Le Mans: Series race one report

Baguette does the business Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) has done himself a lot of good today, claiming his first win of the season ahead of Pasquale diSabatino (RC Motorsport) and Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport), who once...

Baguette does the business

Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) has done himself a lot of good today, claiming his first win of the season ahead of Pasquale diSabatino (RC Motorsport) and Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport), who once again finishes on the podium. With neither Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) nor James Walker (P1 Motorsport) in the points, the Belgian takes command of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship.

As always, the first eight qualified from the Superpole lined up in reverse order on the race 1 grid. This put Marco Barba (International Draco Racing) on pole position ahead of Pasquale diSabatino. Having been the fastest man in the SuperPole, Jon Lancaster (Comtec Racing), would normally have set off in 8th place. However, due to a penalty picked up at Silverstone, he dropped back 4 positions to start from the 12th row.

At the start, Pasquale diSabatino drew up level with Marco Barba. Bertrand Baguette took advantage of the configuration and managed to get past his two rivals, though slight contact was made in the process. So the Belgian took command of the race as the safety car came into action to clear way cars belonging to the unfortunate Adrian Zaugg (Interwetten.com Racing) and Anton Nebylitskiy (KMP Group / SG Formula).

Bertrand Baguette made a perfect restart and held his lead. The Belgian pulled away further lap after lap, while Pasquale diSabatino, in second, was busy containing Marco Barba, Jaime Alguersuari (Carlin Motorsport) and Oliver Turvey as best he could. Tech 1 Racing drivers were a little further back in the field, with Edoardo Mortara from Charles Pic, while a battle for 8th place raged, with Miguel Molina (Ultimate Motorsport) and Jon Lancaster taking no prisoners. Lancaster got himself an inside position at the La Chapelle turn and moved past Molina into 8th place. The Leeds driver immediately caught Charles Pic and started pressing for 7th position.

Pic fought tooth and nail and rather than give in to Lancaster's attacks, he got past his team-mate in braking in the Dunlop chicane in lap 14. Lancaster followed him one lap later. Charles Pic was now 6th ahead of Lancaster and Edoardo Mortara.

Up front, Bertrand Baguette was enjoying his lead. The Belgian had a solid 5 seconds over Pasquale diSabatino with a quarter of an hour to go. diSabatino had Marco Barba looming ever closer in his rear views. Barba found an opening in the 18th lap, though this involved cutting the Dunlop chicane, and -- picking up a ten second penalty for himself at the end of the race.

So, in the final analysis, the battle for 3rd between Pasquale diSabatino, Jaime Alguersuari and Oliver Turvey turned into a battle for second. Oliver Turvey took advantage of Alguersuari's error to move up a position. After that, the order would remain the same. So Bertrand Baguette succeeded in taking his first win of the season ahead of Pasquale diSabatino and Oliver Turvey. With this result, the Belgian driver moves to the top of the overall standings.

Quote, unquote: Bertrand Baguette: "It wasn't an easy race, because after the contact with Pasquale at the start, I had bent steering. But I wanted to win, at last! I never thought of the championship situation, but it has to be said I've done a lot of good for myself today. But it's very close and clearly everything can move very fast this year."

Pasquale di Sabatino: "I battled throughout the race. Bertrand and Marco were very quick. This second place is a great satisfaction for me, it's my second podium of the season."

Oliver Turvey: "With the reverse grid, starting from sixth, we were hoping for a podium. That goal has been attained, and it's my third podium on the trot. Even if this is my first year in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, we're getting points on the board and -- little by little -- we're getting in a position to contend for the championship."

-credit: wsr

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers James Walker , Marcos Martinez , Bertrand Baguette , Adrian Zaugg , Pasquale di Sabatino , Oliver Turvey , Miguel Molina , Edoardo Mortara , Marco Barba , Charles Pic , Jaime Alguersuari , Jon Lancaster , Anton Nebylitskiy
Teams Carlin