GP2

Monza: Series race one report

Pantano Thunders to Home Win Giorgio Pantano has led from start to finish to record a crushing victory on his home circuit of Monza. The Campos Grand Prix driver was imperious from the word go, and led home an ...

Pantano Thunders to Home Win

Giorgio Pantano has led from start to finish to record a crushing victory on his home circuit of Monza. The Campos Grand Prix driver was imperious from the word go, and led home an all- Italian 1-2 as Luca Filippi stood alongside him on the podium. Timo Glock took third spot, while his championship rival Lucas di Grassi saw second position slip from his grasp just two laps from home, eventually finishing out of the points in what, by all accounts, was one of the most action- packed races of the season so far

Race Report: Giorgio blasted away from pole position to lead the field through turn one. Behind him however, mayhem ensued as Timo Glock tapped Adrian Zaugg into a spin at the first chicane, congesting the tight corner and leading to a shake up of the grid which dropped the German down to 17th. The safety car was immediately deployed with the order running Pantano, di Grassi, Nakajima, Petrov and Carroll.

On the third lap we were racing again as Adam Carroll and Timo came in for their stops. It was to be agonizingly slow for Adam, and would drop the Ulsterman to the back of the field. Luca meanwhile had passed Xandi Negrao and set off after Vitaly Petrov. The Italian got too close at the Ascari chicane however and ran wide allowing the Brazilian to regain his position. Two laps later and Kazuki Nakajima was in for his stop, leaving Giorgio alone at the front, leading Lucas by three seconds.

Luca stopped on the eighth lap and emerged ahead of Kazuki, who immediately passed him on the outside of the second chicane. One lap later and it was Xandi's turn, and he came out ahead of the battling Kazuki and Luca. On lap 11 Lucas and Vitaly came in, but a problem with the rear right curtailed the Russian's incredible drive as he too dropped to the far end of the pack. Luca meanwhile was in fine form, and managed to get by Kazuki in a breathtaking move around the outside of Curva Grande.

By lap 16 we were under safety car again, as Roldan Rodriguez had beached himself at the second chicane after a wild move on Andi Zuber failed to come off. Giorgio took his moment to pit and emerged with his lead still in tact. He led Lucas, Xandi, Luca, Kazuki, Bruno Senna, Karun Chandhok and Andy Soucek.

With Roldan's car moved out of the way, racing commenced on lap 18-- but not for long. Soucek ran wide at the Parabolica, and as he tried to rejoin the circuit, spun in front of Andi Zuber. The pair collided in a huge explosion of carbon fibre, with both out on the spot and thankfully unhurt. At the same time, Nakajima spun and Carroll ran off into retirement, leaving the order under the recalled safety car as Giorgio, Lucas, Xandi, Luca, Karun, Bruno, Timo and Ricardo Risatti.

Racing got back underway for the final time on lap 22 as Luca swept past Xandi into the first corner. Timo meanwhile was on a charge and blasted past Bruno as Karun grabbed fourth from a now struggling Xandi who pitted in an effort to resolve his issues. One lap later and Timo was through Karun and off after Luca. The Italian however never let him get close.

Up front, Giorgio was holding a steady lead over Lucas when, with just two laps to go, the Brazilian slowed at the first chicane, stuttering almost to a halt. Luca flew by into second, and as a train of cars passed Lucas, his ART Grand Prix car got going again.

All that left Giorgio clear to record his third straight win in Monza after his double victory here last year, with Luca second and Timo third. Bruno ran home fourth with Karun a magnificent fifth, ahead of Javier Villa, Sebastien Buemi and Ricardo Risatti who will start tomorrow's race from pole. The extra point for fastest lap went to Giorgio, to top off a perfect day.

1st Giorgio Pantano: Campos Grand Prix. 55:32.531
All the weekend is going perfect for me. We have a good feeling, I have a good feeling with Monza. The car was perfect today and I know I have just to go out from the first corner and try to push the maximum I can, and that's what I've done. Everything was perfect from yesterday and today and I hope also tomorrow. If we have this situation, this condition, there is a good chance to win also tomorrow. If I start in P8 the chance to overtake here is something we have. Its just we need the same condition like today and then we try to win also tomorrow and then score the maximum points I can. I know there is Timo and Luca in front tomorrow but we try.

2nd Luca Filippi: Super Nova International. +7.962
It's very nice to be back on the podium, especially at home at Monza. In Italy you have a special sensation and feeling so I wanted this podium very much. We started very well from free practice when we were P2. In qualifying I went over the exit curve a bit too much, so starting from P7 I think P2 was the best result possible for us. Giorgio was the quickest so P2 was the best result possible. Today I had some quicker guys in front of me and tomorrow it will be the opposite. Giorgio will be behind me. If I can get a good start, maybe I will be able to beat the people in front of me but it will be hard. For sure I will try to do my best in front of the thousands of Italian people there will be.

3rd Timo Glock: iSport International. +9.681
That race showed the whole way of the season. It was up and down and after the start when I had to go through the gravel, I was P20 after the first lap. I couldn't believe it. It was bad luck, but in the end we decided to pit under safety car, and when we went out the safety car came in so we didn't win anything and just lost more time than anything. The only luck we had was with the second safety car, but before that for two laps I thought about finding the exit of the track, driving the car to Germany and having a beer at home. I couldn't believe it. Lucas was second and on the way to scoring more points and take the championship lead again. And after two laps I thought, OK we have to fight back as hard as we can, like the whole year, and it's what I did. I was P9 after the second safety car and then I was only behind Senna and all these guys who were fighting hard. I stayed behind and waited for the mistakes and overtook them after. At the end I was P4 and with the luck at the end in the last couple of laps when Lucas had a problem with his car, I opened the gap in the championship again. I think it's maybe a bit equal now. We had six races without a point and now he's had the bad luck. It's good for us and our championship.

-credit: gp2 series

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Adam Carroll , Timo Glock , Lucas di Grassi , Bruno Senna , Kazuki Nakajima , Luca Filippi , Vitaly Petrov , Andy Soucek , Ricardo Risatti
Teams ART Grand Prix