Christian Montanari gave Prema Power Team their first ever World Series by Renault victory in their debut season at the Nurburgring after his more conservative pit strategy allowed him to leapfrog Andy Soucek mid-way through the race to coast to an easy win.

Monatanari, who adds a second World Series win to his triumph from Monaco last year and becomes the seventh different winner this year, came home just ahead of Alx Danielsson and Soucek, the Spaniard's third place moving him into the joint lead of the championship standings.

Indeed, the battle for both the win and the championship lead had appeared to be between Pastor Maldonado and Alvaro Parente who were first and third on the grid, while race one front runner Mikhail Aleshin was also in the mix for victory from second spot.

Indeed, it was the Russian who got the jump on his feuding rivals, only to see his lead very much short lived when he out braked himself into the first corner and ran into the gravel trap, shredding his tyre in the process and effectively ending his race on the spot.

However, he was not the only driver to fall victim to the Nurburgring's tight first corner hairpin as both Maldonado and Parente both failed to get their cars stopped in time, sliding through the gravel trap and out of contention. Davide Valsecchi was another driver to fall foul of the first corner.

With the top three at the back of the field, Andy Soucek moved in charge of the field, the Spaniard interestingly taking advantage of a similar first corner melee that has eliminated him from the reckoning in the first race.

He led over the line at the end of the first lap compatriot Marcos Martinez, who managed to sustain his fourth place starting position by moving into a surprise second place. However, his joy did not last long either, the Eurointernational driver letting the pressure get to him as he went off the track at the start of lap two.

As a result, Robbie Kerr moved into second place, ahead of Danielsson Montanari, Sean McIntosh, Ryo Fukuda and Adrian Zaugg, the South African on his World Series debut climbing into the top ten for the first time. Just behind him were James Rossiter and Borja Garcia, but these two came together on lap four, with the Brit spun down the order, while Garcia managed to continue.

It was at this point the pit lane became a flurry of activity, after the safety car was deployed to remove Marco Bonanomi's Tech 1 Racing car from the circuit. As a result, Kerr, Danielsson, Pasquale di Sabatino dived into the pit lane, while Montanari, Garcia and the delayed Maldonado followed suit a lap later to take gamble on an early stop.

Soucek however was staying out longer, along with Ryo Fukuda, Eric Salignon, Hayanari Shimoda and Gregory Franchi, as he attempted to build up a big enough buffer between himself and Montanari, who had meanwhile gotten ahead of Kerr and Danielsson into an effective second place.

With a 31 second lead, Soucek dived into the pits on lap ten, but Montanari had made the most of the clear air and passed the Spaniard as he returned from the pit lane to move into the effective lead of the race. Furthermore, Soucek's cold tyres saw him lose a further position to Danielsson over the next lap too.

Fukuda held the lead for the next two laps before eventually pitting and dropping back to fifth place, leaving Montanari to move into second place, behind Aleshin, who too was yet to stop. Danielsson, Soucek, McIntosh, Fukuda and Garcia followed closely.

The safety car emerged for the second time when Rossiter again collided with another driver, this time Milos Pavlovic. Meanwhile, any hopes that Aleshin would pit were dashed when he continued to lap ahead of Montanari, duly receiving a one minute penalty and finishing back in 21st.

It was Montanari then that cruised home to take victory for the Prema team in what has been a tough year so far for the San Marino driver. Danielsson held off an eager Soucek for both his and Comtec Racing's first podium of the season, while Soucek's ten points moves him level with Parente in the standings.

"Everyone at the team has been working very hard since the start of the weekend. Our tactics were excellent. I pushed very hard to make sure of winning. This is an important result for us after a difficult first half of the season."

Fourth place went to McIntosh, the Canadian adding further points to his steadily rising tally, while Fukuda took both his and Tech 1 Racing's best ever result in the World Series in fifth place.

Championship contenders Salignon and Garcia were sixth and seventh, ahead of Zaugg, who's points on his debut will make him a prime candidate to remain in his Carlin Motorsport seat for the rest of the season. Hayanari Shimoda collected two points for ninth, with Kerr rounding out the top ten, the Brit's early pit stop seemingly not benefiting him as he slipped down the field.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...