Speed By Name...
Outstanding since the start of the season, Scott Speed (Motopark Academy) has had his share of ups and downs this year. At Hockenheim, though, the young American was untouchable. On Saturday he took the chequered flag after 17 laps, ahead of Kochem (Jenzer Motorsport) and Pagenaud (Graff Racing), which moves the Frenchman to the top of the overall standings.
At the green light, polemen Speed kept his advantage and led the pack into turn one followed by Fleming, who had moved past Kofler. Kochem and Pagenaud were locked in battle behind them, but as they went into lap two, Kofler (JD Motorsport) made a mistake that would end the young Austrian's race. Up front, Speed had all guns blazing, lapping faster each time round, while Pagenaud took second place back from Kochem.
Further back, Strouss (Mr Glow Motorsport) and Claessens (JD Motorsport) were trying to pull back up to the lead group, but Speed, Fleming, Pagenaud and Kochem were setting a blistering pace. For the first time in Eurocup 2004 we had two Americans leading the pack, but on lap 7 Fleming's car slowed down and was eaten up by the chasing group. In the end, he finished down in 11th position. Meanwhile, Pagenaud's superb overtaking manoeuvre moved him up to second place.
With his biggest rival no longer in his mirrors, Speed took control of the race and increased the gap to nearly 6.2 seconds on lap 10. With the American running away with it, the chasing group also had their feet to the floor. Kochem was pushing hard, and was finally rewarded on lap 10 as he got past Pagenaud and into second place. He also took the fastest lap time twice, on lap 12 and 14.
The battle for points down the field was intense, with Strouss, Walz and Claessens fighting tooth and nail, and Fleming staging an amazing comeback. At the finish line, Speed raised his fist to take the victory that was his from the start, while Kochem's second place confirms him as a rival for the title and his excellent start to the season. Pagenaud's podium finish will make him a happy man, as it moves him to the top of the leaderboard.
<pre> Race 1. Classification 1) Speed 28'37''055 2) Kochem 03''920 3) Pagenaud 06''968 4) Strouss 08''928 5) Walz 09''440 6) Fleming 16''646 7) Fechner 18''349 8) Claessens 18''948 9) Ammermuller 19''342 10) Maassen 19''708