GP2

Magny-Cours: Race one report

Heikki Kovalainen has won today's GP2 series race at Magny-Cours to go 15 points clear in the drivers' championship standings. The Arden International driver took the lead following a lightening start. He took the win from DAMS' Jose Maria Lopez...

Heikki Kovalainen has won today's GP2 series race at Magny-Cours to go 15 points clear in the drivers' championship standings. The Arden International driver took the lead following a lightening start. He took the win from DAMS' Jose Maria Lopez and home favourite Nicolas Lapierre in the second Arden.

When the lights went out, pole-sitter Alex Prémat could not contain the fast-starting Kovalainen, and the Finn immediately took control of the race. At half distance, Olivier Pla spun at the final corner bringing out the safety car. This was to prove decisive as all the main contenders pitted. All that was, except for the ART Grand Prix cars who stayed out through the whole period. Prémat would eventually finish outside the top eight, but Rosberg claimed some reward with seventh position.

And so, Heikki took the win from Lopez and Lapierre, with Adam Carroll taking his Super Nova International to fourth. Neel Jani (Racing Engineering) finished fifth, just inches in front of Hiroki Yoshimoto (BCN Competicion) who picked up his first points of the season after a strong race. Rosberg was seventh, and Clivio Piccione (Durango) who had started 22nd, took the final points paying position in eighth. He will start tomorrow's 28-lap race from pole position. Gimmi Bruni, having stalled on the grid, took two points for fastest lap.

This leaves Heikki in command of the championship on 48 points, ahead of Carrol on 33, Bruni and Speed on 29, Lopez on 25 and Rosberg on 23. Arden International's double podium sees them extend their lead in the teams' championship. Their tally of 58 is 15 greater than nearest rivals Super Nova International, with ART Grand Prix on 37 and Coloni Motorsport on 32.

1st Heikki Kovalainen Arden International.1:02:55.458
"I was not quite cruising because the steering was bent, so that affected me a little bit and it's better not to cruise because then you can make mistakes, so I tried to keep a reasonable rhythm and not do anything crazy it was all under control. I knew all I had to do was keep a little bit of a gap to Lopez."

2nd Jose Maria Lopez DAMS. +3.387
"We did a good strategy, and maybe with a couple of laps more it was possible to be in front of him, but at the end I think he was the best, and it was also very good for us."

3rd Nicolas Lapierre Arden International. +7.706 "It's quite hard to overtake here and we really need points. In another situation then for sure I might have attacked him, but we didn't score any points really in the beginning of the season and we really needed these points, so for me it was important to finish the race first of all, and on the podium."

This weekend the GP2 series opened its gates to the fans at the French Grand Prix. The response has been incredible with over 5000 people visiting our paddock.

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Heikki Kovalainen , Adam Carroll , Clivio Piccione , Neel Jani , Olivier Pla , Nicolas Lapierre , Jose Maria Lopez
Teams DAMS , ART Grand Prix , Racing Engineering , Arden International