For the fourth time in eight rounds of the Argentinain Touring Car Championship (TC 2000), Christian Ledesma arrived to victory at Concordia Raceway. However this time was different for the factory Chevrolet Astra team driver, who took the first...
For the fourth time in eight rounds of the Argentinain Touring Car Championship (TC 2000), Christian Ledesma arrived to victory at Concordia Raceway. However this time was different for the factory Chevrolet Astra team driver, who took the first place when Gabriel Ponce de León, winner in the track, was disqualified because of an irregularity in the rear wing of his Ford Focus.
The 42 laps of competition were a clear dominium of Ponce de León at Concordia, located in Entre Ríos province. But once again, like in last may at San Juan, the current champion received the bad news that his car was out of rules.
The resolution was taken two and a half hours after the race was finished, and it also involved Crispín Beitía` Ford Focus that arrived in fourth place, who started the competition 29th.
The problem in both Ford Focus, one of the factory team and the other private, was that the distance between the rear wing and the trunk should be of 100 milimeters, which didn`t happened on the Ford Focus in question.
"When I left the press conference, people of my team told me that was some problem with the car. Obviously, I`m sorry for what happened. We must continue working and try to cut this bad line of results", commented Ponce de León, with his coolness of always, when he was noticed that we would leave Concordia handless.
Oreste Berta jr, team owner of both cars, had also something to explain: "We take full responsability for the mistake, but we are using that kind of wing since a long time, so it passed many revisions without problems", said Berta jr, while he added "that this situation doesn`t changed to perfomance of the car in the track".
With Ponce de León out, Ledesma gave the Chevrolet Pro Racing team it fifth victory (Ledesma took four, and the other his teamate Marcelo Bugliotti) after eight races of the 2004 season, which translates in Ledesma as confortable leader in the standings with 119 points, two races ahead of Gabriel Furlán who mentionned that the Mitsubishi Lancer "was to slow", and retired, has 70 points.
When it rest six races for the season close, who can say that Ledesma isn`t already the champion? Well, he can. "It is a good advantage, but is not definitive. Surely the other teams will improve, we must keep working", was the lukewarm word of someone who is in his best moment of the season, after the vicoty of a week ago in Turismo Carretera that also put him in the fight of that championship too.
About the race, Ledesma only said: "I don`t like to win like this. But we can use the points".
The only Fors Focus that survived to the look of the stwards was the on driven by Diego Aventín, who put his machine on second place overall, and visited the podium for the second time this year.
Aventín had an interesting dispute with Ledesma and tried during all the race to pass the Astra, but despite the difference in the ballast, it was impossible for Aventín to find a hole in the twisty circuit of Concordia.
Another great result added Esteban Tuero at the wheel of his old, but reliable Volkswagen Polo. The former driver of Minardi in Formula One arrived on third place with the car of his own private team. Another sample that in this new TC 2000 of 2004, there`s no need to drive a factory car to fight the front places.
The Honda and Toyota team had another bad weekend and their chances in the championship are far away race by race. In the Honda Racing Argentina side, Juan M. Silva retired when was running six. Fabián Yannantouni and Martín Basso ended the race seventh and tenth respectively with many bumps in their cars.
Nicolás Vuyovich was the best Toyota Corolla with the eigth final position, however his teamate and former champion, Norberto Fontana, lived another weekend full of problems with his car and retired on lap seven when was running on a poor tenth place.
The TC 2000 shedule will return to Córdoba on August 29th. for the ninth round at Río Cuarto Raceway.