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