GP2

Charlie Eustice  |    |  2 October 2016

Luca Ghiotto holds off Raffaele Marciello to take maiden GP2 win in Malaysia


GP2 Media

Trident's Luca Ghiotto held off a late charge from Russian Time's Raffaele Marciello to take his first ever GP2 series win in Malaysia.

The Italian driver's win makes him the 10th different driver to take victory during the 2016 season, doing so after resisting immense pressure from compatriot Marciello.

Prema's two title-contending drivers recovered from mid-field grid positions to score strong points from the 22-lap race, with Gasly rising from 11th on the grid to third place come the finish, and Antonio GIovinazzi moving from eighth to fourth.

Rapax's Gustav Malja looked like he would take the bottom step on the rostrum, but a mistake at the very end of the race allowed both Prema racers to progress.

There were a number of retirements during the race, the most noteable of which was for Racing Engineering's Norman Nato, who was clumsily hit by team mate Jordan King at Turn 2 on the second lap.

Though King claimed that the Frenchman turned in on him, King was handed a ten-second time penalty for his efforts, while Nato retired on the spot.

The Safety Car was required for one lap to clear the stricken Racing Engineering machinery, but when it came back in Ghiotto gauged his restart perfectly, and was able to defend his lead until the chequered flag.

Behind him finished title contenders Marciello, Gasly and Giovinazzi, with Malja having to settle for fifth after his lock-up cost him a podium.

Mitch Evans was unable to capitalise on his reverse-grid pole, eventually finishing sixth after being passed by Marciello at the restart and then encountering problems with balance on the harder tyre.

Nobuharu Matsushita and Oliver Rowland completed the points, with Gasly taking two points for the fastest lap.

Marciello's runner-up spot puts him on 158 points and gives him an outside chance at the championship in Abu Dhabi, but it will be no small feat to catch up to main contenders Giovinazzi  (197 Pts) and Gasly (190 Pts).

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