- GP2, Monaco Grand Prix, Race 2
Pic takes sprint race victory
Charles Pic secured a lights-to-flag victory in the Monaco sprint race to move up to third place in the championship.
Josef Kral was second, resisting the attentions of Romain Grosjean whose third place put him back on top of the driver's championship, level on points with Sam Bird. Luca Filippi took fourth ahead of Davide Valsecchi and Max Chilton.
Having benefitted from Oliver Turvey's penalty after the feature race which promoted him to eighth and pole on the reverse grid, Pic led away at the start, while Max Chilton was slow off the line and lost out to Kral and Grosjean. The rest of the field did well to avoid another staller on the grid, as Stefano Coletti failed to get away from third place.
Kral initially pressured Pic, but the Barwa Addax driver kept him at bay and then began to ease away before Kevin Mirocha brought out the safety car for the first time when he parked his car on the pit straight. Having made an impressive restart, Pic was forced to do it all again when Marcus Ericsson ran wide at Tabac and launched himself over the kerbs at the swimming pool chicane. His iSport car clouted the barriers and came to rest at the second part of the complex with flames emitting from the rear.
Pic again got away well, although Kral followed him and managed to drop Grosjean for a while. Further back, Dani Clos, Alvaro Parente and Michael Herck had any hopes of points dashed as they served drive through penalties for jumping the start while the field was still bunched up.
Grosjean had been under pressure from Chilton, but then eased back towards Kral as Chilton's tyres went off, gaining the extra point for fastest lap of the top ten as he went. The Carlin car soon had a train behind it as Chilton fell off the pace, and Luca Filippi made a good move under braking for the Nouvelle Chicane to take fourth before Valsecchi snatched fifth. Chilton managed to hold on to the final points position though as he defended well against Fabio Leimer.
The result makes the standings extremely tight, with Grosjean and Bird joint top on 23 points, the DAMS driver leading by virtue of his feature race win in Turkey. They're just ahead of Pic on 22 and Valsecchi and Giedo van der Garde both on 21.