GP2 » 20 May 2000
Junqueira spins to win.
The Safety Car was scrambled again, however, and most of the field opted to pit for wets while the rest trundled around in search of dry lines and a break in the clouds. The rash of pit-stops left Enge out in front, from Gauloises' Andre Couto and Sebastien Bourdais, Stephane Sarrazin and European Arrows' Christjan Albers.
The mix of rubber remaining in the field then caused some heart-stopping moments, as those on wets closed rapidly on the slick-shod runners. The grooved option didn't always prove to be the best, however, as Manning, Davies and Yves Olivier all spun at the Castrol-S on the next restart, and Frenchman Fabrice Walfisch showed the dangers of catching struggling rivals at speed.
Shortly after 23rd-place starter - and perennial backmarker - Andreas Scheld has blasted past the typically tail-happy Enge, Walfisch slammed into the back of the Czech, launching his Astromega car high over the top of the McLaren Junior example and into instant retirement, fortunately with no injury to its occupant.
Enge was propelled along and across the circuit at a greater rate of knots than he had managed under his own steam, and caused the approaching Junqueira to take avoiding action as his sleigh ride ended with him slewed across the road. Junqueira, his car already unsettled by having to swerve around the Czech's abandoned rear wing, then took a wild, sideways, ride of his own across the grass before rejoining, unscathed, at the Veedol chicane.
Uninvolved by all the action behind him, Scheld ploughed on up front, but was quickly reeled in by a commendably calm Junqueira. A couple of circumspect laps in the German's wake were followed by a decisive move into the lead, and the Brazilian was not troubled thereafter, save for having to stand on the brakes as KJR's Andrea Piccini rotated in front of him while being lapped.
Scheld held on to a remarkable second, and would be joined on the podium by the equally unexpected form of Italian Fabrizio Gollin. Another to start further down the grid, and not always likely to make the cut this season, the Coloni man put in a solid wet-weather performance to capture his best result in the formula.
Fourth and fifth fell to the consistent Gauloises twins, Couto ahead of Bourdais despite a trip through the first corner gravel as his slicks continued to look for grip on a track which maintained a split personality. Behind Bourdais, another Frenchman scooped the final point, as a mightily relieved Sarrazin survived a couple of slick-shod spins to take his first top six finish of the year.
The place should have fallen to Junqueira's team-mate Jaime Melo Jr, but the Brazilian fell foul of two stop-go penalties and was overhauled by the flying Sarrazin in the closing stages. Albers fell by the wayside - as he did at Silverstone - when points beckoned, while the remaining stragglers - Olivier, Davies and Piccini - were too far removed to challenge for points.
Junqueira certainly made hay while the sun shone in Germany - and wasn't too shabby when the rain fell either. With championship rivals Minassian and Webber sidelined, the Brazilian has opened a healthy twelve point advantage in the championship, and has taken the first big strides towards earning a place in the top flight alongside friend and rival Jenson Button.
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