GP2

Premat leads ART to another victory in Istanbul

Alexander Premat has taken victory today in race one of the GP2 series at Istanbul Otodrom, Turkey after a hard battle with second finisher Giorgio Pantano. Spaniard Borja Garcia reached the podium for the first time in the season. It was a...

Alexander Premat has taken victory today in race one of the GP2 series at Istanbul Otodrom, Turkey after a hard battle with second finisher Giorgio Pantano. Spaniard Borja Garcia reached the podium for the first time in the season.

It was a great race for the Frenchman, he made a good first move from sixth place and waited for his time to attack for the lead. ""For sure it was a really good race! I did a great start and overtook some people so when I came around I was fifth, and it was just incredible", Premat commented.

The race had two safety cars periods. The first was on the second lap when Neel Jani, winner in the first race in Hungary, hit the pit wall at the end of the first lap. In that moment all drivers, except Nico Rosberg, Scott Speed, José María López and Mathias Lauda, went into the pits.

Polesitter Rosberg kept the lead followed closely by Speed but it was on lap eight when the chance for the German to take his fourth season victory ended, a bent exhaust and gearbox failures caused Rosberg to retire in pitlane.

It was time for Speed to lead, a position he enjoyed until the mandatory pit stop after the second safety car period, which came after a crash between Cilvio Piccione, Nicolas Lapierre and Gianmaria Bruni on lap 16. The American driver returned to the track in seventh place and the chances to win were gone for him.

Premat jumped to first place and gave the ART Grand Prix guys a reason to watch the race more closely. From that moment Pantano became Premat`s nightmare: "After the second safety car I was in front but it was really close [to Pantano], so the pressure was strong!".

This was the second victory for Premat and it was a consecutive win, after taking the victory in the Sprint race three weeks ago in Hungary. Also his fifth season podium finish.

Italian Pantano tried to pass Premat, even in the final lap, but it was impossible. "I was quick, the car was working very well, and I think that everyone will have enjoyed this race. I was quite sure I was going to win, but unfortunately I didn't have a chance to overtake Alex.", Pantano explained.

Just 0.336-seconds was the gap between winner and second at the chequered flag, proving how hard Pantano pushed. With second place, the Super Nova driver repeated his best result of San Marino, Nurburgring and Hockenheim for his fourth consecutive podium

Garcia became the first Spaniard driver to take podium in GP2. The Racing Engineering driver advanced from ninth on the grid with a pass he made over Nelson A. Piquet, three laps before the end of the race which allowed him to captured this result. "It was difficult and fast, but this track I think makes it easy to overtake, and everyone was overtaking everywhere! I'm really happy for me and for the team as it is their second podium," said Garcia.

This was the third race that Garcia added points and he has now jumped to 15th in the standings.

Neither Rosberg or Kovalainen, who ended up tenth after starting 13th, added points. The Finn leads 79 to 75 over Rosberg, while Speed is in hard battle for third with Premat, 56 to 53.

In the teams championship, ART continues their good advantage with 127 points against the 92 of Arden International. Super Nova is still in third with 72 followed by iSport with 58.

Tomorrow`s sprint race will have Hiroki Yoshimoto on pole position due to today`s eight place. Adam Carroll will complete first row followed by López, Speed and Piquet in top five.

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Gianmaria Bruni , Giorgio Pantano , Scott Speed , Nico Rosberg , Adam Carroll , Neel Jani , Nicolas Lapierre , Hiroki Yoshimoto , Jose Maria Lopez , Mathias Lauda , Borja Garcia
Teams ART Grand Prix , Racing Engineering , Arden International