GP2 »

Bjorn again! Wirdheim takes back-to-back wins.

Arden's Bjorn Wirdheim began the 2003 the season where he left off last year, by taking a lights to flag victory at Imola today, despite race long pressure from Patrick Friesacher.

Out even before the race began with technical problems were Charouz ISR driver Jaroslav Janis and impressive Den Bla Avis rookie Robbie Kerr, who reduced the field to 18 cars by the time the red lights disappeared.

Wirdheim looked to have broken any opposition on the first lap by taking a 1.43secs lead ahead of Friesacher, with Ricado Sperifico, Vitanonio Liuzzi, Townsend Bell, Giorgio Pantano and Enrico Toccacelo leading the chasing pack.

But Red Bull driver Friesacher soon proved he'd make a race of it in front of the F1 team bosses, by pulling away from Sperifico and soon reducing Wirdheim's advantage to less than a second.

The top two then extended their advantage to over four seconds, with the leading positions staying static until lap 14, when Bell spun out of fifth whilst under pressure from Pantano at the Tosa corner, dropping him to 15th.

However, Pantano received no reward for his efforts and pitted on the very same lap, then retired. He was soon joined by Schmidt and van Hooydonk.

Meanwhile, by lap 17, just 0.6secs separated the leaders, with Sperafico holding on to the final podium position ahead of Liuzzi, Toccacelo and Schroeder. Bell was beginning an impressive fightback after his earlier error and now up to 10th and threatening Baumgartner, whom he would pass on lap 22.

Both Kiesa and Baumgartner spun a few laps later after a clumsy move by Kiesa. They were able to rejoin the action in 10th and 11th places respectively.

But there were no such troubles for Wirdheim, and having soaked up race long pressure from Friesacher, the Swede took victory by just 0.3secs, with Sperafico a distant third.

Liuzzi, Toccacelo, Schroeder, Giammaria and Nguyen completed the points scorers.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bjorn Wirdheim (Arden) leads Patrick Friesacher (Red Bull Junior) at Imola
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium with Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin), takes the chequered flag at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Daniel Abt (GER, Hilmer Motorsport), leads Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) & Artem Markelov (RUS, RT RUSSIAN TIME) at the start at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) battle for the lead at the start at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin), Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Trident) & Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin), takes the chequered flag at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win in Parc Fermeat Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium with Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) and Alex Fontana, (SUI, ART Grand Prix) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium with Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) and Alex Fontana, (SUI, ART Grand Prix) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) in action at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) celebrates at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing), Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) & Nick Yelloly (GBR, Status Grand Prix), on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) in action at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014 (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP2 Series Media Service.)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.