LOPEZ TAKES 2ND PLACE OF FIRST EVER GP2 RACE Imola , 23rd April 2005 -- Jean-Paul Driot was expecting from his driver Jose-Maria Lopez a safe race with big points on the finish line. The young Argentinean did the job exactly as required by his...
LOPEZ TAKES 2ND PLACE OF FIRST EVER GP2 RACE
Imola , 23rd April 2005 -- Jean-Paul Driot was expecting from his driver Jose-Maria Lopez a safe race with big points on the finish line. The young Argentinean did the job exactly as required by his team boss by taking a brilliant 2nd place of the first race of the history of GP2 Series. From 2nd place on the grid Lopez started behind Pantano (Pole Man Lapierre out before the start) and kept 2nd position without taking any risk until the first pit stops changed the hierarchy of the race. As the team decided to stay long on the track before coming in for the first pit stop, Lopez took the lead when Pantano stopped and kept it for 12 laps. When DAMS decided to stop him for the 2 mandatory stops his Italian rival retired, but in the same time Kovalainen who stopped earlier pushed enough to take the lead and win the race.
Fairuz Fauzy impressed the team with a consistent race and huge progress. From 21st on the grid he was close of a top 10 finish when engine problems stopped him 3 laps before the end of the race.
Jean-Paul Driot : "I am proud of the way Jose managed his race today. He was very professional and mature and preserved the result. We and other teams had quite a lot of technical problems before this race so we wanted to secure points. Jose had to be smooth with his car and his brakes, especially in the first half of the race, he did it perfectly and I am delighted with this result. Also Fairuz has shown today that he is a great competitor, he has defended his place, he has improved his lap times and I think he was close from the points before the car stopped."
Jose-Maria Lopez : "My goal in this race was to finish in the points, we had to be careful with the brakes and the general reliability of the car. I did not expect such a good result after yesterdays' problems, I pushed enough to have a good result, but the brakes problems appeared on the 2nd lap so I drove carefully with a margin to make sure we would finish the race. I am very happy and proud of the work done by the team."
Fairuz Fauzy : "It was a good race for me before the engine problem appeared. From 21st on the grid I was potentially finishing in the top 10. This race was very good for my experience and it will be an advantage for me next year here. I did the same lap time than yesterday in qualifying, with old tires and much more fuel in the car. The balance of the car was good, I had only braking problems before the engine stopped. "
Imola GP2 Race 2 : Sunday 24th April (Live on Eurosport)