Norberto Fontana took yesterday his second victory in seven days. This time the scenary was the fourth round of the Argentinian Touring Car Championship (TC 2000) disputed at Paraná raceway. Behind the Toyota Corolla, Gabriel Furlán, new leader in the standings, and Guillermo Ortelli completed the podium.
During the preview, Fontana shown he was a candidate to fight for the victory. However a bad qualifying session and a more complicated perfonmance in the short morning race of sunday put the former champion in twelfth position in the main`s event grid.
Fontana started the race decided to advance positions and quickly was already seventh pushing hard the heels of his rivals.
Meanwhile the dispute in the lead places was between Marcelo Bugliotti and Furlán. The Chevrolet driver enjoyed the first position until the problems in his Astra became more and more difficult to control. On lap 12th. Furlán could finally left behind Bugliotti, who also quickly lost second against the "twister" Fontana.
Furlán`s leadership time was a constant attempt to keep Fontana in the back, but the Mitsubishi realised the situation: ¨I didn`t stopped him because it was impossible¨, declared later Furlán.
Fontana in the first place put and end to the fight for the victory. The former CART driver built a good gap using all that the Corolla had.
The argued for the last step in the podium bacame in the most interesting situation in the track. Bugliotti held third place taking advantage of the gap between him and current fourth. However again, ten laps later Bugliotti was one more time car to car trying to maintain his position. Nicolás Vuyovich with the other Toyota and Ortelli pushed hard the Astra`s heels.
On lap 25th. Vuyovich was already third, and a lap later was Ortelli`s turn to pass Bugliotti in fight for fourth.
The final rush, the Toyota and the Peugeot changed places a couple of times, but it was Ortelli, who using all his experience passed the young driver in the last lap of the competition taking second podium of the season for the EF Racing.
In the front, all Fontana did in the end was to enjoy his return to victory in TC 2000 after almost 13 months without a visit to the highest step of the podium.
Besides Fontana became in the second driver that wins in Turismo Carretera and reapeats a week later in TC 2000. Juan M. Silva was the first in 1998.
"There are two different things (TC and TC 2000). May be I`m more happy with today`s victory bacause it was full speed from the start and it was come back to the good perfomance in the car", said the winner.
Two victories in the two most important series is not just luck. Fontana explains the reason: "I`m in a good moment because my mentality is very calm and that helps a lot¨.
Furlán was also happy with the second place. The last winner at San Juan took some really important points for the championship, however he says: "It`s nice to leads the standings, but now I`m not thinkking in be the champion. Of course I want a baceme champion, but we can`t forget all the time and work ahead of us", mentioned the Mitsubishi men.
A deserved podium achieved Ortelli and Peugeot at Paraná. The four times TC champion drove a claen and smooth race waiting for the right moment to attack. "This is a very good result while we wait for the new engines to arrive", said Ortelli. About the overtake moment, the third finisher explained: "I saw the Toyota moved a little and I put the car", simple as that makes it Ortelli.
Final top ten classification: Fontana, Furlán, Ortelli, Vuyovich, Bugliotti, Silva, Carlos Okulovich, Martín Basso, Oscar Fineschi and Mariano Bainotti.
Furlán has now an important advantage in the standings leading with 56 points followed by Christian Ledesma with 40 and Fontana is the new third with 36 units. Gabriel Ponce de León (34), Guillermo Ortelli (31) and Okulovich (28) complete top six places.
Next TC 2000 round will be on June 20th. at San Luis raceway.