Jean C. Ravier and Bas Leinders win with authority in World Series. Ricardo Zonta reaches two second positions in Albacete and stretches his advantage in Championship. Franck Montagny moves from second place in benefit of Leinders.
Albacete, 23rd June 2002 ? Jean Christophe Ravier (Epsilon by Graff) and Bas Leinders (KTR) pushed through to the victory in the third round of the Telefónica World Series by Nissan races hold in the Albacete circuit. Ricardo Zonta (Gabord Competición) stretches his advantage in standings after two 2nd positions in both races. Leinders reached overhaul Franck Montagny (Racing Engineering) in standings and holds second place in the Championship 29 points under the Brazilian. Albacete's races celebrated with a blazing heat: 40ºC and 60ºC on the track surface.
Jean Christophe Ravier won the opening 18-lap affair. He moved into first place after a fast start ahead of Ricardo Zonta and Andre Couto, who didn't take profit of his pole position. Ravier led the race from the beginning to the end: Zonta wasn't able to overhaul the French driver. Although the safety car appeared in lap 9th for an accident of Filiberti and spectators thought about a Zonta's offensive, Ravier gave a further boost and took his first victory of the season. He finished 2,6 seconds clear of second place driver, the Brazilian leader Ricardo Zonta, and 3,1 ahead of Bas Leinders. Franck Montagny was overhauled by his teammate Justin Wilson after the safety car disappeared and spoilt his chances of closing the gap in standings after finishing 5th. The winner Ravier also got the best lap circuit with 1:20.423.
Bas Leinders made a dominant performance in race two and crowned several week of hard work for his team. He started very well and lonely led the race form the beginning to the end. Ravier, the winner in race one, ruined his performance during his mandatory pit stop where he lost a lot of time. Ricardo Zonta and Franck Montagny made it at the same time but, while the exF-1 could secure the second place, the French driver lost again precious seconds with the change of his front wheels. Andre Couto worked hard and took profit of the French' team mistake: he finished 3rd.
Matteo Bobbi almost lose the leadership of the Fórmula Nissan 2000 Matteo Bobbi (Vergani Racing) arrived to Albacete as the solid leader of the category separated by 26 points from Borja García and leaves with the first place in standings but just 3 points over José Manuel Pérez-Aicart, García's team-mate in Circuit of Valencia team, who won the two races. Santiago Porteiro (Repsol Meycom) and Celso Míguez (Epsilon by Graff) finished on the rostrum both races. Bobbi finished 10th and 5th, scoring just 9 points.
Standings: 1. M. Bobbi, 83 points; 2. J.M. Pérez-Aicart, 80; 3. S. Porteiro, 70; 4. C. Míguez, 54; 5. B. García, 50; 6. J.A. del Pino, 44.
Adrián Vallés won both races again in the Spanish Formula Junior 1600 Championship As he did 15 days ago in Jarama, Adrián Vallés (Escuela Lois Circuit) took again a double victory in the Spanish Formula Junior 1600 Championship Junior, the first competition step in the Telefónica World Series by Nissan. As yesterday, he led from the beginning and won both races. In standings, Vallés has almost the double of points than the other drivers do.
Standings: 1. A. Vallés, 121 points; 2. R. Rodríguez, 61; 3. L. Orecchioni, 53; 4. V. Jaouen, 50; 5. A. Barba, 46; 6. M. Carol, 28.
The next meeting will take place at Monza (Italy) on 6 and 7 July in two weeks time.
"It has been a difficult weekend for us, but I leave Albacete very satisfied with two second positions because are really useful for standings. In second race my car wasn't as fast as I wanted, so I was forced to hold the second place". Bas Leinders
"Congratulations for my team because the victory is the result of a progressive improvement week over week. Zonta has three victories and me just one, but I challenge him for Monza. I want to battle for the Championship"
Jean Christophe Ravier
"I haven't won since 1999 in French F3. It's an honour for me to be in the podium. In the second race I had some problems in the pit stop, but pit stop is not only a strategy but a lottery" Andre Couto
"My first race was disappointing and, although finishing third in second race is very positive, the global result is not as good as we wished after the expectations all over the weekend"