Christian Ledesma took yesterday the victory at Oberá Raceway, scenary of the sixth round of the Argentinian Touring Car Championship (TC 2000), at the wheel of a Chevrolet Astra. Juan Manuel Silva, Honda Civic, and Gabriel Furlán, with Mitsubishi Lancer, completed top three finishers.
It was another perfect weekend for Ledesma and the ProRacing Chevrolet team taking their third victory in six races and the second consecutive after the 1-2 three weekes ago at San Luis.
The 85kg.of ballast didn`t seemed to complicate Ledesma`s perfonmance in the twisted circuit of 2276 metres of lenght. "This is an special circuit and that`s why the ballast doesn't bother. In a faster track might be different", stated the winner.
Since the activity started on saturday, the Astra was always fighting the top places and sunday was no expection. Ledesma confortably led the one hour of race (it finished before because the Pace Car entered two times in the first part) and no one could even follow him.
"We were sourprised with the car. This is the result of the work done by the engineers before the weekend. In the main race I stayed cool after the gap I built over Silva. Now we must continue working to keep the leadership in the championship although we still have many races. I`m very happy with this victory", completed Ledesma, who visited the highest step of the podium for the fifth time in 19 races in the series.
Silva and Honda appeared as the main cadidates to achieve the victory after saturday qualifying session. But Ledesma changed things on sunday and the factory Honda driver took second place at Oberá.
It was a cool race for Silva, may be even boring. He iniciated the competition second and stayed behind the leader during the 34 laps of race and he was unable to fight for the victory against the overwhelming Astra.
However Silva didn`t took this result as bad. The 1999 champion visited the podium for the first time this season after a very complicated beggining in April.
The HRA and Silva specially, are in a good moment, improving the car race by race and yesterday perfomance was a sample of that.
"This is the first podium for the team this year and it leaves me in a good position in the championship. I hope we continue in this road. I couldn`t follow Ledesma, he had a very impressive rhythm. I feel like home here because I used to come here as a kid. I want a dedicate this to our dear Rubén Priotti (member of the team that passed away before the season started), today would it be his birthday", mentioned the second finisher.
Furlán continue adding good points foer the championship. The third place at Oberá confirms this condition of only Mitsubishi driver in the category.
Furlán iniciated the competition from seventh place and was already fourth after the first lap. The driver winner at San Juan this year, took third position on lap 6th. with a very good move over Fabián Yannantuoni`s Honda.
From that moment, Furlán drove a clean and smooth race. The podium was the best for him and completed thinking in add points for the championship argued.
"I`m very happy with today`s result. After San Luis race, we stayed to test and we continue knowing the car. We get a good rhythm, which is very important in this track. Ledesma was unbeatle for me. We keep in the fight for the tournament, although there`s a lot of races still", explained Furlán.
Another exellent race completed Esteban Tueron with the old Volkswagen Polo of his own private team. The former F1 driver started eighth and advance using all his experience and capacity in a track where he won in 2000. Tueron managed very well to take fourth position fighting against some factory drivers like Nicolás Vuyovich (Toyota Corolla) and Marcelo Bugliotti (Chevrolet Astra).
This weekend the series confirmed that will start the 2005 season on March 6th. at Buenos Aires sharing the scenary with the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
The standings shows Ledesma as leader with 85 points followed by Furlán with 69. Silva is the new third with 45 units while Guillermo Ortelli and Tuero completed with 41 top five places.
In three weeks, TC 2000 will continue at Oscar Cabalén Raceway in Córdoba province on July 25th.