Grosjean takes Sprint win at Istanbul

Romain Grosjean took the win in the GP2 Sprint race to cement his second position in the championship standings. The young ART Grand Prix driver pulled out an eight second lead in a bizarre race which saw Bruno Senna being taken out by a stray dog.

Romain Grosjean crosses the line to take victory.
Photo by GP2 media service.

"It's good to feel the podium, the win: we missed one in Barcelona in race two, so here it was important to be back," said Grosjean. "The thing is start seventh is not easy, but we had a really good car today and really improved a lot from yesterday, and I improved my driving, and in the end it was very fast."

Adam Carroll started from pole and initially seemed to get away well. This didn't last long and he was in trouble before the first corner. The Ulsterman fresh from his A1GP campaign was brought in by Fisichella Motor Sport for the Turkey and Monaco meetings. Mechanical gremlins started almost straight away and didn't make it round the first lap, retiring with a suspected clutch problem.

Carroll was not the only racer to fail to complete the first lap, the safety car was deployed almost as soon as the race started due to incidents on the first and third corners which took out a further seven competitors including yesterday's third place race one finisher, Andreas Zuber.

Russian driver Vitaly Petrov made a good start from third on the grid and was out in front as the field exited the first corner. Petrov driving for the Barwa International Campos Team took the inside line and came out ahead of Sebastien Buemi, Javier Villa and Grosjean. Senna in the iSport International car also started well getting up from fifteenth to tenth.

The race resumed with 19 laps to go and within two laps Grosjean quickly got himself up to third taking Villa at the chicane. He had caught and passed Buemi a lap later.

The race took a bizarre turn with 12 laps to go when two stray dogs managed to get on to the track. Grosjean was able to gain the lead as Petrov slowed for the two obstacles as he was taken by surprise, the Russian noticed waved yellow flags ahead.

Senna who had worked himself up to sixth hit one of the dogs causing severe damage to the front right wheel and suspension of his car.

Bruno Senna and Paul Jackson, iSport International Team Principal look at his damaged car.
Photo by GP2 media service.

Paul Jackson, Team principle for iSport later commented to ITV Television, "I couldn't believe my ears, I thought that was what he said but you just don't expect that, this sort of thing happened back in the 60's but there is no way in this day we should have that kind of problem.

"Not only has it taken him out of a good position in the race but that is potentially extremely dangerous, there could have been some serious injuries," Jackson concluded.

Senna limped back to the pits where he jumped from the cockpit of his car punching the side pod as he did so and was clearly angry about the situation.

The safety car was immediately deployed and would stay out for two laps. At the restart, Grosjean made a good getaway while Petrov was caught napping. Grosjean was 4.7 seconds clear with seven laps to go and didn't look back, eventually finishing over 8 seconds out in front.

Petrov crossed the line in second with Buemi in third. Yesterday's Feature race winner Georgio Pantano had long since settled for forth place. Mike Conway came in fifth and Ben Hanley sixth.

Out of the four GP2 races this season each one has had a different winner. Pantano remains out in front with 23 points and Grosjean is now not too far away in second with 19 points. Buemi is in third with 13 points.

In this eventful race, questions are now being asked about how it was possible for two dogs to stray onto the race track on what is a Formula One weekend. It is reported that dogs around the circuit are being tranquilized ahead of the Formula one race.