Arden rookie Edoardo Mortara claimed victory in today's GP2 sprint race at Barcelona after withstanding sustained pressure from yesterday's feature race winner Romain Grosjean.
Mortara made an excellent start from third on the grid and led into the first corner but Grosjean had started equally strongly, climbing from eighth to third within the space of two laps, and then taking second from Jerome D'Ambrosio a couple of laps later.
At that point Mortara had a lead of 1.2 seconds, but Grosjean slowly ground that down and by lap 14 the Frenchman was within striking range. He made his move with a lunge at Turn 1, but Mortara was able to defend.
That would prove to be Grosjean's only genuine opportunity to pass, and Mortara gradually opened the gap again to eventually cross the line 1.5s clear.
D'Ambrosio did not have the pace to match the leaders but nor did he ever look in any real danger, and had a relatively quiet run to his second podium of the weekend. iSport's Giedo van der Garde had an equally solid if rather lonely run to fourth ahead of polesitter Kamui Kobayashi, who was never able to recover from a sluggish start.
The fight for the remaining points positions was considerably more heated. Super Nova's Luca Filippi got himself into sixth midway through the race, but as the laps ticked away the Italian was clearly struggling for pace and a queue quickly formed behind him.
ART's Pastor Maldonado, who had earlier had a lucky escape when he bumped team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, managed to get past and quickly vanished down the road, but Hulkenberg's hopes of doing the same were dashed when he spun following a touch from Diego Nunes.
Barwa Campos' Vitaly Petrov was also on target for points, but outbraked himself and fell behind the two ART cars while trying to pass Filippi.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Edoardo Mortara Arden 39m55.235s
2. Romain Grosjean Barwa Campos + 1.251s
3. Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS + 6.518s
4. Giedo van der Garde iSport + 14.638s
5. Kamui Kobayashi DAMS + 17.170s
6. Pastor Maldonado ART + 20.099s
7. Luca Filippi Super Nova + 28.971s
8. Diego Nunes iSport + 29.258s
9. Vitaly Petrov Barwa Campos + 29.433s
10. Lucas di Grassi Racing Engineering + 31.038s
11. Alvaro Parente Ocean + 32.026s
12. Luiz Razia Fisichella + 33.167s
13. Alberto Valerio Piquet + 33.789s
14. Nico Hulkenberg ART + 34.278s
15. Giacomo Ricci DPR + 38.913s
16. Davide Valsecchi Durango + 40.811s
17. Sergio Perez Arden + 42.258s
18. Nelson Panciatici Durango + 59.664s
19. Dani Clos Racing Engineering + 59.747s
20. Ricardo Teixeira Trident +1m00.052s
21. Davide Rigon Trident + 1 lap
Karun Chandhok Ocean 21 laps
Javier Villa Super Nova 17 laps
Michael Herck DPR 13 laps
Andi Zuber Fisichella 8 laps
Roldan Rodriguez Piquet 0 laps