Davide Valsecchi extended his GP2 Asia lead by denying Michael Herck victory with a late pass in the second Abu Dhabi race.
Until the closing stages, Herck and his teammate Giacomo Ricci had looked set to give their DPR team a shock 1-2 – four and a half years after the squad's last wins. But Valsecchi mounted a last-lap charge to pass both Ricci and Herck in quick succession and claim his iSport squad's second win of the weekend.
Outside front row starter Herck had taken the lead at the start, with Ricci passing Alexander Rossi (Meritus) for second at a safety car restart shortly afterward. Valsecchi made rapid progress from seventh on the grid and was soon in third behind the two DPR cars. But, until the final half dozen laps, Herck and Ricci looked comfortable up front.
The points leader had speed in reserve, though, and in the final laps Valsecchi increased his pace and piled pressure on Ricci, eventually making it through with an inventive move that required several corners to complete.
He then hunted down Herck and dove down the inside at the end of the back straight on the penultimate lap, before pulling away to win by 1.9sec – giving him a 19-point championship lead at the series' halfway point.
Herck and Ricci held on to the remaining podium places, with Addax's Sergio Perez charging from the midfield through to fourth. Perez escaped serious damage in the opening-lap tangle that caused the early safety car – the Mexican and Josef Kral touching, and sending the Super Nova car bouncing into Meritus' Luca Filippi.
Friday winner Oliver Turvey took the second iSport car to fifth, having spent much of the race behind pole-sitter Max Chilton (Ocean). The Formula 3 graduate lost ground on lap one but then held his own among the front runners and resisted ART's Jules Bianchi – who scorched through the field after stalling on the grid – and Arden's Charles Pic to score the final point.
Pic's teammate Javier Villa was another man to stall at the start, while Addax's Giedo van der Garde was making progress through the group behind Chilton until he tangled with Fabio Leimer (Ocean).
Pos Driver Team Gap
1. Davide Valsecchi iSport
2. Michael Herck DPR + 1.9s
3. Giacomo Ricci DPR + 4.2s
4. Sergio Perez Addax + 11.6s
5. Oliver Turvey iSport + 12.2s
6. Max Chilton Ocean + 19.6s
7. Jules Bianchi ART + 20.0s
8. Charles Pic Arden + 20.6s
9. Alexander Rossi Meritus + 26.3s
10. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Rapax + 27.0s
11. Javier Villa Arden + 27.4s
12. Marcus Ericsson Super Nova + 28.3s
13. Dani Clos Trident + 29.5s
14. Christian Vietoris DAMS + 30.9s
15. Daniel Zampieri Rapax + 31.6s
16. Edoardo Piscopo DAMS + 32.2s
17. Luca Filippi Meritus + 34.8s
18. Alberto Valerio Coloni + 39.6s
19. Giedo van der Garde Addax + 1m03.6s
20. Plamen Kralev Trident + 1m07.2s
Will Bratt Coloni 18 laps
Fabio Leimer Ocean 16 laps
Josef Kral Super Nova 0 laps
Sam Bird ART 0 laps