Adam Carroll won the second of the weekend's two GP2 Series races at Spa-Francorchamps, but not before a series of incidents had culminated in the red flag being shown.

Already delayed by the need to clear debris and repair barriers after the first of the day's support races, the temperamental Belgian weather once again played its part in the outcome of the race, with Carroll leading the field away under the safety car, and holding his advantage for the first ten laps.

On the ninth lap, Ernesto Viso lost his car at Eau Rouge and, just moments later, a big crash involving Neel Jani and the Venezuelan's BCN team-mate Hiroki Yoshimoto on the exit of the same corner prompted the red flags. With time ticking away the race was not restarted, and final positions were taken from the start of lap ten.

That left Carroll out front to claim his third win of the season, with Borja Garcia and Scott Speed completing the podium. Nico Rosberg came home fourth to further extend his championship lead over main rival Heikki Kovalainen, who simply did not have enough time to make the top six from his 15th place on the grid. The shortened distance favoured those to have finished in the points on Saturday, with Juan Cruz Alvarez and Xandi Negrao rounding out the scorers.

Carroll also picked up two extra points for fastest lap to close in on Alex Premat for fourth overall, after the Frenchman failed to add to his tally for the second race running. Saturday winner Nelson Piquet Jr was also outside the scorers after being demoted to 18th on the grid for his part in Premat's race one retirement.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour as a result of damage incurred to the crash barriers in a support race earlier in the morning, and was started under the safety car due to the intense rain. Released at the end of lap one, Carroll streaked away from the field with the first of a string of fastest laps while, behind him, Xandi Negrao was already falling back, holding up his pursuers until Garcia blew by him at Les Combes.

Further back, Viso, buoyed by his maiden podium on Saturday, was on a charge, overtaking Rosberg and piling pressure on Speed. One lap later, and Les Combes saw more overtaking, as Alvarez muscled his way by Negrao, and Viso cleanly through Speed. Jani was having a torrid time in the spray, however, with Alex Premat forcing his way past through Eau Rouge and causing the Swiss driver into a spin.

Despite the appalling conditions, which saw the rain increase rather than abate, overtaking continued up and down the order. Viso was continuing his fine race, easily dispatching Negrao and Alvarez in one lap, before setting off after Garcia, who had shown that he had no answer for the speed of Carroll out front.

Negrao didn't have the pace of any of his contemporaries, and the Hitech Piquet car he was dropping like a stone, having been overtaken by Speed and Rosberg in successive laps. Speed then forced his way past Alvarez out of Eau Rouge for fourth place, and Rosberg powering by the Campos racer not long after.

Further back, Heikki Kovalainen was trying to get into a points-paying position to make up for his mistake on Saturday and, after starting 15th on the grid, was all over the back of Jose Maria Lopez, the Argentine in seventh and struggling to maintain his position.

The treacherous conditions had to take their toll at some point, however, and, sadly, it was the flying Viso who succumbed first, crashing out of third place after clipping the kerb and launching his BCN Dallara into a lurid spin at the top of the hill at Eau Rouge, before heavily impacting the barrier.

Just a few seconds later, Gianmaria Bruni got loose coming up the hill after Eau Rouge, prompting Hiroki Yoshimoto moved right to overtake him. The pair ran side-by-side to Les Combes, but the Japanese driver was almost immediately off the track and into the barriers. Yoshimoto was a passenger as his car rebounded onto the track and Jani, with nowhere to go, hit the crippled car hard. Both men flew along the barriers on the left-hand side of the track, destroying their cars in the process.

Fortunately, both Jani and Yoshimoto were able to climb out of the wreckage unaided, but were immediately taken to the medical centre for a check-up. However, with debris spread over the track, there was no option but to bring out the safety car, which was almost immediately turned into a red flag. The drivers stopped in front of the pits and, with time running out, the race was stopped for good.

With the race not reaching 75 per cent of full distance, half points will be issued to the top six, which saw Carroll lead Garcia, Speed, Rosberg, Alvarez and Negrao across the line on lap ten.

Rosberg stretched his narrow lead in the championship over rival Kovalainen, with the gap now just 3.5 points between them, and the German's result means that his ART Grand Prix team now lead the teams' championship by 38.5 points over Arden International, handing the French outfit the title with just the two races in Bahrain remaining this season.



Loading Comments...