Racing Engineering found it could count on both its drivers as the GP2 Series completed its latest double-header at Hockenheim, as Javi Villa scored his first points since Istanbul to add to another race win for Giorgio Pantano.

Unfortunately for the Spanish outfit, the two drivers scored alone in separate races, although both had chances to finish in the points on Saturday and Sunday. Pantano added a fourth feature race success in fortunate circumstances before crashing out of the sprint, while Villa threw away a possible podium on Saturday only to bounce back and claim fifth in the second event.

Having qualified on pole for Saturday's pit-stop race, Pantano appeared to be the class of the field while the track remained dry. The Italian held top spot from the moment the lights went out until four laps from home, when a brief heavy shower passed over Hockenheim and caused chaos.

Having seen off the challenge of Romain Grosjean and Sebastien Buemi up to and through his lap 17 pit-stop, Pantano added to his points tally by racking up the fastest lap of the race prior to the rain's arrival as he and Grosjean pulled away from Buemi by around a second a lap, but could not shake the Frenchman from his tail.

Then, with five laps to go, the whole complexion of the race changed. As soon as the rain arrived, the drivers were in trouble as their slick tyres could not cope with the downpour. Several ran wide or spun, while others opted to pit to have wets fitted. Pantano and Grosjean fitted neither category but, with four laps remaining, the Italian committed his first mistake, running wide and allowing his rival to close in.

Although he kept the lead, it was only for a few seconds more, as another small error in the Mercedes Arena allowed Grosjean to sweep past. Mindful of his championship position and the tricky track conditions, Pantano decided not to try to regain the lead and, as he was so far ahead of the third-placed car, he could afford to take things carefully.

Having accepted second - and the trophy that went with it - however, the Italian was surprised to learn that Grosjean had been slapped with a time penalty for passing a backmarker under yellow flags, elevating the Racing Engineering driver back into top spot.

"We did a perfect start and a perfect race with a perfect pit-stop," he noted, "During the last laps, it started to rain - I tried to manage with the situation, but Grosjean was faster and I thought I had finished second, but this is a great victory. Thanks to the entire team for giving me a perfect car for yet another weekend."

Villa, meanwhile, started from eighth and was up to sixth almost immediately. He then battled with Karun Chandhok for nearly 20 laps before finally finding a way past. From there, his progress was rapid, catching and passing Lucas di Grassi on lap 34 and gaining two more places at the expense of a spinning Bruno Senna and Buemi to lie third entering the last lap.

Sadly, his best performance in a feature race was to end in disappointment as, with only a few hundred metres to go, the youngster crashed and all his hard work came to nothing as he finished tenth.

"It was a complicated race, but I did a good start, moving up to 6th," he reflected, "I lost some time at the pit-stop and Chandhok overtook me on my out-lap, but I was eventually able to overtake him and had a very good rhythm. I passed di Grassi and am sure, without the rain, that I could have passed Senna as well. However, mayhem started with five laps to go and I was in third when, with two corners to go, I spun off as it started raining again."

Roles were reversed on Sunday as, after a strong start, Pantano found himself caught out in a lap three melee at the tight hairpin. Having moved up from eighth to fourth midway through the first lap, the Italian quickly closed on third-placed Andy Soucek but, trying to overtake at Spitzkehre, the two cars made contact.

"I had a great start and, after two laps, I was fourth," he confirmed, "But, shortly after, I had this light contact with Soucek and my steering column was damaged, and I had to retire. It's a pity as I was out for a really good race."

With Pantano out, Villa rose to the task of scoring points to keep Racing Engineering's main rival, iSport in check. Although the British team took a 1-3 finish courtesy of Chandhok and Senna, the young Spaniard battled back from losing seventh to a recovering Grosjean, keeping with a tight group of six cars fighting for third position.

Two of those ahead of him crashed out when Pastor Maldonado hit di Grassi, promoting Villa to a scoring position, but he kept pushing on and eventually overtook Alvaro Parente with a spectacular dive to the inside of the hairpin. A slight off-road moment meant that he then lost contact Grosjean and allowed Parente back onto his tail, but he held firm and crossed the line fifth.

The weekend's results see Pantano keep a clear lead in the drivers' championship, with an advantage of 15 points over Senna, while Racing Engineering continues to hold second spot to the Brazilian's iSport in the teams' championship.

"You win some, you lose some," team owner Alfonso de Orleans Borb?n observed, "It was a fantastic race from both our drivers on Saturday, especially from Javi who, under the circumstances and extreme conditions, did a great job. Giorgio did a smart race and was intelligent to accept second when maybe first would have been too risky to attempt.

"I think we have definitely proven that we are heading into the right direction. We are very happy that Javi is finally able to show what he's really capable of and I am convinced he will show us more great racing in Hungary, where our goal definitely has to be to have both cars in the points."