Asmer Moves Ahead with Eighth Win of 2007 Marko Asmer ( ...
Asmer Moves Ahead with Eighth Win of 2007
Marko Asmer (#7 Hitech) took his eighth win of the season with a lights to flag victory ahead of a resurgent Maro Engel (#23 Carlin), who started 5th, and Atte Mustonen (#26 Raikkonen Robertson Racing). Greg Mansell (#50 Fortec) had his best result since Round 3 at Donington Park finishing 4th.
Starting from pole position Marko Asmer got away cleanly but behind him Rodolfo Gonzalez (#9 T Sport) got a good getaway to slot into second ahead of Mustonen, with Engel getting the drop on Greg Mansell to move up a place as well. Alberto Valerio's race was run before it even got started as a clutch failure forced him into retirement.
Further back down the grid Michael Meadows (#55 Newnet Raikkonen Robertson Racing) got caught out as too many cars tried to fit through Copse corner, with 'Frankie' Cheng (#39 Performance Racing) getting ahead of Sergio Perez (#31 T Sport). Meadows' Dallara was left beached in the gravel trap bringing out the Safety Car before the drivers had completed one lap of the race.
The race got going again at the end of lap 3 and Gonzalez was immediately attacking Asmer for the lead into Copse but the Estonian wasn't going to be passed that easily. This allowed Mustonen to get a run on the Venezuelan at Becketts and the two Dallara's touched with Mustonen spinning through 360 degrees but managed to keep the car going and Gonzalez dropped down the field as he struggled to regain the track. This allowed Engel and Mansell to move ahead of the spinning Finn.
Behind the leaders Esteban Guerrieri (#14 Ultimate) was on the move from a lowly 14th place on the grid. An excellent start shot the Argentine driver up to 7th on the opening lap and then he passed Sam Bird on lap 4 for 5th.
Lap 5 saw Mustonen battling Greg Mansell to regain lost ground and the Finn moved in to 3rd at Abbey. Guerrieri was now starting to come under pressure from Sam Bird (#3 Carlin) and Stephen Jelley (#1 Raikkonen Robertson Racing) and within a few laps the three cars were nose to tail as they crossed the line.
In the National Class Perez had regained the initiative from Cheng and was able to pull away from his title rival as John Martin (#24 ADR) got between the two National Class cars. Hamad Al Fardan (#38 Performance Racing was a distant third in 21st place overall.
Back at the front Asmer started to pull away from Engel, who in turn was able to keep a gap to Mustonen. On lap 10 Jelley leap frogged both Bird and Guerrieri to move into 5th as the Argentine started to fall away, with Bird making a place on the next lap. However Guerrieri's team mate Michael Devaney (#15 Ultimate) got a run on his rivals and on lap 11 he was up to 7th ahead of Sebastian Hohenthal (#5 Fortec) and Niall Breen (#21 Carlin).
Asmer continued to hold the gap to Engel with Mustonen holding station on the German. Mansell was slowly falling away from the Finn but was able to hold the gap to Jelley and Bird.
As the race entered the final few laps Walter Grubmuller (#6 Hitech Racing) was moving up from the lower reaches of the field, moving up from 16th to 12th in four laps. Rodolfo Gonzalez was continuing his recovery from his earlier encounter with Mustonen and was making steady progress until he tried to pass John Martin at Becketts. Contact between the two cars put both cars into retirement with Martin parked on the grass and Gonzalez recovering to the pits with broken suspension.
On the final lap Niall Breen challenged Devaney for 7th place and the 2006 Formula BMW Champion made his move on his fellow Irishman on the inside of Becketts to take the position.
As the chequered flag went out it was Asmer who punched the air, crossing the line ahead of Maro Engel and Atte Mustonen. Sergio Perez also took his 8th win in the National Class, with Ernesto Otero (#59 Raikkonen Robertson Racing) taking second ahead of Hamad Al Fardan after Frankie Cheng was forced into the pits with a punctured tyre three laps from home.