Pla Takes Maiden Win at Silverstone

Olivier Pla has won a dramatic race two at Silverstone, soaking up race long pressure to record his first victory in the GP2 series, ahead of Scott Speed and Heikki Kovalainen

Pla Takes Maiden Win at Silverstone

Pla took the lead from pole after making a quick getaway at the start, with fellow front row starter Gimmi Bruni bogging down and weaving across the track to keep his pursuers behind. It was to no avail - Clivio Piccione stayed left and was by the Italian for second on track.

Speed was right on Bruni's tail through the first turn, followed Neel Jani, Alex Premat and Nicolas Lapierre. The Kovalainen and Nico Rosberg roadshow was making itself known right from the start - they left Lapierre behind on lap two, and were through Premat together a lap later, and then by Jani next time around.

At the front Pla was driving the race of his life, soaking up the early pressure from Piccione despite sliding all over the track. The Frenchman was under enormous pressure after suffering a number of spins in recent races, but looked commanding at the front of the pack.

On lap eight Nelson Piquet Jr spun at turn three behind Borja Garcia, stalling in the middle of the track and prompting the safety car into making an appearance. Bruni came into the pits from third, apparently handed a drive through penalty for a jump start despite his slow pace off the line.

Speed gratefully claimed third spot, and a few laps later the pack was unleashed again, running like a train across the start line on lap eleven. Piccione took the opportunity to push hard on Pla's tail, while Speed was dropping back into the clutches of fourth placed Kovalainen.

Piccione's pressure came to naught - after pushing hard for the lead he suddenly slowed on lap 17, and Speed, Kovalainen and Rosberg were past in successive corners, with Premat following them by a few corners later. The Monegasque driver was soon back in the pits and out of the car, the victim of an unknown malady on his car.

On track the pace was fierce - the top four were running together and covered by less than two seconds, with Speed looking for a way by Pla but also having to protect his position from Kovalainen and Rosberg.

The four slid around the track together for the remaining laps, but Pla was equal to the challenge - he absorbed the pressure and took a tremendous win, crossing the line with Speed, Kovalainen and Rosberg right on his tail.

Behind them Can Artam managed to punt Xandi Negrao off track on the last lap, the second such incident in as many races, but ahead of them Alex Premat and Neel Jani lasted the distance and took the final points paying positions in an eventful race two at Silverstone.

CLASSIFIED: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Pla DPR 40:09.933 2. Speed iSport International + 0.547 3. Kovalainen Arden International + 1.220 4. Rosberg ART Grand Prix + 1.886 5. Premat ART Grand Prix + 5.549 6. Jani Racing Engineering + 6.783 7. Pantano Super Nova International + 8.420 8. Carroll Super Nova International + 11.278 9. Garcia Racing Engineering + 12.200 10. Monfardini Durango + 13.735 11. Bruni Coloni Motorsport + 15.494 12. Hernandez Campos Racing + 23.545 13. Viso BCN Competicion + 29.652 14. Artam iSport International + 37.879 15. Lauda Coloni Motorsport + 38.301 16. Negrao Hitech Piquet Sports + 1 Lap NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS: Driver Team On Lap Piccione Durango 19 Sharp DPR 18 Lapierre Arden International 16 Piquet Jr. Hitech Piquet Sports 8 Alvarez Campos Racing 5 Lopez DAMS 0 Yoshimoto BCN Competicion 0 Fauzy DAMS 0 Fastest Lap: Speed, 1:35.092 on lap 2 2005 Championship Standings, Round 6 (Race 11) Drivers: Teams: 1. Kovalainen 64 1. Arden International 76 2. Rosberg 44 2. ART Grand Prix 68 3. Speed 41 3. Super Nova International 44 4. Carroll 34 4. iSport International 43 5. Bruni 33 5. Coloni Motorsport 36 6. Lopez 25 6. DAMS 25 = Jani 25 = Racing Engineering 25 8. Premat 24 8. Hitech Piquet Sports 19 9. Piquet Jr. 18 9. Durango 13 10. Piccione 12 10. DPR 11 = Lapierre 12 11. BCN Competicion 10 12. Pantano 10 12. Campos Racing 3 13. Pla 9 14. Yoshimoto 8 15. Hernandez 3 = Lauda 3 17. Artam 2 = Viso 2 = Sharp 2 20. Monfardini 1 = Negrao 1 
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