Nicolas at last ! Nicolas Lapierre put the demons of his first two GP2 Series seasons firmly behind him today by taking his first victory in the championship. The Frenchman took the lead from pole-sitter Borja Garcia mid way through the first...
Nicolas at last !
Nicolas Lapierre put the demons of his first two GP2 Series seasons firmly behind him today by taking his first victory in the championship. The Frenchman took the lead from pole-sitter Borja Garcia mid way through the first lap and never looked back, eventually crossing the line three seconds ahead of Timo Glock, as yesterday's race winner Luca Filippi ran home third. The delighted Italian therefore leads the early championship standings, with Timo, who also took today's fastest lap just two points behind him after the first round.
Race Report: The race start saw front row sitters Borja and Nicolas make fine getaways, with Lucas di Grassi and Andi Zuber on their tails at the first turn. The latter pair made contact however and both were out on the spot. The resultant mayhem behind left a shaken up order, and when Nicolas made it past Borja a few turns later, the pair led Luca, Andy Soucek, Michael Ammermuller, Adrian Zaugg, Timo and Karun Chandhok.
With debris on the track the safety car was deployed, and when the racing got going again on lap 4, Timo flew past Michael as Antonio Pizzonia retired having slammed into Giorgio Pantano's rear end on the restart. Behind them Kazuki Nakajima came together with Ho-Pin Tung with the Chinese driver being thrown into the barriers in a massive impact. Kazuki will be penalised 10 grid places next time out for his part in the incident. The safety car was deployed, and racing recommenced two laps later.
Luca took his chance and immediately made it past Borja, as Timo ran up the inside of Andy at Turn 1. One lap later, and Timo had made in past Borja too while Giorgio executed two beautiful moves to nail Karun and Kazuki in one move on the straight, and take Adrian a few turns later. Adrian had picked up some serious damage in the first corner, and Kazuki soon made it past him, too. Lap 9 saw Mike get past Andy for the final point, and on lap 10 Timo beat Luca's defences to steal second place.
Giorgio was soon past Andy, with Kazuki following suit as the pair tried to catch the top six of Nicolas, Timo, Luca, Borja, Michael and Mike. The last three in the pack were soon caught by the duo, but Giorgio soon slowed and pulled into retirement. As the remaining five drivers battled for the final point. Michael slipped wide allowing Mike through, and on the final lap Kazuki pulled a stunning move to pass the ART driver for sixth and the final point.
The Championship: Luca leads the early standings on 16, while Timo's fastest lap today helps him onto 14 points. Nicolas lies third on eight, with Andy on six, Bruno Senna on five and Borja sixth with four points. iSport are the early team leaders on 20, with Super Nova close behind on 18 as Dams lie third on 10 points.
1st Nicolas Lapierre - Dams.43.30.252
It was a difficult race, but we stayed in the front and I'm really happy for the team. We had pretty good pace, and now we have to go ahead for the future, to do a good qualifying and win a Saturday race
2nd Timo Glock iSport International. +3.183
I still had a problem with my steering today, and I had to go offline and I picked up a 2cm cut in a rear tyre. But we made it to P2 with an exciting race and some good manouevres. It's been a good start.
3rd Luca Filippi Super Nova International. +6.686
It was a great weekend, and I don't think anyone in the paddock expected this for me! It was very important also because our pace was consistent with the first two in this race. I am very happy.