Piccione Wins Dramatic Race 2

Clivio Piccione has taken an astonishing win ahead of Adam Carroll and Nelson Piquet Jr in race two at the Nurburgring, after the most dramatic race yet in the GP2 series

Piccione Wins Dramatic Race 2

Despite a poor start from second on the grid, the Monegasque driver ran with the lead pack for the whole race, and took the chances presented to him by others' misfortunes to claim his first win this year.

Gianmaria Bruni led the pack away from pole and looked untouchable - Piquet had an attempt at passing him into turn one but ran wide, allowing Neel Jani through into second while Bruni ran away from his pursuers.

One lap later Jose Maria Lopez made an ill-advised attempt to pass Nicolas Lapierre at the first turn, tapping the Frenchman across the corner and into teammate Heikki Kovalainen. Alex Premat had nowhere to go and hit Lopez, who limped back to the pits for repairs, but the other three were out of the race.

Bruni continued to pull away from Jani, who was at the front of a tight battle for second - he had Piquet, Piccione, Nico Rosberg, Giorgio Pantano and a fast starting Adam Carroll split by just two seconds.

But heartbreak was just around the corner - on lap 16, with a lead of over six seconds, Bruni slowed with a gearbox problem and was devoured by the chasing pack, limping back to the pits and an early retirement.

With Bruni gone, Jani was now in the lead, and the gap from first to sixth was a mere 1.6 seconds. With their tyres now thoroughly grained in, the overtaking began in earnest, with all of the drivers behind Jani overtaking and then being re-passed as the laps rolled down.

On lap twenty Piccione saw his chance and took it - with Jani's brakes starting to suffer, Piccione snuck inside the Swiss driver into the first turn and drove off into an unassailable lead, while Jani struggled on with an ill-handling car.

Two laps later Jani was into the pits to replace his left front tyre and all of his hard work was for nothing, while on track the overtaking continued until the end.

And as the flag dropped, Piccione was overjoyed at his good fortune - he was strongly ahead of Carroll, who found a way to drive from 21st on the grid to second at the end, with Piquet and Rosberg nose to tail immediately behind him.

Pantano, who dropped off the battle with one lap to go, was overtaken on the last lap by Sergio Hernandez and Ferdinando Monfardini for the final points paying positions, while Scott Speed was well outside of the top six but claimed two points for the fastest lap.

CLASSIFIED:

Pos  Driver      Team                       Time
 1.  Piccione    Durango                    42:42.210
 2.  Carroll     Super Nova International   +   6.861
 3.  Piquet Jr.  Hitech Piquet Sports       +   7.487
 4.  Rosberg     ART Grand Prix             +   7.727
 5.  Hernandez   Campos Racing              +  14.867
 6.  Monfardini  Durango                    +  17.270
 7.  Pantano     Super Nova International   +  21.005
 8.  Pla         DPR                        +  22.896
 9.  Sharp       DPR                        +  35.319
10.  Fauzy       DAMS                       +  56.231
11.  Viso        BCN Competicion            +  80.910
12.  Speed       iSport International       +  1 Lap
13.  Jani        Racing Engineering         +  2 Laps
14.  Lopez       DAMS                       +  2 Laps
15.  Alvarez     Campos Racing              +  2 Laps

NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS:

     Driver      Team                   On Lap
     Artam       iSport International    17
     Bruni       Coloni Motorsport       16
     Negrao      Hitech Piquet Sports     6
     Kovalainen  Arden International      2
     Lapierre    Arden International      1
     Premat      ART Grand Prix           1
     Lauda       Coloni Motorsport        1
     Yoshimoto   BCN Competicion          -

Fastest Lap: Speed, iSport International, 1:43.853

Championship Standings, Round 4 (race 7):

Drivers' Championship     Teams' Championship
 1.  Kovalainen    38     1.  Arden International      42
 2.  Speed         29     2.  Super Nova International 38
 3.  Carroll       28     3.  ART Grand Prix           33
 4.  Bruni         27     =   iSport International     31
 5.  Rosberg       21     5.  Coloni Motorsport        30
 6.  Piquet Jr.    18     6.  Hitech Piquet Sports     19
 7.  Lopez         17     7.  DAMS                     17
 8.  Jani          13     8.  Racing Engineering       13
 9.  Premat        12     9.  Durango                   9
10.  Pantano       10    10.  DPR                       4
11.  Piccione       8     =   Campos Racing             3
12.  Lapierre       4    12.  BCN Competicion           2
13.  Hernandez      3
 =   Lauda          3
14.  Pla            2
 =   Artam          2
 =   Sharp          2
 =   Viso           2
18.  Negaro         1
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