Adam Carroll underlined the fact that he belongs in single seater racing with his second win since returning to GP2 seven races ago.
He triumphed in the sprint race that was interrupted by a frightening crash for Luca Filippi which the Italian fortunately escaped without injury.
But championship points leader Timo Glock failed to score despite starting on pole position after a problem with his pit stop and a spin.
The iSport drivers had been issued with a warning not to repeat their embarrassing crash from the Magny-Cours race as the took the front row in Hungary.
They didn’t, but nor did they capitalise on the advantage. It was Lucas di Grassi who made a stunning start to split that pair of them and then pass Timo Glock around the first corner.
But, just as at the Nurburgring, di Grassi didn’t seem to have the pace to pull away from Glock. The German elected to make an early pit stop, on lap seven, to get into some clear air. But the right-rear wheel gunner ran into problems and Glock was badly delayed.
Meanwhile Giorgio Pantano had solved the di Grassi problem by the good old fashionshed approach of passing him on the track. Glock’s team mate Andreas Zuber had also moved up by passing Pastor Maldonado and ran third.
Maldonado crashed out at turn three on lap nine but the scale of the accident was dwarfed by Luca Filippi’s four laps later. The Super Nova car appeared to turn hard left without warning on the exit of the final corner, hitting the barrier hard and showering the track with dirt and car parts.
A wheel struck Vitaly Petrov’s car , pitching him into a spin which claimed two other cars. With the pit straight littered with debris and under a cloud of dust, the safety car was scrambled onto the track.
A spate of early pit stops had left Adam Carroll in the lead and he now got his pit stop in as the safety car was returning to the track. He resumed the circuit narrowly ahead of Karun Chandhok, who was yet to pit, and Kazuki Nakajima, who had.
When the race restarted on lap 17 Nakajima quickly dispensed with Chandhok and began a race-long chase of Carroll.
Glock was trying to recover from his poor pit stop when he tried an optimistic move on Adrian Zaugg at turn eight. He sun into the gravel but managed to get out and keep going.
Nakajima was able to keep up with Carroll but couldn’t find the pace to pass. Nakajima had changed tyres on lap two, and was asking a lot of his rubber to go 39 laps.
The pair were caught by Zuber and Pantano but the Italian pulled into the pits and retired on lap 34.
The top three stayed the same until the end with di Grassi a subdued fourth ahead of Borja Garcia. Roldan Rodriguez was sixth after a strong drive and a gutsy pass on Jason Tahinci at the quick turn four.
Zaugg held on to seventh despite despite an assault at the very final corner from Javier Villa. It failed, but the Spaniard will start the sprint race from pole position for the third time this year – and he won on both the previous two occasions.
Ho Pin Tung came closer than ever to scoring a point, finishing ninth, ahead of a disappointed Glock, whose advantage over di Grassi in the championship has been cut to four points.
Photo: GP2 Media Service / Andrew Ferraro