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.


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


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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