Carroll Takes Emphatic Win

Adam Carroll kicked his Championship aspirations up a notch by powering to an emphatic win from fourth on the grid at Imola in round two of the GP2 series

Carroll Takes Emphatic Win

The Super Nova driver looked strong all day, disposing of Neel Jani and Alex Premat easily along the way to set up to put himself second in the Championship behind Arden's Heikki Kovalainen.

The race began behind the safety car once again, without Ernesto Viso whose brakes failed at the chicane coming around to the grid and Ferdinando Monfardini, who fell off the road on the warm up lap. Yesterday's polesitter Nicolas Lapierre started from the pitlane, his team wanting to make some last minute checks to his car.

When the cars were released the ART pair of Nico Rosberg and Premat took off, with Carroll immediately climbing all over the rear of Jani's car, while just behind the pair Kovalainen found a way past Jose Maria Lopez to shape up behind Gianmaria Bruni, who was given some breathing space when Scott Speed immediately pulled into the pits with a car problem.

The Arden pair were clearly quick - Kovalainen was immediately on the tail of Bruni and Lapierre was able to run the quickest lap of the race on lap two, albeit from a lap behind the rest of the field. But with Rosberg pulling out a small gap on his teammate Carroll was able to push past Jani at the final chicane on lap four to give him a clear run at the ART pair.

Nelson Piquet, starting from fourteenth, found his car to his liking today and had after disposing of Giorgio Pantano, who then took a trip through the gravel backwards before rejoining, was able push through the field and run strongly all race.

By lap eight Carroll had caught up to second place and the pair crossed the line side by side for the run down to Tamburello. Premat just managed to keep his nose in front, but the pair suddenly had to deal with a slowing Rosberg, who dropped backwards and behind them as they reached the final chicane.

With the battle now for the lead Carroll redoubled his efforts, and a lap later at the chicane he saw his chance - he put his car inside Premat's, and the Frenchman had nowhere to go other than across the grass, handing Carroll the lead as he crossed the line for lap ten.

Just behind them Kovalainen was trying to find a way by Jani, who had a train of cars forming behind him, and repeated Carroll's move at the chicane. Jani was able to stay in front despite the wayward trip, and a repeat performance one lap later yielded the same result.

The battle for seventh was equally hot, with Piquet piling on the pressure to Lopez, who crumbled and found the gravel on turn four backwards before rejoining, allowing Piquet to sail away.

Kovalainen was relentless in his pressure, and it paid off on lap thirteen as Jani ran wide at the Ravazza and the Finn was through for third position, carrying the hopes of his team after Lapierre had retired with yet another car problem in a rollercoaster of a weekend for the Frenchman.

Jani was into the pits a lap later to change his flat tyre, damaged during his off track adventure, and a slowing Pantano joined him - his stop was permanent, but Jani was eventually able to rejoin the field, albeit a lap down.

Back in front Carroll was serenely fast, able to pull away easily from Premat, who was now being caught by a charging Kovalainen. Bruni was following the pair a few seconds back, but the battle behind him had picked up with Piquet now on Olivier Pla's tail and pushing hard.

With two laps to go, Piquet saw a gap and went for it - unfortunately he ran too deep for his brakes, and he was through the gravel and back and turn 15, taking the pressure off Pla for the run home.

But back at the front Carroll sailed away from everyone, easily claiming his first GP2 win over five seconds ahead of Premat and the fast charging Kovalainen.

CLASSIFIED: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Carroll Super Nova International 28:31.314 2. Premat ART Grand Prix + 5.460 3. Kovalainen Arden International + 6.715 4. Bruni Coloni Motorsport + 9.964 5. Pla DPR + 11.519 6. Piquet Jr. Hitech Piquet Sports + 13.580 7. Alvarez Campos Racing + 25.769 8. Hernandez Campos Racing + 27.737 9. Yoshimoto BCN Competicion + 29.741 10. Garcia Racing Engineering + 37.248 11. Lopez DAMS + 37.482 12. Fauzy DAMS + 37.965 13. Negrao Hitech Piquet Sports + 45.909 14. Sharp DPR + 57.807 15. Jani Racing Engineering + 1 Lap NOT CLASSIFIED: Driver Team On Lap Pantano Super Nova International 15 Rosberg ART Grand Prix 13 Lapierre Arden International 6 Lauda Coloni Motorsport 4 Artam iSport International 4 Speed iSport International 3 Piccione Durango 2 Viso BCN Competicion DNS Monfardini Durango DNS Fastest Lap: Lapierre, Arden International, 1:33.871 (lap 2) Championship Standings, Round 1, Race 2: Drivers' Championship Constructors' Championship 1. Kovalainen 14 1. Arden International 18 2. Carroll 10 2. Super Nova International 10 3. Lopez 8 3. ART Grand Prix 8 = Bruni 8 = Coloni Motorsport 8 5. Premat 7 = DAMS 8 6. Speed 6 6. iSport International 6 7. Lapierre 4 7. Racing Engineering 3 8. Jani 3 8. DPR 2 9. Pla 2 = BCN Competicion 2 = Vis 2 10. Hitech Piquet Sports 1 11. Piquet Jr. 1 12. Rosberg 1 
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