Matías Rossi took today his first ever victory in the Argentinian Touring Car Championship (TC 2000) at the wheel of a factory Chevrolet Astra at Paraná Raceway, where Martín Basso, with a works Honda Civic, and Esteban Tuero in a Volkswagen Polo completed the podium positions.
Unexected. Like that was the victory of Rossi. The first for the 21 years old driver in it third race in TC 2000. Rossi made it debut in the category last season in the `200 km. of Buenos Aires` sharing the Peueot 307 with Guillermo Ortelli. For 2005, Rossi received the call of the champion team Pro Racing to join current nº 1, Christian Ledesma in the second factory Chevrolet Astra.
Rossi claimed a great result, despite he wasn`t among the candidates for the victory. However the races should be run, and on lap 18 an oil stain in the track complicated the road for Juan M. Silva, Norberto Fontana and Tuero, that were fighting for the victory. With this situation, Rossi jumped from fourth to the leadership in just one turn.
"I`m very moved. In this circuit I was close to win in Turismo Carretera and I couldn`t, but I did it in TC 2000", commented the winner after the podium ceremony and he added: "It`s a big emotion to do it with Chevrolet. I want a thanks to my family and everybody who supported me", he said.
This is the first importat result for Rossi, who compites in the two most important series in Argentina: TC (a second place at Mar de Ajó in 2004 is his best) and TC 2000. The only championship for him was in 2002 the Formula Super Renault.
As the victory for Rossi, the second place was a sourprise for Basso. The former Formula Atlantic driver was benefited with the oil curcunstance and passed from being the wrost Honda of the HRA team on Saturday to be the one that was in the podium. Races are races. "I never imagine to reach the podium. In the practice I couldn`t find the right set-up. I tried with Yanantuoni`s and Silva`s without good results, so I stayed here last night until the end and today the car was better", mentioned Basso about his weekend from less to more. "Thanks to the changes during the race I could be second", he stated.
Different to Rossi and Basso, who "found" the podium, Tuero fought all the race for be in the top three and so he did.
The former Minardi driver in Formula One, shown again how competitive still could be the Volkswagen Polo of his own private team.
Tuero drove a clean and smooth race from the start to the chequered flag. The former Honda driver was in the argue for the leadership along Silva and Fontana when the oil stain complicated the three of them, but it was Tuero who took the best part after all. "I made a smooth race at the beginning, and when Fontana passed me I left him to fight the first place. The oil in the track changed the story, but luckly I am in the podium", expressed Tuero.
As in the openning round at Buenos Aires, Silva and Fontana were the two that fought for the victory, but again left Paraná handless of a good result. Silva returned to the track on fifth after the oil, but retired with an engine problem three laps before the end. For the Toyota men, the things were similar, although Fontana`s failure in the Corolla started some moments before the oil issue. Finally he also retired with no points .
Things aren`t ok for the two former champions. Silva can`t win in TC 2000 since the 2003 season at Fontana`s last time was on Juin of last season at this same circuit.
The other factory team that was the candidate was Ford with Gabriel Ponce de León. He leaded until lap ninth when the engine made him left the competition.
After two rounds, the standings shows Rossi and the new leader with 29 points, followed by Emiliano Spataro with 23, current champion, Christian Ledesma, 20, Basso, 16 and Ortelli with 15 units in the top five places.
The season of TC 2000 will continue at Viedma, Río Negro province on April 17th.