International news - 16 November

Macau - Opel scores 1-2 in controversial Macau F3 GP... Int. Gp N - Opel wins series at Vallelunga... Sud-Am - Opel takes a 1-2 at Taruma... 16.11.97 Macau - Opel scores...

Macau - Opel scores 1-2 in controversial Macau F3 GP... Int. Gp N - Opel wins series at Vallelunga... Sud-Am - Opel takes a 1-2 at Taruma... 16.11.97

Macau - Opel scores 1-2 in controversial Macau F3 GP...

Victory in the 44th Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix went to 1996 French Formula 3 champion, Soheil Ayari driving a Dallara/Opel, converted his pole position into a win ahead of new French F3 champion, Patrice Gay, in another Dallara/Opel. Brazil’s Enrique Bernoldi (Dallara/Renault) took the podium place. But it was another controversial Macau Grand Prix as the race was cut short after a total of 27-laps when Max Angelelli (Dallara/Opel) stopped and retired out on the circuit, his car parked in such a position as to block the track and stop the race.

Further Opel success came from Andre Couto, the young Macau-born Portuguese driver finishing fifth with Spain’s Oriol Servia sixth. Rounding off the top 10 was Argentina’s Sebastian Martino, who this year has been contesting the Japanese championship in a Dallara/Opel.

Fastest lap went to pre-race favourite and winner of the Marlboro Masters F3 race, Tom Coronel (TOM’S/Toyota) who classified as the last finisher in 13th place after stopping three laps previously.

At a meeting of the race organisers it was decided that Angelelli deliberately blocked the track and disqualified him from the meeting. The decision was reached after the race stewards consulted data logging information. The race stewards decided further to refer the matter to the sport’s governing body, the FIA World Council, proposing he should have his licence suspended for a period of 90 days.

Race

1        Soheil Ayari (F)                Dallara/Opel
2        Patrice Gay (F)                Dallara/Opel
3        Enrique Bernoldi (BR)        Dallara/Renault
4        Mark Webber (AUS)        Dallara/Honda
5        Andre Couto (P)                Dallara/Opel
6        Oriol Servia (E)                Martini/Opel

Int. Gp N - Opel wins series at Vallelunga...

In a nail-biting finale, Wolfgang Savelsbergh completed his year-long aim when, on Saturday, he took enough points from a third-in-class finish in the 6 Hours of Vallelunga race in Italy, to win this year’s FIA International Group N Series in his 2.0-liter Mühlner Motorsport Opel Astra.

He went to this final round as series leader, but his hoped faded early in the race when this Astra’s front left tyre began to wear following some enthusiastic driving on the abrasive track surface - a similar problem hit the other two team Mühlner Astras that were entered. This also caused a driveshaft breakage and a lengthy pit-stop dropped Savelsbergh and his co-driver, Eric Neve, down the order to hold fifth place in class - he needed to finish at least third to beat title rival Stefan Van Dyke (BMW).

After some careful team management in the final laps of the race, the two Astras of his team-mates Dirk Adorf/Heinz Josef Bermes and Peter Wyss/Stefan Lenert dropped back to let Savelsbergh through into third place - all three Opel crossing the finish line in formation - to see him win the title for the second consecutive year.

FIA International Gp N - final positions:

1        Wolfgang Savelsbergh (D)                Opel                 96 points
2        Stefan Van Dyke (B)                BMW                93.5
3        Ian Khan (GB)                        BMW                87
4        Michel Luxem (B)                        BMW                83
5        Graham Elliot (GB)                        Honda                74
        Brian Stilwell (GB)                        Honda                74
7        Eric Neve (F)                                Opel                71

Sud-Am - Opel takes a 1-2 at Taruma...

Flavio Figueiredo dominated the eighth round of the South American Touring Car Championship when his Vectra won the 34-lap race at Taruma, marking the first victory in the series for a Brazilian driver. His victory came ahead of second placed Javier Balzano in another Vectra, his result lifted him into contention for the champion’s title - he also took fastest lap.

Figueiredo led from start to finish after claiming pole position to completely dominate the race.

Race

1        Flavio Figueiredo                Vectra
2        Javier Balzano                Vectra
3        Osvaldo Lopez                Alfa Romeo
4        Arnesto Bessone                BMW
5        Emiliano Spataro                BMW
6        Oscar Larrauri                BMW

Sudam Touring Cars - after 8 rounds:

1        Osvaldo Lopez                Alfa Romeo        89 points
2        Oscar Laurrauri                BMW                88
3        Javier Balzano                Vectra                78        

For information: Steve Fellows, ProAction Tel: +44 1480 494060

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