Monza: Race two report

Jani holds off Rosberg for Race 2 win Neel Jani has won today's GP2 series race at Monza from Nico Rosberg following an intense battle to the finish which saw the drivers cross the line just 0.488 seconds apart. Giorgio Pantano bagged the ...

Monza: Race two report

Jani holds off Rosberg for Race 2 win

Neel Jani has won today's GP2 series race at Monza from Nico Rosberg following an intense battle to the finish which saw the drivers cross the line just 0.488 seconds apart. Giorgio Pantano bagged the final podium spot in third at his home track, as compatriot Ferdinando Monfardini took fourth place ahead of Heikki Kovalainen and Adam Carroll. Scott Speed set the fastest lap of the race but his time was taken from him for changing his tyres, thus handing the two points to Nico.

Race Report. A problem with the official lighting system saw the cars released from behind the safety car with a rolling start. As the race got underway, Neel pulled a perfect move on polesitter Ferdinando to lead out of the first chicane. Nico, who had started seventh, was all over the back of sixth placed Nelson Piquet Jr, dispatching the Brazilian at the Parabolica at the end of the first lap, and taking fifth from Nicolas Lapierre two corners later. On lap three Nicolas narrowly avoided hitting Adam as he battled with Nelson into the second chicane. The Frenchman ran across the gravel and continued.

Meanwhile at the front Neel was putting in some fast laps to pull out a lead over Ferdinando who by now was being harried by Giorgio and Adam. Nico was on a charge and pulled past Adam, losing time to Giorgio in the process. He was soon back on the Italian's tail however, and pressuring him hard. Giorgio was trying to get past Ferdinando, whilst also keeping Nico behind, but the pressure got too much and he ran straight on at the first chicane with just four laps left.

Nico accepted third place as Giorgio retook the track, and the German immediately put pressure on Ferdinando. Nico was just too quick for the Durango driver, and flew past into second place with three laps remaining, and went off after Neel. The Swiss driver had a three second lead, which was cut back to two seconds with two laps to go, and one second as the final lap began. Nico swarmed all over Neel in the dying corners, but could not find a way past.

What about the championship? Nico's second place and two points for fastest lap gives him seven points to Heikki's two today, thus bringing the gap between the two drivers down to just four points, with four races remaining; 99 to Heikki and 95 to Nico. Scott and Alex Premat remain third and fourth on 59 and 53 points respectively, as Neel climbs to fifth position on 48, with Adam sixth on 46, Giorgio seventh on 42 and Nelson Piquet Jr eighth on 39.

ART Grand Prix extend their lead of the teams' championship on 148 points, with Arden International second on 117, Super Nova International third with 89 and iSport International fourth on 61. Racing Engineering move onto 60 points with Hitech Piquet Sports sixth on 39.

1st Neel Jani Racing Engineering.33:54.148
"This is great! I made a good start it was the clue for the win. I overtook Monfardini by doing a little trick on him so he couldn't do anything. Then I could pull away with the new tyres."

2nd Nico Rosberg ART Grand Prix. +0.488
"It was a great race. I came up through the field, and had some good overtaking maneuvers so I'm really happy. I thought I could fight for the victory on the final lap, but it just didn't work out."

3rd Giorgio Pantano Super Nova International. +2.416
"We did our best and the car was brilliant. But what can you say? The others were flying. I couldn't even overtake in the slipstream. I did my best, and its nice to get a podium at home."

-gp2-

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