Tottenham Hotspur's Craig Dolby won his first Superleague Formula race since the Silverstone season opener in the first ever event at the Beijing International street circuit on Sunday.
Dolby took the lead during the mandatory pitstops, having run second during the opening stint to Roma's Julien Jousse. But Jousse lost time with a sticking left-rear wheel at his stop, and was then given a drive-through penalty soon after for jumping the start.
"The boys did a great job to leapfrog Roma in the pits," said Dolby, who had never raced on a street circuit before. "After that, I took it easy and saved the tyres for race two, and cruised round enjoying it at the end."
Poleman Alvaro Parente (Porto) lost fuel pressure on the run to the rolling start, and Jousse jumped ahead of the other front row starter Dolby to lead the opening 13 laps. After his penalty, Jousse would finish eighth.
Franck Perera inherited second for Bordeaux, while the star of the race was Liverpool's Frederic Vervisch, who stormed from 15th to third. His pass on Tristan Gommendy (Lyon) at the exit of the controversial final chicane, the layout of which almost caused a drivers' strike this morning following Andy Soucek's huge crash there in qualifying, was the move of the race.
"I tried to stay with Roma and Tottenham, but they were faster than me," said Perera. "I was catching Craig at the end, but second place is good."
Vervisch added: "I knew I was quite fast, but didn't expect a podium."
Gommendy finished fourth, ahead of Adrian Valles (Sporting Lisbon), Earl Bamber (PSV) and Yelmer Buurman (AC Milan).
In an incident-packed race, Marcos Martinez (Sevilla) and Atletico Madrid's Paul Meijer took each other out at the first chicane in a battle over fifth place early on. Then a spinning John Martin (Beijing Guoan) and a stranded Giacomo Ricci (Galatasaray) brought out a safety car.
Team China's Adderly Fong was classified 10th but suffered a hefty impact with the Turn 1 wall, when he clipped a kerb and his front wing got stuck under his front wheels.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Craig Dolby Tottenham Hotspur 40m05.209s
2. Franck Perera Girondins de Bordeaux + 3.047s
3. Frederic Vervisch Liverpool FC + 4.891s
4. Tristan Gommendy Olympique Lyonnais + 11.747s
5. Adrian Valles Sporting Clube de Portugal + 13.932s
6. Earl Bamber PSV Eindhoven + 16.099s
7. Yelmer Buurman AC Milan + 16.714s
8. Julien Jousse AS Roma + 19.397s
9. Ben Hanley Olympiacos + 46.750s
Adderly Fong Team China 17 laps
John Martin Beijing Guoan 3 laps
Giacomo Ricci Galatasaray 2 laps
Davide Rigon RSC Anderlecht 0 laps
Paul Meijer Atletico de Madrid 0 laps
Alvaro Parente FC Porto 0 laps
Marcos Martinez Sevilla FC 0 laps