It was a fantastic race. One more time the TC 2000 gave a great sample of good racing in the circuit of San Rafael, province of Mendoza, place of the tenth round of the 2003 championship. After an excellent argued for all the positions during...
It was a fantastic race. One more time the TC 2000 gave a great sample of good racing in the circuit of San Rafael, province of Mendoza, place of the tenth round of the 2003 championship.
After an excellent argued for all the positions during the 50 laps of competition, Fabián Yannantuoni took his first victory in TC 2000 followed by his teammate and team owner, Oscar Fineschi, both with Honda Civic. Chevrolet Astra driver, Marcos Di Palma finished for the first time in the top three and completed the podium.
Yes, Yannantuoni won driving in a great way, but the other main driver of this race was J.M. Silva with the factory Honda Civic.
Silva took the qualifying session on saturday and comfortably won the fastest of the two morning short races of sunday. The other was for Nelson García with a Ford Escort.
At 12:45 started the main race with Silva in the leadership followed by Yannantuoni, who in a great move jumped from third to second, Guillermo Ortelli, García and Omar Martínez in the top five places.
Norberto Fontana started from the back of the field and after only one lap was already 18th. trying to pass more competitors.
All the divers knew one thing: this was a long race (50 laps) and there was no reason to loose all the chances in the first turn.
In lap 9 the Pace Car did his only appearence in the race to move Armellini`s Chevrolet Astra that was in a bad position.
In the re-start Garía said sourprise and passed Yannantuoni for the second place. Quickly the Ford driver went to overtake Silva, but the 1999 champion covered all the possibilities, while García with a great car in his hands made a mistake and lost until sixth position.
With 20 laps completed the gap between Silva (leader) and Christian Ledesma (fourth) was only 0,77s. Amazing.
While there were changes in all the positions, Silva seemed very comfortable in the leadership.
The two main championship contenders Ponce de León and Fontana were both in different battles. The Ford Focus driver was eighth fighting with the lack of grip in his car and Norberto eleventh looking for points in a very hard weekend for him.
The factory Honda driver, Ortelli fought all the race for the podium but once again the problems appeared for him and retired in lap 29 with many bumps in his machine.
Fineschi and Di Palma almost in silence were already fifth and sixth and trying to advance even more with very good cars this weekend.
A very bad sunday had the factory Chevrolet ProRacing team. Both drivers, Marcelo Bugliotti and Ledesma retired. Bugliotti in lap sixth when he lost control of the car and his teammate with mechanics problems in the Astra after 40 laps of hard fight to get some points at San Rafael.
With only six laps to finish the competition, J.M. Silva, the man that led all the race started to have problems in the gearbox of his Civic. It was the end for the Honda Racing Argentina team. A victory here would be very important for the championship, but Silva leave the circuit with nothing but sadness in his face.
The mechanics problems are something usual in the HRA team. Many times were for Ortelli and now Silva suffered it in what maybe is a key moment for the aspirations to became 2003 champion.
With Silva out of the conversation, Yannantuoni took the lead neat followed by García, but quickly the young driver built an interesting gap and crossed the chequered flag in first position for the first time in 54 races in TC 2000. García`s Ford was with grip problems and received a hit from Fineschi in the last lap because of that. Finally Fineschi arrived second and García 14th. far away.
This result was something that Fabián was waiting since a long time. Remember the difficult moment lived by him a year ago when he was suspended for failing a drug test. After six month of no activity Yanantuoni returned this year in the third rounf at Trelew. Always with the support of his family, his girlfriend and Fineschi`s team, who believed in him and saved his car for the moment of the return. Yanantuoni left all behind and now enjoys his best moment since his debut in the series in 1998. A nice future is right there for him.
¨This is for the team that gave me a great car that allowed me fight for the victory. This is an excellent moment and I want to thank my mother and all the people that supported me in the bad times. The race was as we thinked it would be and the car worked in a great way, I believed we could attack Silva in the end¨, commented the new winner of the category.
Fineschi also lived an amazing day as driver and as team owner. Despite the 1-2 and historical day for Fineschi Racing, Oscar doesn`t forget that race at Salta a couple of month ago, when he won but failed the stall test in the post-race. ¨With those 20 points I would be third in the standings and fighting the championship¨, and quickly added: ¨I couldn`t ask more for this race. About the team I feel proud of give Fabián a car to get the victory. Is a shame the friction with García. I tried not to bump him but I couldn`t¨, said Fineschi.
Marcos Di Palma completed at San Rafael not only his best result in his seven races sicne his debut in TC 2000. This was the best race for him in all the season adding the Turismo Carretera and the National Touring cars races. For the first time in a long time Di Palma drove using the head and gave him his award. His first podium something unexpected before the race.
¨It won`t be easy to forget my first podium in TC 2000. The thruth is that the track liked me since I met it, is quick and is the kind of track I feel more comfortable driving a TC 2000. The Astra was great and it wasn`t by accident, we passed lots of cars and was because the work done by the Armellini team¨, completed the most popular driver in Argentina.
The fight for the championship continues very close between Ponce de León and Fontana.
Ponce arrived fourth and leads the standings with 86 points. The former F1 driver passed 23 cars to finished sixth. Another excellent race for the driver number one of Toyota. Fontana has 81 units.
Silva and Walter Henández (fifth today) are both with 68 points and still with chances to fight until the end.
The TC 2000 circus will move to Buenos Aires on October 12th. for the elventh round of a great season.