10 July 2005
Silverstone 2005: Pla secures maiden GP2 victory.
Having taken his first GP2 pole by virtue of an eighth place finish in race one, Olivier Pla fended off the challenge of Scott Speed and Heikki Kovalainen to take his first GP2 win in the second race at Silverstone.
Pla made a strong start when the lights went green to lead from Clivio Piccione, who had jumped past a slow starting Gianmaria Bruni on the run from the line. The Italian settled into third, ahead of Speed, Neel Jani, Alex Premat and Nicolas Lappiere – with the top two from Saturday's first race, Nico Rosberg and Heikki Kovalainen, close behind.
Rosberg and Kovalainen were the two on a charge, and on lap two both found a way past Lappiere, pulling similar moves on Premat and Jani in the following laps while up front Pla was driving the race of his life to try and stay ahead of Piccione.
However Pla would get some time to rest when Nelson Piquet - starting from the back following his failure to start race one - spun at Becketts on lap eight. With the Brazilian's car stranded on the racing line, the safety car was called out for two laps to allow marshals to remove it.
Bruni was one to lose out during the safety car, when he was called in for a drive through penalty for jumping the start, allowing Speed through into third place ahead of Kovalainen and Rosberg.
On the restart, Piccione continued to put the pressure on Pla for the lead but having challenged for the lead, Piccione lost out to Speed at Bridge on lap 17 with Kovalainen and Rosberg also surging past the Durango man before the conclusion of the lap. As if that wasn't bad enough for Piccione, he then peeled into the pits to retire from the race.
Despite the best efforts of American racer Speed over the closing laps, Pla was able to hold on to take victory, with Kovalainen securing a double podium finish in third.
Rosberg had to settle for fourth, with Alex Premat and Neel Jani fifth and sixth, although it was a race to forget for Brits Adam Carroll and Ryan Sharp. Carroll, who finished well down the order in race one, was only able to fight his way up to eighth, while Sharp would fail to finish for the second time over the course of the weekend.
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