Jose Maria Lopez equalled his best result of the year with a fine third place in a wet F3000 race at Spa.
Jose Maria Lopez equalled his best result of the year with a fine third place in a wet F3000 race at Spa. The Renault Driver Development squad member scored a similar result at Monaco back in May.
A winner at Spa in Formula Renault 2000 and in Renault V6, Lopez qualified his CMS Performance car excellent fourth in a session curtailed by rain.
'In free practice I was quite fast, despite a mistake in the last sector. I was quite confident for qualifying but we went out a little bit late, so it started to rain a little bit, and some other guys had a clean lap. I was a little bit unlucky. But it's a circuit I like a lot and I felt really confident.'
The race was run in wet conditions throughout, although as the track dried it suited Jose's set-up less. After relieving Tomas Enge of third he was right behind second placed man Vitantonio Liuzzi at the end of the race.
'I struggled a little bit with the wet set-up, but I felt much better after the pit stop. I was pushing and going very fast, and in fact I passed Tomas Enge very easily. I caught Liuzzi in the last three laps. I didn't know it was the last lap so I was still trying to pass him. I needed one or two laps more to finish second, but I'm happy with this result. I needed it, and it's good for me and the team. We did a good job since we arrived here on Friday. I like this track a lot, and I always did a good result, so I'm very happy.'
Jose was delighted to get on the podium after some frustrating weekends in the middle of the season.
'I was quite quick in the beginning, but I was making a lot of mistakes, and it was not good for me. In Monaco when I did the third place I started to be quieter, and then we had some problems with the set-up of the car, and some problems from me, some mistakes. But I was always quick in races. I didn't do a lot of races in my career with wet conditions, so I keep learning. In Hungary it was wet and I was really slow because of the set-up, so I really wanted to do a good result here.'
Jose currently lies sixth in the championship, but is just five points away from fourth place. The final race in the 20-year history of F3000 takes place at Monza in a fortnight.
'I hope the last race in Monza is going to be the same or better as here. I know it very well, and I've won there so I like the track.'