The 45000 fans in the Oscar A. GÃ¡lvez Speedway (it could be more if it wasn`t for the rain of sartuday night) knew very well that the season close of the 2003 Turismo Carretera Championship will be fantastic. And it was, no doubt. Four drivers...
The 45000 fans in the Oscar A. Gálvez Speedway (it could be more if it wasn`t for the rain of sartuday night) knew very well that the season close of the 2003 Turismo Carretera Championship will be fantastic. And it was, no doubt.
Four drivers arrived with mathematics chances of fight for the number ¨1¨: Christian Ledesma (Chevrolet No. 5 / 178,5 points), Ernesto Bessone (Dodge No. 7 / 178p), Guillermo Ortelli (Chevrolet No. 1 / 177,5p) and Omar Martínez (Ford No. 2 / 159,5p).
After three weeks, since the last round, finally arrived the activity moment in the track.
On saturday Martínez took the fastest lap followed by Diego Aventín (Ford No. 3), Ortelli, Ariel Pacho (Torino No. 36), Gabriel Ponce de León (Ford No. 23) and Marcos Di Palma (Chevrolet No. 6) in the top six places. The other championship contenders finished: Bessone in 13th., while Ledesma lived a very complicated journey with his 24th. place.
Sunday dawned rainy but after the three short qualifying races of the morning, the moment of the main event arrived with good conditions.
Aventín started from the front row with Ortelli, while Martínez was 6th., Bessone 12th, and Ledesma only 14th.
The green light appeared and 46 machines iniciated an historical competition.
In the third lap the Pace Car made it only appearence of the race for a couple of laps due to an accident between Norberto Fontana (Dodge No. 115) and José L. Ricciardi (Ford No. 29) leaving both out of the conversation.
Already in the re-start, Martínez began to push over Ortelli`s position knowing very well he must argued for the victory. Ortelli, always using his head, didn`t fight with Martínez. The third place was enough for his fifth championship. At least at that moment.
With eight laps completed, Aventín was confortably leading, with Martínez getting closer while Bessone took seventh place.
Ledesma suffered all the day with the lack of the power in his engine, a very important problem in a circuit like this where a good engine might be the key for a good result, and Christian never had it.
Bessone continued with his very good rhytmn and overtook Marcos Di Palma (Chevrolet No. 6) for sixth.
After fifteen laps was evident the dispute for the leadership between both Ford drivers, Aventín and Martínez, and Ortelli seemed to be all under control in his Chevrolet.
But as we well know, the Turismo Carretera is a box of sourprises and is always ready to give the fans something else.
In lap 17th. the champion started to shown problems in the brake moment. He quickly lost two positions in hands of Eduardo Ramos (Ford No. 20) and Ponce de León. In that moment Ortelli was fifth and Bessone sixth.! The 45000 fans all around the circuit couldn`t believe it.
The end for the Chevrolet hopes was right there and it came when Ortelli lost control trying to take the chicane and when out of track leaving the Chevrolet fans out of breath.
In that moment the championship passed to Bessone and his box was on fire waiting for the chequered flag.
Bessone completed those last laps using all his experience in racing cars tryaing not to loose concentration.
With Ortelli a lap behind and Ledesma 11th., Martínez tried everything to overtake Aventín waiting for a miracle that never came. The Ford driver lost control of his car in the moment he used his last card to take the leadership. Finally arrived seventh with the honour of leave all in the track.
After the 24 laps of race, the 1,2,3 was for Ford with Aventín in the highest followed by Ramos and Ponce de León. Bessone finished fourth and took his first championship in Turismo Carretera.
The crowd quickly invaded the track sharing the hapiness with Bessone, who almost couldn`t reach the podium due to the fans and the media around.
During many years Bessone waited for a moment like this and it finally arrived. ¨This title in T.C. is the most important of all my carreer¨, he commented.
With 45 years, Bessone joined Traverso as the only drivers that won the T.C. and T.C. 2000 championships. ¨It arrived as old man, but finally arrived¨, said the new king.
The Turismo Carretera is the most important series in Argentina with over 60 years of history and only a champion knows how important is this. Bessone knows it very well and is his moment of enjoy this achieve.