Javier Villa became the first driver in the 2007 GP2 series to take three race wins with a stunning victory under great pressure in today's Sprint Race, a tribute to both Racing Engineering's car preparation and his ever increasing speed and ...
Javier Villa became the first driver in the 2007 GP2 series to take three race wins with a stunning victory under great pressure in today's Sprint Race, a tribute to both Racing Engineering's car preparation and his ever increasing speed and maturity.
Starting from pole position after his determined drive to 8th place in yesterday's feature Race, Javi bogged down slightly at the start loosing a place to Zaugg. Javi tried the outside line into the first corner but he had to settle for second place, he then lost a further place to Rodriguez half way around the first lap. However if Javi has shown one thing this season it is his determination to fight every inch of the way. The leading four cars, Zaugg, Rodriguez, Javi and Carroll began to open out a lead on the rest of the field over the next few laps with Javi just over a second behind Rodriguez and a similar gap ahead of Carroll after 5 laps.
Suddenly, on lap 7, the front four cars were tied together with only a second between all of them. Zaugg appeared to be holding the other three up and on lap 9 Rodriguez tried diving down the inside of Zaugg and, with the gap closing fast, a collision was almost inevitable and both cars made contact and ran wide on the exit from the corner. Javi and Carroll didn't need a second invitation, immediately taking advantage and moving into first and second places.
Now free to lap at the speed he wanted Javi's Racing Engineering car in its Repsol and Telefonica colours was instantly lapping at 1m 30.3s, noticeably quicker than he had been able to do when caught behind Zaugg and Rodriguez. Now the battle was really on with Javi and yesterday's winner Carroll fighting every inch of the way, constantly lapping within a tenth of each other with both drivers pulling away from the third placed Rodriguez.
On lap 12 the gap was one second, lap 15 it was down to 0.6 of a second, lap 18 out to 0.9 of a second, close stuff indeed! Between lap19 and 22 Javi managed to eke out a gap of 1.4 seconds but as the last few laps unwound Carroll closed up to less than a second but showing nerves of steel Javi refused to be flustered and driving faultlessly he took his Racing Engineering Dallara to yet another Sprint Race victory.
Once again Javi and Racing Engineering, with the support of Repsol and Telefonica, have shown they are a real force to be reckoned with in this season's GP2 Championship.
Alfonso D'Orleans (team principal):"Javi drove a very good race and he's now the only driver with three wins. I'm very happy, especially for the great work done by all the team, once again giving Javi a car that is both fast and reliable, one that keeps running when others are stopping. It was a shame that Marcos couldn't race as I'm sure he would have also gone very well but rules are rules."
Javier Villa (driver car 14): "Winning today in front of yesterday's winner, Adam, was very important for me especially in such a tough race. The start wasn't the best possible and the first laps were difficult. But from the fourth lap I could start pushing and getting closer to the first two. When they had their mistake and I went ahead I could finally set a better pace and both Adam and I started to pull away, from then on I could see that I could run faster and win the race."