KC and the Sunshine Band Karun Chandhok has taken an emotional victory in Spa-Francorchamps for Durango, his first ever in the GP2 Series and Durango's first win since Nurburgring 2005. A clearly overwhelmed Karun wept on the podium as the...
KC and the Sunshine Band
Karun Chandhok has taken an emotional victory in Spa-Francorchamps for Durango, his first ever in the GP2 Series and Durango's first win since Nurburgring 2005. A clearly overwhelmed Karun wept on the podium as the Indian national anthem rang out for the first time at a Grand Prix weekend. Karun won the race with a stunning pass on Andy Soucek who finished second top take DPR's first podium of the season, with Lucas di Grassi third for ART Grand Prix.
Race Report: The Championship battle took its latest twist on the outlap from the pits as a wayward Ricardo Risatti took to the grass before swerving across the track and into Timo Glock. The Championship leader was out on the spot and completely inconsolable. Ricardo was later handed a GP2 Series record 10,000 EUR fine by the Stewards for his moment of madness, but none of this came as any consolation to the gutted championship leader.
But when the race itself got underway, pole-sitter Ho-Pin Tung and Karun were both passed by Andy into the first corner. As Ho-Pin locked up into La Source, Lucas also made it through putting the running order as Andy, Karun, Lucas, Ho-Pin, Javier Villa and Luca Filippi. Javi however was judged to have made a false start and was called in for a drive through penalty, promoting Mike Conway to sixth place. Adam Carroll meanwhile was on a charge, pulling off one of the moves of the season on Vitaly Petrov and setting off after seventh placed Bruno Senna who had made an astonishing start from the back of the grid.
At the front, the top three were split by mere tenths of a second, and by the 12th lap Karun was hounding Andy corner after corner. Two laps later he made his move. Keeping his foot in all the way through Eau Rouge, the Indian found a tow down the straight and pulled off an audacious move around the outside of the third turn for the lead. It stuck, and Karun blasted off at the rate of half a second a lap.
Luca meanwhile was struggling and Mike soon passed him for fifth. With Bruno Senna outbraking himself at the bus stop chicane, Adam was now primed for the final point, and Luca could not hold the Ulsterman behind him, eventually being passed on the penultimate lap.
Karun crossed the line a second and a half ahead of Andy as Lucas came home third with Ho-Pin right on his tail. Mike took fifth position with Adam a gutsy sixth. Nicolas Lapierre took the point for fastest lap.
What about the championship? As we head to the final round of the 2007 season, Timo leads the championship on 79 points, just 2 ahead of Lucas on 77. Luca Filippi has tightened his grip on third spot with 58 points, nine ahead of Giorgio on 49. In the team's championship, iSport maintain their lead on 109 points, 22 ahead of ART Grand Prix with Super Nova International now only ten points off the 2005 / 2006 champions in third.
1. Karun Chandhok: Durango. 36:19.454
It's been very emotional, for sure. For this year the deal happened literally one week before the Ricard test so I went through three months of the winter with no sleep, not knowing what I'm going to do this season. To come away with a win and points every weekend since Budapest shows we are coming on strong. It builds up to a good winter.
2. Andy Soucek: DPR. +1.531
I think the team was very disappointed after some races this year. After all these problems to get sixth yesterday was already like a win, and the guys wanted a podium today but they weren't sure. I just asked for their confidence and trust in me. Second position is like a dream for us.
3. Lucas di Grassi: ART Grand Prix. +2.682
It was a great weekend in terms of the championship. We closed the gap by nine points. It was really important to close the gap at this stage of the championship because we I think the team was really disappointed by what happened in Monza, and it was not their fault, it was just something that happened with two laps to go and we lost eight points.