Hockenheim: Race two report

Pole sitter Pla takes second race win Olivier Pla put in a carbon copy performance of his Silverstone Race 2 win to take the flag in first place in today's GP2 series race. The Frenchman hailed his car as the best he had driven and took his...

Pole sitter Pla takes second race win

Olivier Pla put in a carbon copy performance of his Silverstone Race 2 win to take the flag in first place in today's GP2 series race. The Frenchman hailed his car as the best he had driven and took his second win of the 2005 season ahead of Giorgio Pantano and Scott Speed.

Race report. Olivier made a perfect getaway from pole, and having set an early fastest lap, settled into his groove at the head of the field. Behind him, the opening laps were contested with vigour. Yesterday's race winner Nico Rosberg was on a mission to collect the maximum possible points from the weekend, and was past his team-mate at the start before taking Heikki Kovalainen a lap later. Borja Garcia fell next, before Nico set about Giorgio and Scott.

The three held position in a race-long battle. With Giorgio fading in the latter stages, Scott tried to take him in the same place, and in the same style, that Heikki had achieved yesterday. The two ran wide and Nico pounced. The German selected too low a gear however, and when he stamped the power back on his car snapped away under the extra torque. Nico kept fourth place, but was now over four seconds behind Scott. Furious with himself, Nico put in a stonking fastest lap of the race...0.7 seconds quicker than Pla's effort. But time was not on his side, and despite closing onto Scott's tail by the race's conclusion, he was destined to finish off the podium in fourth, with Borja fifth and Heikki sixth.

What about the championship? Nico's fourth place and second fastest lap of the weekend gives him five extra points, but Heikki's sixth place finish means he retains a six point lead in the drivers' championship on 69. Scott is now up to 50 points, with Adam Carroll fourth on 34, ahead of Bruni 33, Premat 32, with Lopez and Jani on 25. ART Grand Prix (96 points) have extended their lead in the teams' championship over Arden International to 14 points, with Super Nova International and iSport International now tied on 52. Coloni Motorsport remain in fifth on 36, now just seven ahead of Racing Engineering.

1st Olivier Pla DPR.39:54.758
"We were quick in qualifying and again yesterday but we had a bad pitstop and we couldn't show our potential. We were lucky that Viso had his penalty, and so we started from pole and I just managed my race. It was the perfect result. I've never had such a consistent car since the start of the season. I had great grip all the way through, and as I say this is just perfect."

2nd Giorgio Pantano Super Nova International. +6.940
"The last ten laps I had a lot of understeer. I think my front left tyre just went, and so I was locking up and understeering. I only had real pressure from Scott for a few laps, and in the final laps he and Nico had a chance when I locked up, but we all messed that up and stayed where we were. It's great to be back on the podium, but we know we still have a lot of work to do."

3rd Scott Speed iSport International. +7.388
"We were quite a bit faster than Giorgio as I think he lost his car a bit, but it's just so tough to overtake here. He made a mistake in the hairpin and we all tried to capitalise on it, but eventually just came out in the same order. It's good to finish above Nico for the championship but he got fastest lap too so he's moved ahead a bit more. But we're all getting closer to Heikki now!"

-gp2-

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Scott Speed , Nico Rosberg , Adam Carroll , Olivier Pla , Borja Garcia
Teams ART Grand Prix , Racing Engineering , Arden International