Monza Race 1
Podium joy for Luca Filippi this afternoon in his home country as he finishes 2nd here in Monza together with fellow Italian Giorgio Pantano!
It was a clean start off the grid as the lights went green, Mike Conway positioning himself on the outside as they headed into the first corner. But as bad luck would have it, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and as they took the first two turns he was hit from behind & forced off the track, stalling his car and ending his race before it had really got going.
Meanwhile team mate Luca pushed hard & was up to 5th position when he pitted on lap seven. The two-tyre change went smoothly, & he came out in front of Nakajima, starting an on going position battle between the two drivers. Several safety cars later, the Italian driver negotiated his way past both Nakajima and Negrao to sit behind Di Grassi in third. However with two laps to go the ART car suffered some gearbox problems, allowing Luca to easily pass & claim a satisfying 2nd position, behind race leader Giorgio Pantano, after a very exciting race full of incidents!
Team Principal David Sears “In an action packed race today here in Monza. Mike Conway was unlucky to get taken out on the first corner, along with several other cars. The Safety car came out but came in almost immediately with some drivers already deciding to pit. We left Luca Filippi out on the track & after a quick pit stop, Luca was up to 5th from 7th on the grid. He then had a big battle with Negrao & Nakajima, overtaking them both, moving up to third place! Two laps from the end, Lucas di Grassi dropped back, allowing Luca to pass and take 2nd place, behind this year, and last years race winner Giorgio Pantano, who thoroughly deserved his win”
Mike Conway “I didn’t get the best start, and then in between turns one and two a Durango car hit me from behind. Zaugg then spun in front of me, & forced me wide. I tried to get going again, but on the kerb the engine stalled and disappointingly that was the end for me. Starting from the back will be difficult tomorrow, but I’ll just have to see what happens.”
Luca Filippi “Its very nice to back on podium…. especially in Italy! I wanted this podium very much, and I believe starting from 7th on the grid, P2 was the best position possible, knowing how quick Giorgio is! I started in P7 today and will again for tomorrows sprint race, so I’ll try and do the same again! The car is really good, but I think we can go even quicker tomorrow!”