Max points for Wakefield as Zwart wins Championship! Le Mans, France, Sunday 9th November 2003: Londoner Max Wakefield, having made the perfect start in heavy rain to take the lead by the end of the pit straight, drove his Benetton Judd to a ...
Max points for Wakefield as Zwart wins Championship!
Le Mans, France, Sunday 9th November 2003: Londoner Max Wakefield, having made the perfect start in heavy rain to take the lead by the end of the pit straight, drove his Benetton Judd to a superb victory, his first for three years. Despite the best efforts of Dutchman Klaas Zwart, winner of four races this season, Wakefield proved the master of the wet race, eventually taking the chequered flag with a 25 second lead. Zwart finished in second place to deservedly secure the Championship title.
Wakefield, in his Zig Zag Mansell prepared Benetton, had started from the third row on the grid and his chances of a win looked remote with both Championship leader Klaas Zwart and second placed Nick Dalli in front of him. These two had dominated the season in the all-conquering Judd-powered Ascari's and Dalli, following his recent success in the European F3000 race at Jerez, looked especially fast as he posted his intention in qualifying with a blistering lap of 1.24.889 to take pole.
The wet race conditions made driving difficult and it was not surprising that the fast and exciting racing that has become a hallmark of EuroBOSS was replaced with a much more cautious race of self-preservation. Spin featured almost as prominently as it does at a Labour Press Conference with even the eventual winner suffering a major scare midway through the race. Somehow he managed to stay away from the gravel.
In the EuroBOSS Masters Class Bernie Harris in a Lola Beatrice/Hart won the class and with it the Championship, whilst in F3000 a fascinating battle took place between Championship contenders, Roger Kilty and Frank Lyons. Racing nose to tail, the Lola Cosworth of Lyons made contact with the Reynard Cosworth of Kilty and both were forced to retire as Belgian Kamiel De Brue impressively won the class, finishing in fifth place overall. With four wins during 2003 Kilty secured a second consecutive EuroBOSS F3000 title.
The poor weather also forced the withdrawal of Tom Coronel who was also due to race in the 1000km sportscar race that followed EuroBOSS and considered the treacherous conditions presented too much of a risk.