Marcus Ericsson kept his head under intense pressure to secure his first GP2 win in today's sprint race at Valencia.
The Swede took the lead at the start by beating polesitter Michael Herck into the first corner, but faced a determined challenge from Giedo van der Garde over the last two laps. Depsite van der Garde's apparent speed advantage, Ericsson did just enough to keep him at bay.
While the win was a welcome change of form for the Super Nova team after a tough start to the season, there is also concern within the squad after Ericsson's teammate Josef Kral was taken to hospital following a huge accident on lap three.
The Czech driver ran into the back of Arden's Rodolfo Gonzalez and was launched skyward before landing on his gearbox and slamming into the Turn 17 barriers at high speed. He is reported to be conscious and complaining of pain in his back and right arm. The accident prompted several laps behind the safety car, which eventually led to the race being flagged several laps before schedule due to time limitations.
Herck held on to third, although he needed to shove Pastor Maldonado aside on the run to the finish line in order to do it, while Charles Pic and Davide Valsecchi scored the final points.
Sergio Perez endured another disastrous race; the Mexican being one of several victims of opening lap damage when he was hit by Alberto Valerio. He lost a lap but found himself out of sequence behind the safety car and spent the middle part of the race running fourth on the road ahead of title rival Maldonado.
Perez had just enough time to produce the fastest lap of the race - by a full second - before he was dealt a drive-through penalty for ignoring blue flags.