Javier Villa today showed just how talented he is with a stunning debut GP2 victory, driving with a wonderful combination of speed, aggression and maturity he took command of the Magny Cours circuit and repaid the faith that Alfonso D'Orleans, ...
Javier Villa today showed just how talented he is with a stunning debut GP2 victory, driving with a wonderful combination of speed, aggression and maturity he took command of the Magny Cours circuit and repaid the faith that Alfonso D'Orleans, Racing Engineering and their backers, Repsol and Telefonica have placed in him.
Conditions were extremely tricky as the cars started their warm up lap, earlier rain had left the track very slippery in places and to make life harder still recent track resurfacing had made it almost impossible for the drivers to "read" the tarmac and spot any dry lines. As the lights went off Javier made a good start from second on the grid tucking in behind pole sitter Lapierre into the first corner. Lapierre initially pulled out a gap as Javier made sure he was confident of the track conditions but by lap 4 he was closing in on the gearbox of the DAMS car.
Soon Javi was shadowing the more experienced Frenchman as they, and third place Filippi who had joined the battle, pulled out a gap of several seconds on the pursuing pack. Javi began to apply more and more pressure to Lapierre and on lap 16 his persistence paid off as Lapierre locked his brakes heavily on the entrance to Adelaide and skated off the track. Javi was now leading from a closely following Filippi and the young Spaniard now put his head down and began to pull away at a tenth or two a lap gradually building up a lead of nearly 2 seconds.
Suddenly there was drama with 5 laps left as it began to rain and Javier had to drive with great skill, fast enough to keep the pursuing Filippi and Pantano at bay but not so fast as to risk an accident. The remaining laps clicked off as Javi kept a lead of around half a second to take the chequered flag and a fully deserved first win in GP2. The Racing Engineering team members were leaning over the pit wall waving and cheering their ecstatic driver as he took his slowing down lap punching the air in delight. Following a difficult day yesterday this victory was a tribute to the dedication and hard work of the Racing Engineering team allied to the skill of their young Spanish charger.
Alfonso D'Orleans (team principal):"I'm absolutely ecstatic. Javi has done a great job showing again his immense talent and he's become the youngest ever winner at this level, younger even than Fernando Alonso when he won in formula 3000. Being just 19 years old he has already taken a podium and a victory and from now on the only way is up for him. Above everything I'd like thank Repsol, Telefonica and Mapfre for betting on us when nobody believed in this project, today's result shows just how right they were. I want also to thank the whole team for their great work, especially after Viso's accident yesterday. Ernesto is getting on well and he's coming to the track right now so there are only reasons to enjoy the celebrations although we shouldn't sleep on today's victory, there is a lot of work to do as the next race, at Silverstone, is just around the corner."
Javier Villa (driver car 14): ""Everything went very well, we were running steadily and always with some margin ...it has actually been quite a relaxed race! At the beginning it was a bit difficult to follow right behind Lapierre as I couldn't push as I wanted. Once he had made his mistake I could get past him and start to really push and lap something like 7 tenths quicker. At the end it started to rain slightly so I had to slow down a little bit but I still had some speed margin in hand in case it should have been necessary."