Traverso is back to victory at Salta

Juan María Traverso returned to victory at the eighth round of Turismo Carretera Championship disputed at the "Martín M. de Guemes Raceway", located in Salta province. Juan M. Silva, new leader in the standings, and Christian Ledesma completed...

Juan María Traverso returned to victory at the eighth round of Turismo Carretera Championship disputed at the "Martín M. de Guemes Raceway", located in Salta province. Juan M. Silva, new leader in the standings, and Christian Ledesma completed the podium.

Since the beggining of 2002 season (when he re-joined the series) that Traverso is looking for his victory number 45 in TC. It took him two and half years, but it finally arrived. Finally!

Traverso, six times Turismo Carretera champion, arrived to Salta surely with good expectative. This is where the team is located and it is a circuit he knows very well due to his extense experience in racing cars.

Setting the fastest time on friday qualifying session and again on saturday, gave Traverso and his Torino the bag of candidate for the main competition of the weekend.

But it wasn`t easy. On sunday morning, Traverso lost the pole position for the main race in hands of the Ford driver Silva, winner of the fastest short morning race that defines the places in the starting grid.

However the third place in the grid didn`t close the intention of Traverso to fight for the victory.

Already in the very beggining, Traverso jumped to second place and quikcly started to push over Silva`s position, while Guillermo Ortelli tried to keep his Chevy on the track in the midle of the TC field.

Silva could held the leadership during the first five laps of competition. But that`s it. Traverso didn`t doubt of grabb the lead taking advantage of a small mistake in a brake point of the Ford men. The old driver put his Torino and, despite Silva`s attempt to maintain his place, there was a new leader at Salta.

From that moment Traverso started his runaway pushing hard the steady Torino to make a difference with the rest.

Meanwhile, the current champion Ernesto Bessone suffered with his Dodge in 13th. place trying to reach the top ten of the classification and Ortelli appeared 25th. in another complicated weekend for the four times champion.

Despite taking the victory a couple of weeks ago after two years, Marcos Di Palama seemed to return to his normal level in the series. The popular driver retired on lap 10 when he was 12th in the classification that was spoiled with a problem of overheating in the Chevrolet.

Traverso in the leadership tried to get a gap over Silva, who was more thinking in keep Ledesma behind than attack the Torino and re-take the first position.

Another bad result added Omar Martínez at this eighth round. The winner here last season retired with 15 laps completed with an engine problem that left the Ford out when was scoring sixth place.

The other important quit at Salta had Ortelli as main protagonist. The former champion get into the pits when was 24th. tired with the low perfonmance shown by the Chevrolet, leader in the standings until this competition. The changes in Ortelli`s team are getting closer as the season continues.

After the 24 laps of race, the chequered flag received the winner Traverso, who get back to the highest of a TC podium after 5 years. The last victory for him was on July 25th. 1999 at Balcarce Raceway driving a Ford in the road to his last championship in the series.

With the second position, Silva is the new leader in the standings with 99 points. Ortelli is now second with 92, near followed by both Ford drivers Walter Hernández (12th.) with 89, 5 and Rafael Verna (8th.). Two Dodges complete the top six places. Bessone (9th.) with 87,5 while Norberto Fontana (10th.) has 81,5.

The victory put Traverso seventh, along Martínez, with 80,5 and is now ready to fight for the championship. "This result put me in the fight for the championship", expressed the winner.

The "Oscar A. Galvez Raceway" will be the scenary for the ninth round on July 11th.

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