Pastor Maldonado's bid to be crowned GP2 champion this weekend got off to the best possible start when he won the feature race at Spa Francorchamps from Alvaro Parente and Romain Grosjean, standing in for the injured Ho-Pin Tung.
Maldonado, who leads the drivers' standings, had to hold off a spirited challenge from Parente at the finish as the Coloni stand-in harried the Venezuelan's Rapax. Indeed, Parente may even have claimed victory himself but for a late stop that dropped him out of the lead.
Maldonado's title chances gained a further boost as his closest challenger, Sergio Perez, finished seventh after serving a drive-through penalty for pitlane speeding and Dani Clos was forced to retire after a first lap collision with ART's Sam Bird.
Charles Pic finished fourth ahead of Luca Fillipi and Britain's Oliver Turvey. Race 2 starts at 10.35 local time.