Another victory for Giorgio Pantano sees the experienced Italian driver stretch his CP2 championship lead even further.
He hit the front in an exciting feature race at Silverstone after passing Romain Grosjean and leader Lucas di Grassi.
Series returnee di Grassi acquired the lead when pole sitter Bruno Senna went off at Stowe on lap four. Senna fell to fifth and was further delayed during his pit stop when di Grassi was waved out of his pit box into Senna’s path, forcing his fellow Brazilian to brake. Surprisingly, di Grassi has not received a penalty.
The race turned on the durability of Bridgestone’s softer compound tyres which some drivers struggled to keep alive for 31 punishing laps around high-speed Silverstone. One of these was Grosjean, whose fall down the order from second place began when he was passed by Pantano.
it set up a thrilling race to the flag as Pantano reeled in di Grassi and Grosjean defended from Andreas Zuber, Karun Chandhok, Senna and Sebastien Buemi.
Zuber lost his fourth place at Club running wide, allowing Chandhok onto the back of Grosjean. The Indian later passed Grosjean at Stowe but did so while the corner was covered by yellow falgs while the marshals retireved Zuber’s team mate Pastor Maldonado from the barriers. Chandhok gave his position back to Grosjean but in doing so delayed Senna, allowing Buemi past the frustrated Brazilian.
Chandhok re-passed Grosjean with a fine lunge at Brooklands, leaving the ART driver to fend off Buemi and Senna. This he did in magnificent style at first, clinging on while going side-by-side with Buemi into Maggots.
Buemi persevered, however, and squeezed past Grosjean at the same corner on the final tour. The Senna lined up Grosjean for a breathtaking, wheel-banging pass around the outside at Stowe. Only for Senna to chuck his car off the road at Priory, handing the hard-fought position back to Grosjean.
Meanwhile Pantano had easily passed di Grassi and claimed the win, with Chandok joining the pair on the podium. Pantano now has 46 points in the championship with Senna on 33, Buemi on 25 and Grosjean 23.