GP2

Hockenheimring: Round eight preview

GP2 series gears up for final flurry Under glorious skies and amidst blistering heat, the GP2 series is preparing itself for a back-to-back double-header of races beginning in Hockenheim, Germany, this weekend as the 2006 season reaches its ...

GP2 series gears up for final flurry

Under glorious skies and amidst blistering heat, the GP2 series is preparing itself for a back-to-back double-header of races beginning in Hockenheim, Germany, this weekend as the 2006 season reaches its final third. With seven events behind us, just four now remain before the champions will be crowned at Monza. The drivers' championship is still wide open, and with four very different circuits facing our boys over the following weeks, it is still anyone's title.

Chasing Rainbows: There's a chance of rain this weekend, a big chance... apparently. The heat wave which has struck at the heart of the European summer looks set to break at any moment here in Germany with forecasters predicting, in their traditionally open-ended style, that we should be expecting thunder storms, light rain and / or heavy rain, at absolutely any point over the course of the weekend. In other words, nobody knows what the weather's going to do, but everyone is hoping, beyond hope, that the temperature drops.

For the 26 drivers of the GP2 series however, come rain or shine, this weekend promises to be a fantastic contest. Hockenheim last year saw Nico Rosberg take his first Saturday win for ART Grand Prix, and after a stunning race on Sunday the eventual champion came close to taking the first ever double win in a weekend. It was not to be though, and he spun trying to pass Giorgio Pantano as Olivier Pla took his second Sunday win in a row. What was evident however, was that this Hockenheim track was perfectly suited to creating epic GP2 series races.

And after the thrilling encounters we were treated to in Magny-Cours last time out, there seems no reason why such a tantalising feast of racing should not be presented before us once again this weekend. The men on the money right now are Timo Glock and Alex Prémat. Timo, winner of race one in Magny-Cours, will be racing in front of his home crowd this weekend, and will be running high on confidence. Alex, too, is bubbling over with enthusiasm after two hard-fought and fruitful races on his home track in France, while his team-mate Lewis Hamilton suffered a comparatively poor weekend. Nelson Piquet Jr, Lewis' main rival, had a much better weekend in France, as did Giorgio Pantano who took his first GP2 series win in race two, and all these drivers will be looking to continue their successes of late this weekend.

Meanwhile over at DPR, we welcome Vitaly Petrov to the GP2 series family. Vitaly comes in to replace Olivier Pla in the #20 car for the rest of the season, while over at Arden International, everyone is happy to see Nicolas Lapierre back in the fold having finally recovered from the back injuries he sustained in Monaco.

What about the championship? Lewis leads the drivers' championship on 70 points, but Nelson has cut into his lead and now trails him by just 14 points. Alex is third in the title race on 48 points, eight behind Nelson, with Timo fourth on 28.

In the teams' championship, ART Grand Prix have amassed a whopping 118 points to lead second placed Piquet sports on 64. iSport International are third with 55 points and Arden International are fourth on 50.

-gp2

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Lewis Hamilton , Nelson Piquet , Nico Rosberg , Olivier Pla , Nicolas Lapierre , Timo Glock , Vitaly Petrov
Teams ART Grand Prix , Arden International