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MAY 29, 2005

Piccione wins a humdinger

There may be a lot wrong with the GP2 series but there are is also a lot which is right with it as well and the race on Sunday at the Nurburgring was a brilliant battle, created by reversing the top eight positions on the grid. Racing purists do not like it but there is no arguing that as pure entertainment it was very good. Gianmaria Bruni started from pole having finished eighth on Saturday and he duly took the lead with Neel Jani grabbing second from Nelson Piquet Jr and Clivio Piccione. At the end of the first lap there was an incident at the first corner when Jose-Maria Lopez punted Nicolas Lapierre into Heikki Kovalainen, which took them all out of the race. For the first 15 laps Bruni led the way with some interestign action behind as the cars queued up behind Jani. And then Bruni slowed with mechanical trouble and the fight behind him became the fight for the lead. There were six cars in it: Jani, Piquet, Piccione, Nico Rosberg, Giorgio Pantano and Adam Carroll (up from 21st on the grid).

On lap 18 Piquet challenged for the lead but failed to get ahead and Rosberg took up the challenge with Piccione on his tail. Rosberg tried to get ahead at the chicane and overshot and lost momentum and so was passed by Piccione and who then challenged for the lead and pulled off a good manouevre around the outside of Jani at the first corner on lap 20. Piquet then tried to pass Rosberg and bumped him out of the way (yet another incident involving the contact-loving Brazilian). In the course of the ensuing sort out Carroll got through to third with Piquet fourth and Rosberg fifth.

Once ahead Piccione disappeared up the road while Jani retired to the pits. In the final laps Pantano fell victim to Sergio Hernandez (Campos Racing) and Ferdinando Monfardini (Durango).

Scott Speed had more technical trouble but again set the fastest lap of the race.