FROM HECTOR SANCHEZ-ROSALDO
ARGENTINIAN WALDEMAR CORONAS WINS AGAIN IN THE MEXICAN INTERNATIONAL F-3
San Luis Potosi, S.L.P., Mexico, Nov. 1, '97.- After having started from the second spot in the grid alongside Irishman Derek Higgins, young Argentinian driver Waldemar Coronas won today in the Tangamanga Racetrack, having completed 40 laps to the 2,3 Km. (1.43 mile) permanent circuit in 50 minutes and 12 seconds.
As the race started, Derek Higgins shot out in front of the 17 car field, but in braking for the first sharp right hander, Waldemar was already beside him on the outside and Gilberto Jimenez on the inside, looking for the opportunity of an early pass even stepping over the grass. The three cars touched but Waldemar managed to drive around the mele^Ê in front of them while Derek and Gilberto's cars went sideways almost into the second turn. Both went on but Derek had to enter the pits to have his rear suspension repaired, which took the team two laps.
>From that moment on, the duel up front was between Baldi (Waldemar), Javier Collado the Costarrican Montana driver, and Luis. M. Diaz, Derek's Quaker State teammate.
All three knew that a win here would still put them into the '97 title point's race against Derek for this F.I.A. sanctioned International F-3. Particularly, Javier was lying 20 points behind Derek, a first place giving precisely 20 points, so he did his best to overtake Baldi, but every time he would almost step over his rival's rear wing, Baldi would drive away in the straights. Finally, Javier setteled for the 15 points of a second place, before burning out his brakes and tires.
Behind the front group mentioned, Eduardo Galicia driving a Perea Team car painted Pennzoil overnight, Carlos Peralta, Gilberto Jimenez, Rod MacLeod and Cesar Jimenez formed a second tight pack. Luis Diaz lost it entering the chicane and was out, so Gilberto who had passed Eduardo and Carlos, found himself in third place and he quickly picked up right behind his teammate Javier.
Carlos lost his fourth place when Derek coming out of the pit lane didn't care to wait for the traffic, making Carlos to brake which allowed Cesar to pass by and Rod, racing for the first time this year in his former boss' car (guillermo Oliveras), retired after 30 laps.
Driving upset Derek set the fastest race lap once the suspension was realigned, but it was Eduardo Galicia, who did an incredibly fast 67 flat second lap short before losing his right side pontoon.
When the chekered flag fell, Baldi crossed the finish line half a second ahead of Javier. Gilberto, Cesar and Carlos finished in the same lap and Eduardo Galicia with one less. Derek Higgins was seventh with 38 laps, one ahead of local Chencho Morales and rookie Lorenzo Mariscal who got his first two championship points.
Although the race marshall wouldn't make any statement, the media boys taped some very angry opinions about the first lap accident from Derek Higgins and Gilberto Jimenez. They or their teams seem to have presented written protests against each other, so this week we'll hear more about it.