GP2: Pantano wins feature race, Conway earns sprint pole

By Andy Darley

CalendarSaturday, June 21st, 2008

 
 
Mike Conway racing to eighth at Magny-Cours
Mike Conway racing to eighth at Magny-Cours

Twice in GP2’s French feature race the leader retired with mechanical problems – gifting Giorgio Pantano the win and Mike Conway the eighth place that will put him on pole for the sprint race.

Polesitter Bruno Senna lost the lead on lap 20 when his clutch failed, allowing Romain Grosjean through ahead of him. But Grosjean hit trouble just seven laps later, a hydraulic problem sending him limping back to the pits.

“Grosjean came past me on the straight while the engine was going ‘woaaaah’, and that was it,” lamented Senna. Grosjean added: “I had no clutch, no gearbox, no everything. It’s a shame, in front of all these French people too. It went from a really good day to a really bad one very quickly.”

Pantano’s victory means he regains the series lead that he lost thanks to a pair of retirements in Monaco.

Mike Conway, victor in the second Monaco race, briefly inherited the lead at Magny-Cours by staying out longer than any of the other leaders for his mandatory pit stop. His eventual pace was good enough for the eighth place that gifts him pole position when the grid is reversed for the second, shorter, race.

He said: “My start was good – and my whole race was too. I’ve had a really good car since qualifying, but I lost one spot in the pits to Jerome D`Ambrosio. Today’s eighth place is a good starting point for tomorrow, as I’ll be sitting on pole. I think I’ll have a good chance to clinch a really positive result. I hope to try and get another great ending like at Monte Carlo.”

Durango’s Ben Hanley was unable to complete the race and will start the sprint from row 10. He suffered from an overheating clutch during the early stages of the race and was forced to slow down to cool it – then, fighting to recover some of the places he’d lost, ended his race on lap 24 because of a contact.

Race results

  1. Pantano – Racing Engineering
  2. Di Grassi – Barwa Campos Team
  3. Maldonado – Piquet Sports
  4. Petrov – Barwa Campos Team
  5. Zuber – Piquet Sports
  6. D’ambrosio – Dams
  7. Chandhok – iSport International
  8. Conway – Trident Racing
  9. Parente – Super Nova Racing
  10. Filippi – ART Grand Prix
  11. Nunes – DPR
  12. Buurman – Trust Team Arden
  13. Soucek – Super Nova Racing
  14. Villa – Racing Engineering
  15. Valles – BCN Competicion
  16. Iaconelli – BCN Competicion
  17. Valerio – Durango

Did not finish:

  • Grosjean – ART Grand Prix – lap 34
  • Rodriguez – FMS International – lap 33
  • Buemi – Trust Team Arden – lap 28
  • Hanley – Durango – lap 24
  • Senna – iSport International – lap 22
  • Herck – DPR – lap 16
  • Tung – Trident Racing – lap 14
  • Kobayashi – Dams – lap 0

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