Danielsson champion on the track
Alvaro Parente (Victory Engineering) has taken his third victory of the season in Barcelona. The Portuguese driver shared the final podium of the season with Pastor Maldonado (Draco Multiracing USA) and Sean McIntosh (KTR). After finishing in fifth, the Swede Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing) has the most points in the overall standings. But the final outcome will only be confirmed once we know the results of the various appeals in progress. The Team title goes to Interwetten.com.
The race got underway in front of packed stands. Sean McIntosh mistimed his start and Maldonado went into the opening corner in the lead ahead of Alvaro Parente. Alx Danielsson attempted to pass McIntosh, but the two got in each other's way and Zaugg took advantage of the situation to slot in between them! The leaders were followed by Garcia, Montanari, Miguez, Perera and Gommendy. Soucek was involved in a collision on lap one to end his chances of the title.
At the start of lap two, Gommendy collided with Barba, putting an end to Aleshin's race in the process. Montanari then managed to take sixth place from Garcia.
The race order was to remain unchanged until lap five when drivers started coming in for tyres. Adrian Zaugg and Milos Pavlovic were the first to make their stops. Danielsson followed suit on the next lap. On lap seven, Perera became the next to take the gamble of an early pit stop strategy.
Maldonado, Parente, McIntosh, Montanari and Garcia meanwhile soldiered on. Danielsson, who was leading the drivers to have already stopped after nine laps, was 39 seconds back. Maldonado and Garcia made their stops on lap ten, while Ryo Fukuda (Tech 1 Racing) and Pasquale di Sabatino (Cram Competition) were both involved in off-track detours of a different nature. On the next lap, Parente came into the pits, handing the race lead to McIntosh.
Maldonado came back out of the pit lane with a 5''5 lead over Danielsson. But the two rivals were outdone by Parente, who now had the virtual lead! McIntosh came in for his tyres on lap thirteen and Montanari took over control of the race for just one lap.
With fifteen laps gone, all the drivers had made their stops. Parente regained control of the race ahead of Maldonado, McIntosh, Montanari, Danielsson and Zaugg. The latter was to abandon on lap eighteen, allowing Perera and Garcia to move up a place.
With only three laps to go to the chequered flag, Celso Miguez (Comtec Racing) and Gregory Franchi (Prema Power Team) collided. At the same time, Borja Garcia (RC Motorsport) made a mistake to let Ben Hanley and Steven Kane through.
Alvaro Parente: "It's a superb victory after starting from fourth on the grid. My start was good, the team did a great job for the pit stop and I just kept attacking until the end."
Pastor Maldonado: "This race marks the end to an excellent season for me. We kept on fighting right to the end. I feel really good now and I'd like to congratulate Alx."
Sean McIntosh: "That was the worst start I've made all season! After that, I just worked to try and make it back onto the podium."
Alx Danielsson: "The opening bends were tricky. I knew that it was essential for me to score some points so I didn't take any risks. Our pit stop was good, as I moved up a place. Then, I just tried to avoid making any mistakes. I didn't know the outcome of the Championship until I crossed the line!"