Carroll Wins Tight Monaco Race

Adam Carroll held his nerve to take a thrilling win in Monaco, with Gianmaria Bruni and Nico Rosberg crossing the line right on the Ulsterman's tail to create the closest race finish in GP2's short history

Carroll Wins Tight Monaco Race

At the start of the race, Ferdinando Monfardini and Ernesto Viso stalled on the grid as the other cars left for their warm up, and were pushed into the pits to be restarted while, back on track, Kovalainen from pole led Bruni, Carroll and a fast starting Clivio Piccione away from the lights, with Piccione overtaking Scott Speed and a stalled Olivier Pla as he went.

Kovalainen took advantage of the clear air ahead of him to pull out a gap on the pursuing pack, running 3.8 seconds ahead of Bruni after five laps. Behind the top five Rosberg was pushing Neel Jani hard for sixth place, running at a blistering pace and taking fastest lap as soon as Jani pulled in for his pitstop.

Viso meanwhile was back in the pits for good - he was shown the black flag for starting from the pits with the red lights still on and the medical car just running past the pit exit.

Piccione's solid work was all undone on lap twelve when he flew over the kerbs after the swimming pool and hit the wall solidly, repeating the mistake of so many drivers over the weekend.

Nelson Piquet Jr. was by now on a charge - after an early stop he was pushing up the grid and ran by Sergio Hernandez, very late on the brakes, at St. Devote for ninth place on track after starting at the rear of the grid.

Back at the front Kovalainen's early work was being undone - he started to lose a second a lap to Bruni and Carroll who were pursuing him as the pitstops started. Carroll was first, on lap 18, with Kovalainen in two laps later, and Rosberg one after that on lap 21.

Kovalainen he was left fuming in the pitlane as his mechanics could not remove his left front tyre - eventually they moved to the other side of the car to change the right, but the damage was done and he lost a lap to the now-leading Bruni.

With clear air ahead of him Bruni started to pull out as much of a gap as he could, and was leading Carroll by 26.2 seconds as he stopped on lap 30. It wasn't enough - Carroll powered by as Bruni exited the pits and looked to have the race in his hands.

The top three positions were now Carroll, Bruni and Rosberg, who had taken advantage of a smart pitstop strategy to get by Speed, while Piquet was up to sixth, just behind Garcia and ahead of a charging Kovalainen, who made his way back onto the lead lap.

Within a few laps of Bruni's pitstop he had found his way up to Carroll's tail, but the tight circuit was giving him no opportunity to make a pass unless Carroll made a mistake. With the pair running so close Rosberg was also able to catch up, and the three ran nose to tail over the closing six laps to the delight of the crowd all around the harbourside.

With just four to go, Piquet's car let him down, slowing to a stop at Casino Square.

But the weekend belonged to Adam Carroll, who just managed to hold off Bruni and Rosberg at the line to claim the first ever GP2 race win in Monaco, ahead of Speed and Kovalainen, with Mathias Lauda a surprising sixth place albeit a lap down.

GP2 Series Round 3 (Race 5) at Monaco - Results:

CLASSIFIED: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Carroll Super Nova International 1:04:41.326 2. Bruni Coloni Motorsport + 0.657 3. Rosberg ART Grand Prix + 1.101 4. Speed iSport International + 18.452 5. Kovalainen Arden International + 53.398 6. Lauda Coloni Motorsport + 1 Lap 7. Artam iSport International + 1 Lap 8. Hernandez Campos Racing + 2 Laps 9. Pla DPR + 3 Laps 10. Garcia Racing Engineering + 4 Laps 11. Piquet Jr. Hitech Piquet Sports + 4 Laps 12. Negrao Hitech Piquet Sports + 4 Laps NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS: Driver Team On Lap Lapierre Arden International 33 Premat ART Grand Prix 23 Piccione Durango 11 Jani Racing Engineering 10 Lopez DAMS 10 Sharp DPR 8 Fauzy DAMS 6 Pantano Super Nova International 0 Alvarez Campos Racing 0 Monfardini Durango 0 Fastest Lap: Kovalainen, 1:23.864 on lap 44 Championship Standings, Round 3: Drivers' Championship Constructors' Championship 1. Kovalainen 28 1. Arden International 32 2. Bruni 26 2. Coloni Motorsport 29 3. Speed 25 3. iSport International 27 4. Carroll 23 4. Super Nova International 23 5. Lopez 17 5. ART Grand Prix 19 6. Rosberg 12 6. DAMS 17 7. Piquet Jr. 10 7. Hitech Piquet Sports 11 8. Jani 10 8. Racing Engineering 10 9. Premat 7 9. DPR 4 10. Lapierre 4 10. BCN Competicion 2 11. Pla 2 11. Campos Racing 1 12. Viso 2 13. Negaro 1 
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