In a stunning performance at today's Sprint Race on the Valencia street circuit Javier Villa moved up from 21st on the grid to an amazing point scoring 5 th place after a hard-fought 23 laps. The race started under sunny skies but with Javier ...
In a stunning performance at today's Sprint Race on the Valencia street circuit Javier Villa moved up from 21st on the grid to an amazing point scoring 5 th place after a hard-fought 23 laps.
The race started under sunny skies but with Javier starting 21st out of 25 cars his hopes for the race were not so bright but, as the lights went off, Javier made an amazing start with his Racing Engineering Dallara passing a number of cars into the first corner. Javi continued to push hard on the opening lap looking for every available opportunity to gain places and as the cars crossed the line at the end of the first lap Javi was in a very impressive 12th place. Not content with this Javi was still looking to improve further and lap 3 saw him in 11th place and chasing Chandhok hard for 10th.
By lap 4 Javi was just 0.8 seconds behind the Indian driver and searching for a way through and one lap later Javi found the gap he was looking for and he was now 10th and chasing yesterday's Feature Race winner Petrov. Lap 8 saw Senna and Soucek retire promoting Javi to 8 th and the young Spaniard was now just 0.8 seconds behind Petrov and both men had pulled away from Chandhok and were now five seconds ahead of the iSport driver. Javi gained another place when Grosjean retired and on lap 12 he finally found a way past Petrov and he was now in an incredible 6th place, 15 places gained in 12 laps.
The following lap saw the deployment of the Safety Car as Asmer spun in the middle of the track and all the cars closed back in on each other. The race was quickly under way again two laps later and Javi was now closing in on Nunes but Petrov was still very close to the Racing Engineering car. For the next two laps Petrov was pressuring Javi hard and Javi made a small mistake under braking running off the track and although initially holding his place the debris he had picked up on his tyres slowed him and Petrov got ahead. Within a few corners Chandhok was also trying to pass Javi and in an over optimistic overtaking manoeuvre the Indian driver tried to pass both Javi and Petrov in one go. Chandhok made contact with Petrov and Javi had to slow slightly to avoid both cars allowing Valsecchi to come along side him. Petrov was forced into retirement but Javi found himself running side by side with Chandhok and Valsecchi, refusing to give ground Javi got ahead of Chandhok and then calmly held his line and out-braked Valsecchi to regain his sixth place.
For the last few laps Javi closed in on the 5 th placed Nunes but the laps ran out before he was able to find a way through and he had to settle for 6 th place at the flag. After the race had finished the second-placed Filippi was given a 25 second penalty for his collision with Grosjean promoting Javi to 5th. Starting the race 5th place would have seemed an impossible dream but Javi showed that by a combination of speed, aggression and intelligence his was one of the most impressive drives of the entire Valencia weekend.
Javier Villa's own words:
"It wasn't bad at all! Starting 21st and finishing 5th means that today all worked fine. I had a good start and in the first lap I was already 12th and from there on I keptmoving up, always running fast. Now I hope that at Spa all works fine again as it's a track were we did quite well last year so I'd like to be at the front from the start in order to do a couple of good races."