Premat Leads ART 1-2

Alex Premat and Nico Rosberg, who started on the back row in race one after their team was penalised for a technical infraction, resuscitated their weekend by taking first and second places in race two ahead of Giorgio Pantano

Premat Leads ART 1-2

The ART pair were handed an early present when polesitter Xandi Negrao stalled on the warm up lap and was pushed into the pitlane, and they slotted in immediately behind front row starter Olivier Pla and Ernesto Viso into turn one after the lights went out at the start of the race.

Behind them Scott Speed stalled on the grid but eventually got away. The space gave him the ability to run the fastest lap on the second time through, but he was into the pits on the next lap for a slow stop.

At the front of the race Pla was pulling away on a Sunday morning once again, with Viso seemingly unable to do anything about the Frenchman's pace. Viso, who looked extremely fast for most of race one, dropped back like a stone on lap three, and was soon into the pits and another bitter retirement.

Premat was now up to second place, but he was some five seconds behind Pla, who looked set for his third race win in a row. The gap had widened by another second when, on lap six, Jose Maria Lopez lost the rear of his car and pitched into another spin into the wall, prompting his second safety car in as many days.

Four laps later they were released, with the gap between Pla and Premat reduced to almost nothing, but it didn't seem to bother Pla as he set about pulling away from his countryman once again.

Behind them Pantano was keeping Rosberg honest, even if he couldn't quite get next to him, but behind them Heikki Kovalainen was trying everything he could think of to get past Neel Jani, who was driving completely different lines on track and leaving no chance open for the Finn to get by.

Juan Cruz Alvarez however did find a way to overtake - he was able to sail past Gimmi Bruni after the safety pulled in, and was pushing up towards the points paying positions.

On lap 15 Clivio Piccione pushed hard to try and take tenth place off Adam Carroll into turn one, but he outbraked himself and ran wide, handing Nelson Piquet and Ferdinando Monfardini a free position just by being there.

Just one lap later Pla suddenly slowed, clearly suffering a fatal malady on his car, and pulled off to the side of the road. He couldn't get far enough away from the track, however, and the safety car was employed once again.

Piccione and Negrao took the opportunity to come into the pits next time by, Piccione to change his nose after an impact with Carroll, nd the top six got ready for a last ditch attempt to improve their positions. On lap 22 they were released once more, but no one was able to find a line through the man in front.

And just two laps later it was all over - Premat took the chequered flag just ahead of teammate Rosberg, with Pantano falling just off the pair but ahead of Jani, who once again absorbed race long pressure from Kovalainen to keep his position.

Nicolas Lapierre took a point for sixth place, just ahead of an unlucky Alvarez, and Piccione claimed two by taking the fastest lap of the race on the final one.

CLASSIFIED: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Premat ART Grand Prix 45:05.029 2. Rosberg ART Grand Prix + 0.404 3. Pantano Super Nova International + 1.984 4. Jani Racing Engineering + 3.654 5. Kovalainen Arden International + 4.539 6. Lapierre Arden International + 5.349 7. Alvarez Campos Racing + 5.974 8. Bruni Coloni Motorsport + 6.429 9. Carroll Super Nova International + 7.133 10. Piquet Hitech Piquet + 8.028 11. Monfardini Durango + 8.540 12. Artam iSport International + 10.158 13. Fauzy DAMS + 12.873 14. Lauda Coloni Motorsport + 13.659 15. Negrao Hitech Piquet Sports + 17.888 16. Piccione Durango + 20.679 17. Yoshimoto BCN Competicion + 23.741 18. Hernandez Campos Racing + 1 Lap 19. Speed iSport Internationa + 2 Laps NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS: Driver Team On Lap Pla DPR 16 Lopez DAMS 6 Garcia Racing Engineering 4 Viso BCN Competicion 4 Mondini DPR 2 Fastest Lap: Piccione, 1:34.336 on lap 25 2005 Championship Standings, Round 8 (Race 15) Drivers: Teams: 1. Kovalainen 79 1. ART Grand Prix 115 2. Rosberg 72 2. Arden International 92 3. Speed 50 3. Super Nova International 62 4. Premat 43 4. iSport International 52 5 Jani 40 5. Racing Engineering 44 6. Carroll 34 6. Coloni Motorsport 36 7. Bruni 33 7. Hitech Piquet Sports 26 8. Pantano 28 8. DAMS 25 9. Lopez 25 9. DPR 20 10 Piquet Jr. 24 10. Durango 15 11. Pla 18 = BCN Competicion 15 12. Piccione 14 12. Campos Racing 3 13 Lapierre 13 14. Yoshimoto 10 15. Viso 5 16. Garcia 4 17. Hernandez 3 = Lauda 3 19. Artam 2 = Negrao 2 = Sharp 2 22. Monfardini 1 
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