Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took his maiden GP2 victory in the Sprint Race at Monza
Sam Bird closes gap to Fabio Leimer at top of the championship
By William Esler
Last Updated: 17/09/13 1:38pm
The Hilmer driver made a great start from second on the grid to leap past Alexander Rossi - who admitted he "just wasn't on the bite point at all" - and never looked back as he held a comfortably advantage at the front throughout the race.
Sam Bird also got away well to go from seventh to third into the first corner, but fellow Brit James Calado was not so fortunate and stalled on the grid, dropping to the back of the field.
Former championship leader Stefano Coletti had a lightening opening lap to go from 19th on the grid to 11th, but that would be as good as it got for the Rapax driver as his title challenge fizzles out after just one points finish in ten races.
On lap eight a light sprinkling of rain started to fall at the Italian venue and Calado immediately pitted for wet tyres. The gamble would backfire, however, and the ART driver would finish last, two laps down.
The rain did make things a little slippery for those on slicks for a couple of laps, though, and when Julian Leal and Bird went straight on at the first chicane, it allowed Alexander Rossi into second to take his best finish on the season.
As things settled down at the front, positions were still changing all the time further down the order. Felipe Nasr and Coletti went wheel-to-wheel numerous times, but it was the Carlin of Jolyon Palmer that stole the show as he went from 23rd on the grid to tenth at the chequered flag.
GP2 Italy - Sprint Race
1) Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (GBR) - Hilmer Motorsport - 32:51.149
2) Alexander Rossi (USA) - Caterham Racing - +1.849
3) Julian Leal (COL) - Racing Engineering - +4.335
4) Sam Bird (GBR) - RUSSIAN TIME - +5.468
5) Tom Dillmann (FRA) - RUSSIAN TIME - +8.636
6) Fabio Leimer (SWI) - Racing Engineering - +12.037
7) Rio Haryanto (INA) - Addax - +14.899
8) Johnny Cecotto (VEN) - Arden International - +17.338
9) Dani Clos (ESP) - MP Motorsport - +17.842
10) Jolyon Palmer (GBR) - Carlin - +23.973
12) Felipe Nasr (BRA) - Carlin - +26.088
13) Stefano COletti (MON) - Rapax - +26.553
17) Jon Lancaster (GBR) - Hilmer - +29.588
26) James Calado (GBR) - Art Grand Prix - +2 laps
1) Fabio Leimer - 159
2) Sam Bird - 153
3) Stefano Coletti - 135
4) Felipe Nasr - 130
5) James Calado - 119
6) Tom Dillmann - 84
7) Stephane Richelmi - 83
8) Marcus Ericsson - 82
9) Jolyon Palmer - 68
10) Jon Lancaster - 65