x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Turvey is off to a good start

The iSport driver is keen to make it a double today after being allowed by his teammate Valsecchi to win the first race after team orders.

The GP2 cars turn around a corner of the Yas Marina Circuit that hosted the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The GP2 cars turn around a corner of the Yas Marina Circuit that hosted the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Oliver Turvey has set his heart on a Yas Marina Circuit double after leading iSport International to a one-two in the feature race of the GP2 Asia yesterday. Turvey, starting from second on the grid, took the lead in the opening metres and led all the way to the chequered flag, finishing the 33-lap race in one hour and 4:55.310 minutes. His teammate Davide Valsecchi was second on the podium, finishing 0.618 second behind, while debutant Jules Bianchi of ART Grand Prix completed the podium. The Race 1 winner will now start tonight's 22-lap sprint from eighth as the grid is reversed and only the top six will score points. The Briton, however, is confident he can manage that. "It is great to get a win in the feature race," he said. "This is only my second weekend in GP2 Asia, so it is a fantastic feeling. But for the sprint, we got to come back and focus on getting some points. We will be trying to get a good start. Thereafter we have got good pace. We have a great opportunity to win the race.

"I have put in a lot of effort on my start. Last time I was here in November, we did not get off to a good start. So I have worked with the team to make sure I understood everything about the start. "I got a fantastic getaway and it was quiet clear from thereon. From there I was trying to control the pace and take care of the tyres. So it was a fantastic race. The pitstop went well and it was good to lead the whole way." Valsecchi, who had won the feature race in the first round when the GP2 Asia ran concurrently with the Formula One in Abu Dhabi last November, had to be satisfied with the runners-up spot this time around, following team orders.

With Turvey leading the race, Valsecchi clipped his teammate on the 24th lap as he tried to overtake. Both were sent off-course and the Italian emerged ahead after that. Team bosses, however, asked him to slow down and give Turvey the lead again. "The team said it was incorrect, so I let him pass again," said Valsecchi, who leads the drivers' standing with 28 points. "The team told me to let him pass. It was the right choice. He had made a good start so it is right that I finish second and he win the race. "I have gained one point for the fastest lap. So I have nine points from the race and it is not such a bad position. We will try to add some more points in the sprint." arizvi@thenational.ae