F3

Opel Motorsport update 2000-1030

Germany - Pantano wins Formula 3 title for Opel. Giorgio Pantano celebrated winning the German Formula 3 Championship at Hockenheim on Sunday with a podium place finish in the second of the two 12-lap races around the GP circuit driving his...

Germany - Pantano wins Formula 3 title for Opel.

Giorgio Pantano celebrated winning the German Formula 3 Championship at Hockenheim on Sunday with a podium place finish in the second of the two 12-lap races around the GP circuit driving his Opel Team KMS Dallara/Opel. Pantano had taken the series lead mid-season and three race wins helped him pull clear of rivals to win by over 20 points from Alexander Mueller (Dallara/Honda).

Pierre Kaffer lost hope of taking second in the series after a seventh place finish in the weekend's Saturday race, followed by a non-finish in the Sunday race. <pre> Race 1 (12 laps)

1 Stefan Muecke  Dallara/Opel  25:42.529
2 Alexander Mueller  Dallara/Honda 25:46.026
3 Tony Schmidt  Dallara/Opel  25:49.821
4 Giorgio Pantano (I)  Dallara/Opel  25:51.761
5 Toshihiro Kaneishi (J) Dallara/Opel  25:52.401
6 Patrick Friesacher  Dallara/Opel  25:53.630

Race 2 (12 laps)

1 Alexander Mueller  Dallara/Honda 31:57.608
2 Patrick Friesacher  Dallara/Opel  31:57.945
3 Giorgio Pantano (I)  Dallara/Opel  32:09.491
4 Martin Tomczyk  Dallara/Opel  32:32.364
5 Jeroen Bleckemolen (NL) Dallara/Opel  32:35.221
6 Elran Nijenhuis (B)  Dallara/Honda 32:51.756

German Formula 3 - final positions after 20 rounds:

1 Giorgio Pantano (I)  Dallara/Opel  205 points
2 Alexander Mueller  Dallara/Honda 181
3 Pierre Kaffer   Dallara/Opel  164
4 Andre Lotterer  Dallara/Opel  151
5 Stefan Muecke  Dallara/Opel  136
6 Patrick Friesacher  Dallara/Opel  126

South Africa - Vice-champion's title for Watson-Smith.

It was a disappointing end to the South African Touring Car Championship for Team Petronas Syntium Opel at Killarney in Cape Town on Saturday, scoring just one podium finish in the two races for Deon Joubert and his Vectra.

First and second in the series were already determined before the start of the event in favour of Giniel De Villiers (Nissan) and Opel Motorsport's Shaun Watson-Smith, so all eyes were on Opel's Deon Joubert and Nissan's Duncan Vos in the fight for third place in the series.

Joubert arrived at the circuit with a 17-point advantage over his rival, but qualifying signalled that the team would have to fight hard to maintain Joubert's advantage. While Nissan dominated the first three positions on the grid for both races, Opel's Silvio Scribante was the closest challenger in fourth for both races. With the other two Vectras carrying success ballast from previous rounds, Watson-Smith lined up seventh for race one and tenth for race two, while Joubert lined up eighth and seventh respectively.

Joubert drove a superb first race, fighting his way through to third, just one place behind Vos. However, his challenge fell apart in the second race when he was caught up in a first lap, multi-car accident. The incident forced him to pit for repairs, costing him two laps and dropping him to 13th place. With Vos winning the race, he lost third in the championship by just two points.

<pre> Race 1 (15 laps)

1 Giniel de Villiers  Nissan 19:41.280
2 Duncan Vos   Nissan 19:48.428
3 Deon Joubert  Opel  19:52.995
4 Terry Moss   Audi  19:55.476
5 Shaun van der Linde BMW  20:00.048
6 Silvio Scribante  Opel  20:03.642

Race 2 (17 laps)

1 Duncan Vos   Nissan 24:18.413
2 Giniel de Villiers  Nissan 24:18.723
3 Shaun van der Linde BMW  24:25.638
4 Anthony Taylor  Audi  25:26.057
5 M. da Cunha   Nissan 25:56.021

Drivers' championship - final points standing:

1 Giniel de Villiers  Nissan 262 points
2 Shaun Watson-Smith Opel  182
3 Duncan Vos   Nissan 157
4 Deon Joubert  Opel  155
5 Anthony Taylor  Audi  121
6 Mark Peters   Nissan 117

Manufacturers' championship points:

1 Nissan 588 points 2 Opel 338 3 Audi 220 4 BMW 171

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