While both title contenders, Nelson A. Piquet and Lewis Hamilton, were keeping an eye on each other to take second and third at the chequered flag, Giorgio Pantano was able to claim the victory in race one of the GP2 Series final round in Monza, Italy.
"It was great. We did a very good job today, the team did a great job in the pitstop and we didn't make any mistakes," expressed Pantano. "Every lap was consistent, and that's it. It was great!"
In the championship fight, Hamilton now leads with six points over Piquet, who tomorrow must win the final sprint race of the season and take the fastest lap if he wants to achieve the GP2 series title. And, of course, Hamilton cannot add any points, making it a hard challenge for the Brazilian.
Luca Filippi took his best season result in fourth place right ahead of Alexander Premat, fifth with the second car of ART Grand Prix.
Sixth place belonged to Nicolas Lapierre, while Cilvio Piccione and Hiro Yoshimoto ended seventh and eighth. Yoshimoto will command tomorrow's front row in the sprint race.
The racing action itself was cut short due to incidents, the first when British racer Adam Carroll caused the safety car to come out when the right-rear wheel fell off his Racing Engineering Car.
Carroll spun out of the race and could only watch in horror when the wheel, which had not bee attached properly at a mandatory pit-stop, began rolling down the track.
A three-car accident put out Timo Glock along with Adrian Valles and Jose Maria Lopez, while ex-Formula One man Gianmaria Bruni was taken out at the retifillio by countryman Ferdinando Monfardini.
GP Series officials subsequently determined that Pantano's fastest lap of the race was not official as it was done under yellow-flag conditions. Therefore, the point for fastest time was handed to Hamilton and he has been declared the champion.