann placed his RUSSIAN TIME machine 5th.
Bird may be somewhat disappointed that points leader Fabio Leimer claimed both 6th place and the bonus points for fastest lap. The Swiss racer enjoys a six point lead over Bird going into the penultimate round in Singapore in two weeks.

Rio Haryanto and Johnny Cecotto Jr – both of whom drove relatively quiet races – finished 7th and 8th respectively to claim the final points paying positions.
Former championship contenders Stefano Coletti and Felipe rounded out their nightmare weekends by finishing 12th and 13th, although they did manage a rather entertaining battle amongst themselves during the event.

2013 GP2 Series Round of Monza (Rd 9, Sprint Race; 21 laps)
Pos Driver                Team                    Time/Gap
 1. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs   Hilmer                 32m51.149s
 2. Alexander Rossi       Caterham                  +1.849s
 3. Julian Leal           Racing Engineering        +4.335s
 4. Sam Bird              Russian Time              +5.468s
 5. Tom Dillmann          Russian Time              +8.636s
 6. Fabio Leimer          Racing Engineering       +12.037s
 7. Rio Haryanto          Addax                    +14.899s
 8. Johnny Cecotto Jr.    Arden                    +17.338s
 9. Dani Clos             MP Motorsport            +17.842s
10. Jolyon Palmer         Carlin                   +23.973s
11. Sergio Canamasas      Caterham                 +25.646s
12. Felipe Nasr           Carlin                   +26.088s
13. Stefano Coletti       Rapax                    +26.553s
14. Rene Binder           Lazarus                  +28.119s
15. Mitchell Evans        Arden                    +28.504s
16. Simon Trummer         Rapax                    +29.004s
17. Jon Lancaster         Hilmer                   +29.588s
18. Jake Rosenzweig       Addax                    +36.746s
19. Daniel de Jong        MP Motorsport            +43.458s
20. Vittorio Ghirelli     Lazarus                  +47.238s
21. Nathanael Berthon     Trident                  +50.257s
22. Daniel Abt            ART                    +1m12.318s
23. Marcus Ericsson       DAMS                       +1 lap
24. Sergio Campana        Trident                    +1 lap
25. Stefano Richelmi      DAMS                       +1 lap
26. James Calado          ART                       +2 laps