Di Grassi wins and takes championship lead - 25 AUG 2007 Lucas di Grassi scored the first win of his GP2 career in the Saturday race in Turkey, and in so doing also took the lead of the championship. The Renault Driver Development squad member...
Di Grassi wins and takes championship lead - 25 AUG 2007
Lucas di Grassi scored the first win of his GP2 career in the Saturday race in Turkey, and in so doing also took the lead of the championship.
The Renault Driver Development squad member qualified the ART car only sixth, but after a great first lap and an early mistake by pole man Luca Filippi he soon jumped up to third, behind only the iSport cars of Andreas Zuber and Timo Glock.
When Filippi's incident brought out an early safety car, most drivers headed straight into the pits for a compulsory tyre change. However, Glock and three others chose to stay out. Lucas resumed in sixth place, with Zuber the only driver ahead to have pitted.
When the field was released he was soon up to fifth. His big break came when Zuber crashed out, which meant that all the cars ahead of him still had to pit. He then just had to wait for leader Glock to finally make his stop. It wasn't easy however, as he still had to keep an eye on the threat from behind from Adam Carroll and Giorgio Pantano.
Glock still managed to finish fourth, but overnight Lucas leads him by 64 points to 60. Lucas will start the sprint race from eighth, but is determined to get into the points.
'It's the perfect time,' he said of the maiden win. 'And there's nothing better than getting the championship lead with a victory. We had a very good and consistent car today.
'Yesterday the pace for qualifying was not great, and we changed the car quite a bit for the race. I think we just got it right. We had the same pace as iSport, and I was quite happy with the car, even for long periods on the tyres, because we pitted so early.
'I passed Pantano at the start, Carroll went into the grass, Filippi spun, so a lot of people went everywhere! I went to third, and then we had the safety car. Isport had to choose which car to pit. I exited the pits second and I was catching Zuber when he made a mistake trying to overtake Rodriguez.'
Lucas knows that Glock could reduce his lead on Sunday, as the German is starting three places ahead in fifth.
'Even if you don't have a perfect race, you can still manage to collect some points, because of the reverse grid. I did this all year. Tomorrow Glock is starting in front of me and I can take some points back, but my car is very fast, I will come from eighth to try to get some more points.'