The Turismo Carretera tournament is a box of surprises. Always has something to impress the fans and everyone. The headline says that Juan Pablo Gianini (Ford No. 51) took this fifteenth round disputed at Nueve de Julio circuit and that Ernesto Bessone (Dodge No. 7) continues with big, big chances of taking this 2003 T.C. Championship.
Reading this is not clear why this happened, but after with the following lines will be easier.
This time a rainy journey on saturday was the condiment for a different qualifying session.
When the saturday activity was over, the classification put Norberto Fontana (Dodge No. 115) as the fastest, followed by Javier Balzano (Chevrolet No.28), R. Urretavizcaya (Ford No. 18) and Jose Ricciardi (Ford No. 29). Somes of the names no usualy fighting the top positions.
Both contenders for the title, Guillermo Ortelli (Chevrolet No. 1) and Christian Ledesma (Chevrolet No. 5), and Marcos Di Palma (Chevrolet No. 6) were involved in a stupid accident in the last moments of the session that complicated the aspirations for them.
The top four dirvers in the standings ended the day like this: Ortelli: 37th, Ledesma: 32th., Bessone: 23th. and Omar Martinez (Ford No. 2): 17th.
On sunday the weather improved and dawned sunny. A great racing day for the thousands of fans around the circuit.
After the three short morning races, the gird for the main event showed some changes in the different rows. Fontana was 46th after some problems with his car.
The starting grid for the main race saw Gianini in first place after he won the fastest short race of the morning, followed by Urrtavizcaya, Gustavo Tadei (Ford No. 21), Ricciardi, Jose Guarnaccia (Ford No. 32) and J.M. Traverso (Chevrolet No. 39) in the top six positions. The championship contenders were: Bessone was 9th., Martinez 11th., Ledesma 23rd. and Ortelli 25th. The show was secure.
Already in the first lap started the frictions between some drivers. The result was the end of the day for Ortelli, who couldn`t avoid hit Ponce de Leon (Ford No. 23)`s car when he was crossed in the middle of the track. One of the worst weekends for the champion in a long time.
When the Pace Car retired in lap 4, we finally had full speed for the first time.
After 8 laps, Gianini was confortably in the ladership always with Urretavizcaya in second.
Bessone started to use the potential of his car decided to take advantage of Ortelli`s bad race.
Quickly was sixth, while Martinez was also in a good rhytmn in the top ten.
Gianini in the first place with no problem and Bessone using all his experience showing how to driver a T.C. racing car, something no easy.
Ten laps completed and Bessone was fifth with the fastest laps of the race. It was a matter of time for him be in the dispute for the podium.
Ledesma was also trying to advance and cut the difference of 5 points with Ortelli. The other Chevrolet contender was 17th.
Martinez, the last Ford driver with chances for take the tournament lost many of those chances when a puncture made him retire in lap 12. He lost a big opportunity in this race.
Every lap completed was for Bessone a better position in the classification. In lap 13th he overtook Guarnaccia fighting for fourth and a lap later was the moment of Urretavizcaya to losse his position in the hands of the Dodge men for the championship.
Bessone started the race ninth and was second already. However the gap built by Gianini in the first part of the race seemed to be impossible to cut for Bessone.
But as I said in the beginning, T.C. is a box of sorprises and the Pace Car appeared in the 19th. lap because of a car in bad position.
The Pace Car left the track with only two laps of speed before the chequered flag and Gianini felt that there was a Dodge behind wating a mistake of him to take the leadership. However that mistake never shown up and Gianini became in a new winner in Turismo Carretera.
Before started his activity in racing cars, Gianini developed his carreer during many years as a bike ryder with experience in Europe. When the lack of support became impossible for him continue in the bikes, Gianini decided to try luck in cars in 2000 in Argentina.
After a couple of season in National Touring cars, Juan Pablo jumped to T.C. in 2002, and in his 22th. race in the category reached his first victory driving as an experience driver of only 25 years.
Despite the great perfonmance of Gianini, Bessone`s race and the way the standings finished after this round took the attention of everyone.
One points of difference between three drivers is the way the category will arrive to the season close that will be held at Buenos Aires Speed Way on November 30th.
The ninth final position gave Ledesma back the leadership in the championship with 178,5 points. Bessone jumped to second with 178, while Ortelli has 177,5. Despite he retired, Martinez still has his chances in this 2003 season, but more complicated. He has 159,5 and needs a miracle. But learn this lesson: The Turismo Carretera is a big box of sorprises. Just be ready.