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May 11, 2014 - 05:08 PM
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Nasr Withstands Pressure To Take Spanish Victory
Posted by: newsla on May 11, 2014 - 05:02 PM
GP2 News
Nasr Withstands Pressure To Take Spanish Victory


Felipe Nasr took a fantastic victory in today’s GP2 Series Sprint race to strengthen his championship campaign after a confident drive to resist pressure from second place man Jolyon Palmer. Nasr took the lead on lap two and managed his tyres perfectly to take his maiden GP2 win at the Circuit de Catalunya in a race that was all about tyre wear. Team mate Julian Leal continued his strong run and celebrates his birthday today with a competitive fifth place finish.

 

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As the lights went out, Nasr made the perfect start to catapult from sixth on the grid to third, slotting in behind a fast starting Rio Haryanto and pole sitter Tom Dillmann. Team mate Leal meanwhile also made a good start off the line from fifth, but was boxed in as the drivers dealt with turn one. Leal emerged in seventh, but later moved up to fifth after fighting for position and Haryanto ended his race in the gravel.

A stunning overtake from Nasr on Dillmann handed him the lead on lap two, while Leal was still running in fifth place. A few laps later, Nasr’s former team mate Palmer also passed Dillmann and was close behind Nasr as the race began to unfold.

Nasr withstood the pressure for several laps, with the gap to Palmer no more than 0.6 seconds for the majority of the first half of the race. The Brazilian stayed calm though, holding off Palmer lap after lap with an unflustered performance. As the race entered the final stages Nasr looked to have the upper hand, drawing out the gap to a second, until Palmer locked up and ran wide. With only a few laps remaining Nasr’s race was one of nursing his tyres to the end. The Williams F1 reserve driver clearly had left enough in reserve and took his first GP2 victory in front of a jubilant Carlin pit wall.

Team mate Leal meanwhile had also enjoyed a strong race. The Colombian, who took two podiums in Bahrain and fourth place in yesterday’s Feature Race, held onto a strong fifth place, never looking under any pressure from sixth place man Johnny Cecotto.

Leal and Nasr head to the next round in Monaco second and third in the drivers’ standings, while today’s strong result extends Carlin’s lead at the top of the teams’ standings.

Speaking about his race, Nasr said, “The start of the race was great for me. I knew it was all going to be done at the start, the track was damp and I was just concentrating on getting temperature into the tyres. I passed several drivers into turn one and then it was all about getting the lead. I knew that if we got the lead we could control the pace and try and maintain the tyres. The team really deserve this. It hasn’t been about performance, the pace was always there but today it all came together. It means a lot to me and the team.”

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