Lights to flag victory for popular Englishman
Mike Conway stormed to victory in yesterday's race two in Monaco, leading from lights to flag to score a dominant first win in the series ahead of teammate Ho-Pin Tung and Alvaro Parente.
With the weather looking gloomy overhead the Briton lit up his tyres as the lights went out to easily cover his fellow front row starting teammate to be first through Ste Devote and lead the field up the hill.
Behind them Roldan Rodriguez was very slow away from third position and locked his brakes into the first corner, compressing the rest of the field other than Adrian Valles, who cut inside to get by as mayhem brewed behind them.
Christian Bakkerud was caught out by an early braking Andreas Zuber and took a roller coaster ride over the Piquet Sports car into immediate retirement, while the sister car of Pastor Maldonado pushed wide to the left and squeezed Karun Chandhok into the wall and off again, taking both cars back across the track and into the opposite wall, prompting the first safety car period of the weekend.
As Zuber pitted for a new rear wing the order at the front was Conway, Tung, Parente, Valles, Rodriguez and Bruno Senna, with Andy Soucek making an astonishing start to move up to seventh place from 13th on the grid. With the track soon clear they were released once again, with Conway setting a string of fastest laps to build a massive lead over his teammate, whose mirrors were full of Parente's Super Nova. But on lap eight all of his hard work was undone when Giorgio Pantano tried and failed to get past Marcello Puglisi at the new chicane:
Puglisi closed the door and the two drivers collided heavily, putting Pantano out on the spot, while at the same time Alberto Valerio lost his rear and spun into the wall after Casino square, with the resultant debris for both incidents causing another safety car period. At the restart Conway just headed off into the distance once more as Parente continued his race long quest for a way past Tung.
With Valles being handed a drive through penalty for his start misdemeanour the field behind him moved up one position but were unable to get in touch with the determined Portuguese driver. Conway reeled out the laps to claim his victory by 18.4 seconds ahead of teammate Tung, who just held on from Parente to round out a 1-2 for his Trident team. Behind them the other points paying positions were filled by Rodriguez, Senna and Soucek, who scored his first point of the season to finish a tough weekend on a high. Zuber claimed the fastest lap, although the point will go to Conway because of Zuber's pitstop, rounding out the repayment for the Briton's wretched luck in yesterday's race one in fine style.
Monaco – Race 2 Driver Team
1. Mike Conway Trident Racing
2 Ho-Pin Tung Trident Racing
3. Alvaro Parente Super Nova Racing
4. Roldan Rodriguez Fisichella Motor Sport International
5 Bruno Senna iSport International
6. Andy Soucek DPR
7 Jérôme d’Ambrosio Dams
8. Yelmer Buurman Trust Team Arden
9. Diego Nunes DPR
10. Romain Grosjean ART Grand Prix
11. Sébastien Buemi Trust Team Arden
12. Luca Filippi ART Grand Prix
13. Javier Villa Racing Engineering
14. Ben Hanley Barwa International Campos Team
15. Vitaly Petrov Barwa International Campos Team
16. Adrian Valles BCN Competicion
17. Andreas Zuber Piquet Sports
Fastest lap time: Mike Conway (Trident Racing)
Kamui Kobayashi Dams
Marcello Puglisi Durango
Alberto Valerio Durango
Adam Carroll Fisichella Motor Sport International
Karun Chandhok iSport International
Pastor Maldonado Piquet Sports
Christian Bakkerud Super Nova Racing