CARBONE ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP PODIUM IN WORLD SERIES BY RENAULT
Brazilian driver Fabio Carbone has finished third in this year's World Series by Renault, after an excellent season in which he claimed three race victories. A brave drive in Barcelona, where he overcame severe food poisoning to record two solid race finishes, meant that he secured a well-deserved championship podium at the end of the year.
Barcelona hosted the final round of the closely-fought World Series by Renault, at the well-known Circuit de Catalunya that also stages the Spanish Grand Prix. The weather at the Barcelona circuit is usually warm, making it a favoured test venue, but conditions were so wet on Saturday morning that the usual superpole session had to be abandoned due to repeated red flags.
Although Fabio qualified for superpole, its abandonment meant that only the usual morning qualifying would determine the grid. Unfortunately, the Brazilian's best time in the earlier session was interrupted by more red flags, so 12th place on the grid for race one was by no means representative of his ample pace. Once the lights went to green Fabio soon set to work, and despite having to dodge several on-track incidents, he crossed the chequered flag in fifth place to add more precious points to his total.
"It was a little bit crazy out there," commented Fabio after the race. "Under the circumstances, the best I could do was steer clear of other peoples' accidents. Unfortunately the weather conditions didn't work in our favour, as they meant that we did not have the chance to show what we could do during the superpole session."
Race two -- the final encounter of the 2008 World Series by Renault -- saw Fabio again start from 12th on the grid. Adding to his problems was the fact that he was suffering from severe food poisoning, which had affected him right from the start of the Spanish weekend. He did his usual great job to make up two places and end the race 10th, securing third place in this year's` World Series by Renault drivers' championship.
"I really didn't feel well so it was not an easy weekend for me," added Fabio. "From the start, it was really just a question of surviving and doing the best job that I could. I knew we had the chance to finish in the top three of the championship, so it was important to stay calm and not make any mistakes. It's been a very good year, so I'm pleased that we managed to finish it with a clean race, and on the final podium at the end of the season. I'd like to thank Ultimate Signature for doing a great job in what was only their first year."
Barry Walsh, Ultimate Signature's joint team principal, said: "Congratulations also to Fabio for an amazing season. This has been a fantastic adventure for all of us, and now we look forward to more new challenges in the future."
Fabio will now concentrate on physical training and putting the finishing touches to his plans for the 2009 season, which he hopes to announce shortly.