17/07/05 - Bilbao - Race 2
Power moves into second
In front of stands packed out with more than 100,000 spectators over the weekend, Will Power (Carlin Motorsport) claimed his second victory of the season. Thanks to his team's race tactics, DAMS driver Alx Danielsson took second place, a fraction ahead of Milos Pavlovic (GD Racing). Eighth, Robert Kubica remains the clear leader of the World Series.
Will Power took full advantage of his pole position to get the away quickest at the start, when the safety car moved over. But the Australian then made a mistake on the very first chicane. He managed only just to keep his lead over Milos Pavlovic.
As early as the end of lap 2, Eric Salignon (Cram Competition), Markus Winkelhock (Draco Multiracing USA) and Adrian Valles (Pons Racing) all decided to come into the pits for their mandatory stop. Milos Pavlovic followed suit a lap later, as did Tristan Gommendy (KTR) and Ryan Sharp (Jenzer Motorsport).
While all of these drivers were waging that the safety car would be brought out at some point, Will Power just went for it and built up a big lead over Alx Danielsson, Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi), Celso Miguez (Pons Racing) and Colin Fleming (Jenzer Motorsport).
Will Power came in after six laps, allowing Danielsson to take up the reigns at the front. The Swedish driver led from Miguez, Montanari and Porteiro. Power came back out onto the track in fifth and first among the drivers who had already pitted. His gamble looked like paying off, as Danielsson was only 13 seconds ahead of the Australian.
Danielsson came into the pits after eight laps, giving Celso Miguez his turn to lead the race! The DAMS driver returned to the track in provisional second place.
Felix Porteiro, then Celso Miguez and Christian Montanari made their stops on laps 11 and 12, respectively. Enrico Toccacelo moved into the lead by just two seconds, ahead of Will Power. Having to lap carefully on his worn tyres, Toccacelo made several errors but continued to enjoy the limelight until lap 16.
Power moved back into the lead, almost 4 seconds ahead of Danielsson, himself clear of Pavlovic. 4th place, however, was still up for grabs, Miguez fighting it out with Salignon. Montanari, who was lying in 12th place, lost control and ended up in a 360 spin, which allowed Ryan Sharp to gain a place. As for Robert Kubica, he moved into the top 10 drivers by overtaking Toccacelo.
Miguez ran into the back of Salignon on lap 17, but the French driver managed to stay on the track, dropping back to 5th place: Colin Fleming took advantage of the incident to get past! The last few laps were witness to Gommendy spinning his car and the forced retirements of Damien Pasini and Enrico Tocaccelo.
Will Power: "This is another very good result for my team. This win allows me to make up a lot of points on Robert in the overall standings. Thanks to some great work by the team, I had a very good car for the race."
Alx Danielsson: "This podium finish is a brilliant result for the whole team, who have had some difficult moments since the start of the season, with my accident at Zolder and Pastor being suspended since Monaco. I have had to work very hard on my own physical fitness to get back to peak form. Today everything went very well, particularly our pit stop!"
Milos Pavlovic: "We have been really unlucky all season with the team. But we have stayed together and have just kept working. We all went after this podium finish. Our strategy was perhaps a little bit too cautious, but we now know that we can do it!"