Nancy Knapp Schilke, GP2 Correspondent
James Calado had the perfect start of Sunday’s GP2 Series Sprint Race at the Hockenheimring in Germany to take the lead when the lights went out as the Briton went on to easily score the victory. Giedo van der Garde was eight seconds behind the winner for second place followed by Felipe Nasr.
Calado did have a bit of help at the start when Nigel Melker nearly stalled at the start from his third place on the grid which caused an immediately slowdown while the racers searched for a way around. Adding to the drama was front row starter and the points leader ended up going way wide at the first turn. Luiz Razia opened the door which allowed the DAMS rookie Nasr to have the momentum to overtake van der Garde’s Caterham Racing car at turn two.
The GP2 drivers were all shuffling for positions before the first lap was completed! Fabio Leimer was moving up and at the hairpin, the Racing Engineering driver made it three wide as the entered the hairpin. While Nasr, van der Garde and Leimer were able to safely continue, Razia had no room and spun in front of Max Chilton and Tom Dillmann.The ensuing contact brought out the safety car.
The win was set up when the lights went out, as Calado stormed off the line as Nigel Melker stuttered behind him, bunching up much of the field. When front row starter Luiz Razia went wide at turn one Nasr slid past van der Garde at the next corner, with Leimer joining the pair to run 3 wide at the hairpin, leaving Razia nowhere to go but into a spin.
The fast cleanup allowed the race to continue, and again Calado sped away. Van der Garde took the advantage to take back second from Nasr.