Giedo Van der Garde took a dramatic victory in an action packed FF2M Feature Race in Dubai today as the 2012 FF2M Asia Pacific Season got underway.
Spaniel driver Valtteri Bottas, who had started from Pole Position, had looked set for victory after overhauling early race leader Paul Di Resta in the pit stops. However in later laps the Finn found himself stuck behind team-mate Charles Pic, who had not yet stopped. Van der Garde, on fresher tyres was able to catch and pass the squabbling Spaniel’s in one move down the Dubai Autodrome’s long back straight.
Spaniel boss Tobias was understandably frustrated by the events advising that “Those last few laps were the most frustrating I have ever watched. Had I been able to do anything that race, I would have threatened Pic with a visit from none other than (Spaniel driver coach) Liam Neeson.” Whilst STV Racing boss James Brickles quipped that “Tobias will have to Pic the pieces out of that one”.
Meanwhile, early leader Paul Di Resta ended the race third after pitting too early for tyres, whilst Pic finished an eventual 4th place. Alexander Rossi was able to finish 5th despite running off the track early-on and Rio Haryanto made full use of his second set of tyres to finish 6th despite spending the first half of the race being overtaken.
Ajay Motorsports driver Jolyon Palmer finished 7th after passing OLM Racing’s Oliver Turvey for 7th spot on the final lap of the race. Turvey, in finishing in 8th place will start on Pole Position in tomorrow’s Sprint Race which sees the top 8 drivers position’s reversed on the grid.
Elsewhere it was disappointment for Van der Garde’s much fancied team-mate Kevin Magnussen who started brightly, eager to make up for a disappointing qualifying, but left his pit stop too late and ended up 12th whilst Marcus Ericsson finished in 18th after spinning whilst battling with Di Resta.