Bruni takes clean sweep in Imola Race 1 Trident Racing's Gimmi Bruni has won this afternoon's GP2 series race in Imola from the Arden International pairing of Michael AmmermÃ¼ller and Nicolas Lapierre. The Italian rose above a safety car period,...
Bruni takes clean sweep in Imola Race 1
Trident Racing's Gimmi Bruni has won this afternoon's GP2 series race in Imola from the Arden International pairing of Michael Ammermüller and Nicolas Lapierre. The Italian rose above a safety car period, black flags, collisions and high drama to record his first win of 2006.
Gimmi made a perfect getaway from pole as Lewis Hamilton and Hiroki Yoshimoto flew past José María López to take second and third. Gimmi instantly started pulling out a gap over Lewis, as Nicolas came into the pits for his stop and José's car stopped on the straight early on.
The action was intense the length of the field, with Lucas di Grassi making a stunning getaway to sit 14th from last on the grid by lap four. His run was not to last long however, as he ran deep into the Villeneuve chicane on lap eight, and slammed heavily into the barriers as he tried to get back on track. With debris scattered across the circuit, the safety car was deployed.
The top nine drivers all took their chance to stop. Lewis was out first, using the opportunity to take a drive-through penalty for jumping the start. Exiting the pits, he saw the Campos Racing cars passing the safety car as it waited to pick up the leader, and the Briton followed them through. It would prove a costly mistake. He pitted on the next lap for new tyres, but as the safety car came back to the pits, Lewis was black flagged for passing it after his initial stop.
So Bruni led again, and the Italian was now followed by Hiroki, Nelson Piquet Jr, Alex Prémat, Nicolas and Michael. Hiroki was soon passed by Nelson and the Japanese driver then suffered a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane, while the Arden boys both got past Alex. Further back a queue was forming behind Luca Filippi who was driving a great race in eighth to fend off all challenges. A rash lunge from Ferdinando Monfardini saw the two Italians neatly pirouette off at Villenueve however, and Andreas Zuber inherited the final points position.
Ahead of the battle for eighth, Ernesto Viso was harassing Adam Carroll for sixth, and the normally unflappable Ulsterman spun off and out under pressure. Meanwhile Tristan Gommendy made a move on Andreas for eighth and made it stick, only to see his race end in the gravel after a coming together with the lapped Fairuz Fauzy. With Andreas also out, Hiroki took eighth and pole for tomorrow's race just behind his team-mate Timo Glock who took seventh. Sixth went to Viso, with Nelson falling back to fifth at the chequered flag, narrowly missing out to Alex in fourth.
Gimmi took the win by 10.9 seconds from Michael, who had passed his team-mate Nicolas in the final laps to steal second position. And Gimmi's perfect race was capped with fastest lap, giving him the maximum points from the weekend so far.
1st Gimmi Bruni Trident Racing.1:01:13.889
"I was focused all race, and we did a very good pitstop, where the team did a really fantastic job I need to say thank you to them because that's why I'm here and I won. I just drove for fun!"
2nd Michael Ammermüller Arden International. + 10.907
"W e started at the back and we finished second. It's a really good feeling to know we can make the podium in the first race. My race pace was good and I'm just really happy."
3rd Nicolas Lapierre Arden International. + 14.514
"I'm disappointed to have lost a position, but I was still on the podium so I have to be happy about that too."