Danielsson makes it two
Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing) has taken his second victory here at Donington Park. The Swedish driver and his team fully controlled the race. In a rerun of yesterday, Adrian Zaugg (Carlin Motorsport) was again second on the podium, this time joined by Borja Garcia (RC Motorsport).
After qualifying, Sean McIntosh (KTR) was pushed back from the second to the back row of the grid for a technical non-conformity (quantity of fuel).
Though Alx Danielsson got off to a good, clean start, things were a little more heated behind him between Pastor Maldonado (Draco) and Borja Garcia. Milos Pavlovic (Draco) needed no further asking to steal into third place! Christian Montanari (Prema) went off into the gravel trap on the very first lap. The resulting four front-runners were followed by Ryo Fukuda (Tech 1), Adrian Zaugg (Carlin), Andy Soucek (Interwetten.com), Ben Hanley (Cram), Alvaro Parente (Victory) and Davide Valsecchi (Epsilon Euskadi).
Robbie Kerr (KTR) was the first to go in for tyres on lap five. Maldonado followed suit a lap later, but the Draco team gave away a lot of time. After seven laps, Fukuda, Parente and several others also opted for an early stop strategy. Pavlovic was the next to come into the pit lane and came back out of it ahead of his teammate Maldonado.
Meanwhile, Danielsson was pressing on: he already had a six second lead over Garcia with nine laps gone. Garcia was followed by Zaugg, Soucek and Salignon. Pavlovic, the best-placed of the drivers already to have stopped, was thirty seconds back. The race leader then made his stop on lap ten. The Comtec team completed the tyre change 5''7 and Alx came back out with an eight second lead over Pavlovic. Impressive stuff!
After Zaugg stopped on lap eleven, Borja Garcia and Andy Soucek were the only two favourites still out there. Andy came into the pits on lap twelve and came back out ahead of Fukuda in corrected sixth position. Garcia came in for tyres with fourteen laps gone. Despite some sterling work from his team, the RC driver only made it back out in third behind Danielsson and Zaugg.
On lap sixteen, Alvaro Parente and Milos Pavlovic collided, but only the Portuguese driver had to abandon. Aleshin was the last driver to come in for tyres. As expected, this handed the lead back to Danielsson ahead of Zaugg, Garcia, Fukuda, Soucek, Maldonado, Hanley, Valsecchi, Pavlovic and Salignon.
The battle between Fukuda, Soucek and Maldonado was the main point of interest in the closing stages of the race, especially when Hanley joined the fray. With five laps to go, Maldonado made a mistake which allowed Hanley and Valsecchi to pull right up on his tail. The Venezuelan went off into the gravel trap and out of the race soon afterwards.
Alx Danielsson: "I think we have had things under control all weekend. This morning, the car was so quick in qualifying that I knew we were unbeatable. I have to thank the team for all their excellent work. It's superb to take both wins in front of such a crowd."
Adrian Zaugg: "I think we've worked well here today. I was making progress all weekend long, without making any mistakes. These two podium finishes are a great reward, especially after my difficult season in Formula Renault 2.0."
Borja Garcia: "I feel confident about the four last races in the Championship. The team can take an equal share in this podium finish. It was really down to them as they made such a good tyre change."