Italian on top in home race
Davide Valsecchi stormed to victory in front of his local fans yesterday morning in race two, winning by nine seconds ahead of Roldan Rodriguez and Romain Grosjean in the final, action packed race of the season which saw Bruno Senna take the vice-champion laurels and Campos Grand Prix wrap up their first team's championship.
With another shower falling just before the start almost all of the drivers opted to start on wets, with Valsecchi making a decent start from pole but Rodriguez making an even better one to lead the Italian into the first chicane ahead of Jérôme D'Ambrosio, Grosjean and Senna, who spun as the pair in front of him fought for position: Grosjean moved up to third while D'Ambrosio slid back into the grasp of the pursuing pack.
Lucas di Grassi was on a charge and was soon all over Senna, with the pair fighting hard for track position and second in the championship: when Senna went straight at turn one his countryman was through, but with the pair running side by side further around the track di Grassi caught up to a fast starting Conway and hit the Briton from behind, spinning both Conway and Senna around as he cut the second chicane, allowing D'Ambrosio to briefly retake fourth place. Di Grassi was soon given a drive through penalty for his efforts, dropping him out of the points when he came in a lap later.
With Maldonado on a charge behind him, Valsecchi up front was eating chunks out of Rodriguez's time: it was only a matter of time before the Italian re-took the lead, eventually out- dragging his rival along the front straight on lap 8 before running away with the race.
All eyes were then on Senna in P10, who now had Grosjean breathing down his championship neck as the Frenchman hounded down and passed Rodriguez for second on track. Fortunately for the Brazilian Grosjean soon ran wide, handing the position back to the Spaniard and placing himself under the close scrutiny of Maldonado, who was almost immediately all over the rear of the Frenchman while, behind them, an equally fraught battle was being waged for sixth place between D'Ambrosio, Sébastien Buemi and Senna, the latter arguably needing the point more than the men in front of him, who were clearly unwilling to hand him any presents.
And when the chequered flag dropped it was Valsecchi and fresh air, with Rodriguez, Grosjean and Maldonado crossing the line nose to tail nine seconds back and just one second ahead of champion Giorgio Pantano, who drove a mature race to finish his championship on 76 points, while D'Ambrosio held on for sixth place. Senna meanwhile was just relieved to have finally captured second place in the championship on 64 points, one ahead of di Grassi and two ahead of Grosjean, while Campos won their inaugural title over iSport by 103 points to 95, with Piquet Sports just 3 points further back in third place.
Monza – Race 2
1. Davide Valsecchi Durango
2. Roldan Rodriguez Fisichella Motor Sport Int.
3. Romain Grosjean ART Grand Prix
4. Pastor Maldonado Piquet Sports
5. Giorgio Pantano Racing Engineering
6. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Dams
7 Sébastien Buemi Trust Team Arden
8. Bruno Senna iSport International
9. Ho-Pin Tung Trident Racing
10. Andreas Zuber Piquet Sports
11. Lucas di Grassi Barwa Int. Campos Team
12. Alvaro Parente Super Nova Racing
13. Kamui Kobayashi Dams
14. Carlos Iaconelli BCN Competicion
15. Alberto Valerio Durango
16. Diego Nunes DPR
17 Michael Herck DPR
18 Andy Soucek Super Nova Racing
Fastest lap time: Andy Soucek (Super Nova Racing): 1:46.771 on lap 17
Sakon Yamamoto ART Grand Prix
Luca Filippi Trust Team Arden
Marko Asmer Fisichella Motor Sport Int.
Vitaly Petrov Barwa Int. Campos Team
Mike Conway Trident Racing
Karun Chandhok iSport International