Misfortune for Mondini and Joy for Jani The run of bad luck that plagued Neel Jani (Dams) at the start of the season would seem to be well and truly over, as he took his first win this year at Brno after mechanical problems forced Mondini to ...
Misfortune for Mondini and Joy for Jani
The run of bad luck that plagued Neel Jani (Dams) at the start of the season would seem to be well and truly over, as he took his first win this year at Brno after mechanical problems forced Mondini to retire. In second came Proetto, which gave the EuroInternational team something to smile about, while Lorgere Roux (Dams) finished in a magnificent third place.
There was a cloud over the Dams team at the green light, as just like in Monaco, Jani lost the advantage of pole position. This time it was Mondini who took the lead, with Barth and Proetto following the front two. Before the end of lap one, Kerr made a mistake that sent him down the order, while his countryman Bell took a trip into the gravel that cost him the race.
At the front, Mondini had made the most of his new tyres to pull away, putting a comfortable gap between him and Jani. "I didn't make a good start," admitted Jani, "Just like at Monaco I couldn't optimize my new clutch, and on top of that all of my closest rivals were on new rubber."
The Safety Car made an appearance at the start of lap three, after the collision between Van Lagen and Cicero left their cars in a dangerous position at the edge of the track.
In second behind Mondini, Jani kept Barth (Interwetten.com) at a safe distance. Right behind the young German was Proetto, who was pushing hard to get past. "It was difficult for me to try and overtake," he said later, "I thought I was faster than Barth, but I didn't want to take an unnecessary risk."
As we approached the pitstop segment of the race, Lorgere Roux had moved in on the leaders, pulling right up to fifth place.
Proetto's pitstop tactics paid off, as he came in early and headed back out in front of Barth. Jani pitted at the end of lap 11, leaving the way clear for Mondini.
But the race leader's luck soon ran out, as smoke started coming from his engine, eventually forcing him to retire.
After that, nothing looked like troubling Jani. Proetto kept up a good pace to take second place, while Lorgere Roux made the most of his pitstop to move up to third, battling it out all the way with Barth.
A raised fist from Jani at the chequered flag said it all: "This victory feels very good. After such bad luck at the start of the season, things would seem to be settling down. I'm going to take it one race at a time, and we'll see how things stand at the end of the season. Mathematically, though, there's still everything to play for."
Another pole position awaits Jani tomorrow, who this time will be on new tyres!
<pre> Race Classification 1) Jani Dams 46'07''453 2) Proetto EuroInternational 08'134 3) Lorgere Roux Dams 17'383 4) Barth Interwetten.com 17'837 5) Campaniço Cram Competition 18''535 6) Danielsson SRTS 19''320 7) Sharp Jenzer Motorsport 22''034 8) Shimoda David Price Racing 22''483 9) Pasini Victory Eng. SpA 24''006 10) Kerr Victory Eng Spa 24''309