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