Lopez Wins Eventful Race Two

Jose Maria Lopez won an action-packed second race in Barcelona from third on the grid, keeping his head while those around him were losing theirs

Lopez Wins Eventful Race Two

Lopez lined up immediately behind pole-sitter Xandi Negrao, who stalled as the drivers moved off on their warm up lap, relegating him to the back of the grid and handing a clear run to Lopez, who duly sailed by front row driver Adam Carroll for the lead at turn one.

Behind him Championship leader Heikki Kovalainen sat despondent on the grid, having stalled at the start and been left behind. As his competitors came around for the first lap Lopez was leading Carroll, Nelson Piquet, Scott Speed and Neel Jani, while right behind them Gianmaria Bruni moved inside to take the next spot across the line from Fairuz Fauzy.

Bruni was on a charge, setting fastest lap as a queue formed behind the man he had just passed, but up front Lopez was pulling away, leading comfortable from Carroll who was starting to be put under pressure by Piquet.

On lap five Alexandre Premat ran wide at the last turn and found the edge of the gravel, which unsettled his car and pitched him around and backwards into the pit wall heavily, prompting a safety car period to clean up the resultant debris.

At the restart the front three were away smoothly but a huge fight was on for fourth - Speed, Jani and Bruni were three wide down the front straight but they couldn't all fit through turn one - Bruni was the man who lost out in the move, finishing his race in the gravel at the end of the straight.

The former poleman Negrao was trying to make up for lost time, but a move up the inside of Can Artam was over optimistic - Artam was stopped on the edge of the track after the collision, with Negrao running deep across the gravel.

Ryan Sharp and Nico Rosberg spent most of the race swapping fastest laps, with the latter pushing to get a points finish. His hard work paid off when finally found a way past Fauzy after a three lap battle to move up to sixth.

Up front Lopez was sailing serenely on, but the fight for second was hotting up with former Formula Three competitors Carroll and Piquet pushing each other hard in the closing stages of the race.

On the final lap Carroll looked to have done enough to hold second, but Piquet put his nose up the inside of the Ulsterman at turn ten and pitched him into a spin. Piquet slowed but continued on, with Speed closing up on the Brazilian while behind them Carroll spun back around to get going again, slowing up Jani just enough to allow Rosberg to find a way past the pair.

Ahead of them all Lopez crossed the line to great applause from the Spanish crowd, while Piquet gained a controversial first GP2 podium just ahead of Speed, with Rosberg, Jani and Carroll taking the final three points finishes.

CLASSIFIED:

Pos  Driver      Team                      Time
 1.  Lopez       DAMS                      30:10.213
 2.  Piquet Jr.  Hitech Piquet Sports      +   2.969
 3.  Speed       iSport International      +   3.279
 4.  Rosberg     ART Grand Prix            +   7.780
 5.  Jani        Racing Engineering        +  10.215
 6.  Carroll     Super Nova International  +  11.240
 7.  Fauzy       DAMS                      +  18.379
 8.  Piccione    Durango                   +  18.943
 9.  Lapierre    Arden International       +  19.692
10.  Garcia      Racing Engineering        +  21.228
11.  Monfardini  Durango                   +  24.249
12.  Alvarez     Campos Racing             +  24.661
13.  Lauda       Coloni Motorsport         +  25.993
14.  Pantano     Super Nova International  +  26.502
15.  Negrao      Hitech Piquet Sports      +  30.358
16.  Sharp       DPR                       +  35.475
17.  Yoshimoto   BCN Competicion           +  1 Lap
18.  Hernandez   Campos Racing             +  2 Laps

NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS:

     Driver      Team                    On lap
     Artam       iSport International      12
     Bruni       Coloni Motorsport          9
     Premat      ART Grand Prix             5
     Pla         DPR                        2
     Kovalainen  Arden International        1
     Viso        BCN Competicion            1

Fastest Lap: Sharp, 1:26.251, lap 17

Championship Standings, Round 2, Race 2:

Drivers' Championship     Constructors' Championship
 1.  Kovalainen    20     1.  Arden International      24
 2.  Speed         20     2.  iSport International     20
 3.  Bruni         18     3.  Coloni Motorsport        18
 4.  Lopez         17     4.  DAMS                     17
 5.  Carroll       13     5.  ART Grand Prix           13
 6.  Piquet Jr.    10     6.  Super Nova International 13
 7.  Jani          10     7.  Hitech Piquet Sports     11
 8.  Premat         7     8.  Racing Engineering       10
 9.  Rosberg        6     9.  DPR                       4
10.  Lapierre       4     =   BCN Competicion           2
11.  Pla            2
12.  Viso           2
13.  Negaro         1
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