A drive-through penalty following a Steward's decision that Javier Villa had jumped the start ruined all chances of a good result for the Spaniard today at the Spa Sprint Race. After his superb performance yesterday that gave Javier his best ...
A drive-through penalty following a Steward's decision that Javier Villa had jumped the start ruined all chances of a good result for the Spaniard today at the Spa Sprint Race.
After his superb performance yesterday that gave Javier his best result of the year in a Saturday feature race, Javi was up to fifth place in the series standings and was starting today from that same position on the grid.
At the start Javi again had a very good getaway, immediately gaining a place when Mike Conway almost stalled on the grid. After the La Source hairpin, Javi was up to third when Ho Ping Tung, who entered the tight corner first, run wide and lost several places.
On the long Kemmel straight Villa was overtaken by Tung and the driver currently second overall in the series, Lucas di Grassi, consequently he was running fifth at the end of the first lap. Over the next laps Javier held this position without any problems as he sat in front of both Super Nova cars driven by Filippi and Conway, indeed he was slightly pulling away them while getting closer to Tung's BCN-entered car.
Just when it looked as if the Racing Engineering driver could start his charge for a podium finish came the pit stop call for the already mentioned drive-through. Javi's chances of a good result vanished as the time lost running slowly through the pit lane meant he was back on track in 18th position. From then on Villa was driving as fast as possible still gaining several places and finishing the race 15th right on the tail of Giorgio Pantano's car, whom he had been chasing in the closing laps.
Today's results was far less than the young Spaniard had been hoping for as there had been a very good chance to be on the podium again. Nevertheless Javi showed once again his speed throughout the weekend and leaves Spa in the fight for fifth position in the series with just one race weekend to go, at the end of September at Valencia.
Before this though Villa has got a different and very special date in his calendar this Thursday at Oviedo. The capital of the Asturias Principality, his home land, will host an exhibition that will see Javi driving through its main streets in the Racing Engineering GP2 Dallara as well as the other cars Javi has driven so far in his career: the F3, the FJunior and a go-kart. It will be a really special moment for the young Asturian-born driver that will give him the chance to put on quite a show for his home fans in the middle of the Oviedo's San Mateo festivities.
Javier Villa's own words:
"The drive through was a pity as although winning would have been difficult, I think I could have finished second or third. Actually I didn't think I had jumped the start but you have to accept the decision. After that I was back in the race a long way back but I was running at a good pace, even better than the race leaders for several laps and doing some overtaking.
"Now we have to start thinking about the Valencia race and, before about the exhibition this Thursday at Oviedo, something I'm really looking forward to doing. Running with the car on the streets, firing it up... allowing people to see it close to and not just on TV, it's something I'm really excited about."