Pastor Maldonado stretched his lead in the GP2 series by clinching victory in an incident packed feature race at Valencia.
In a frantic start, Maldonado muscled his Repax past ART's Jules Bianchi into the first corner and into second place behind polesitter Sergio Perez as chaos ensued behind him. A series of accidents in the first four corners eliminated nearly half the field and a safety car period followed while the debris was cleaned.
When the dust settled three laps later, only 13 of the 24 cars remained on track and more drama was to follow. Maldonado ran wide at the final corner and Bianchi took full advantage of the safety car line being situated before the start-finish line to pass the Venezuelan for second.
It was not long, however, before Maldonado reclaimed second and shortly after he took the lead after overtaking Perez. Davide Valsecchi's attempt to follow Maldonado through resulted in contact that spun the unfortunate Perez to the back of the field and rewarded Valsecchi with a drive-through penalty for his over-exuberance.
Maldonado held onto his lead after the pitstops and despite a spirited challenge from Bianchi, he stretched away to coast to victory by 8.2s from the Frenchman as Sam Bird made it an ART 2-3 by finishing third after a brilliant drive from 10th on the grid.
Giedo van der Garde finished fourth ahead of Dani Clos with Charles Pic, Marcus Ericsson and Michael Herck rounding off the points scoring.
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