Franck Montagny became the Superfund World Series by Nissan champion with a dominant win at Barcelona. The Gabord Competicion driver made an exemplary start to lead into the first corner and was never headed in the 17-lap sprint race. The win ...
Franck Montagny became the Superfund World Series by Nissan champion with a dominant win at Barcelona. The Gabord Competicion driver made an exemplary start to lead into the first corner and was never headed in the 17-lap sprint race. The win ensured him the title, and he showed his delight by slowing across the line to stop in front of his pits before smoking his tyres as he set off on an emotional in-lap.
He said: "I have to say a big thank you to Gabord. They are the best team I have ever worked with. It was a magic race for us and I am very happy."
Montagny's celebrations appeared tame compared to those of race two winner, Ander Vilarino. It was the Epsilon Euskadi driver's first ever win in the series and he wowed the crowd by performing a series of 'doughnuts' in front of the main grandstand at the end of the race.
Vilarino said: "This is an extraordinary feeling. I said after the third place in Austria that I was going to try to win some of the remaining races. One win, one pole and a second is amazing. This championship has some good drivers and I have shown when the car is good I can race with them."
Vilarino finished a comfortable second in race one after Tata Team Carlin's Narain Karthikeyan made a small mistake and ran wide, dropping him back from third to fourth, handing a podium finish to the second Epsilon car of Jean Christophe Ravier.
Karthikeyan pushed Vilarino hard in the second race, and looked set to snatch the lead during the pitstops, but he was baulked on his in-lap by KTR's Felix Porteiro.
He said: "I didn't get a good in-lap and that was that. Still I am happy to be second in the championship. We have a good car in qualifying, we just need to improve it for the races."
Third place in race two went to GD Racing's Enrique Bernoldi, who took advantage of Ravier's engine problems to clinch a place on the podium. It was GD's first top three result of the year.
Bernoldi said: "I was the quickest car on the track in the end and I tried to push hard to put some pressure on Karthikeyan, but he didn't make a mistake."
Montagny followed Ravier home to take fifth, but the result hardly mattered as the championship was already won. Now there are two rounds left to go, the new champion insists that he will not be taking it easy.
"I hope we are going to win in Valencia and Jarama," Montagny said.
His rivals have been warned.
World Series Lights
The drivers with the most to celebrate in the World Series Lights were Frenchman Julien Vidot and Argentinean Juan Cruz Alvarez, who took the championship lead with a race win and a third place. From pole position in race one, the Epsilon by Graff's Vidot driver made a great start and a series of stunningly quick opening laps gave him a comfortable lead that he held to the finish.
He was followed all the way by team-mate Milos Pavlovic. The Yugoslavian driver played the perfect tailgunner, defending Vidot from the Meycom team- mates Celso Miquez and Alavez. Alvarez produced the overtaking move of the race to snatch third from Miquez late on, but he was not able to repeat the manoeuvre on Pavlovic for second.
Alvarez's luck changed in race two, however. From pole he beat Vidot away from the line and proceeded to just drive away from the pack. Vidot could just not quite match his pace. However, at the end of the race it was found that Vidot's mechanics had used the starter after the 30-second board had been shown, for which he was penalised 25 seconds and dropped back to eighth.
Erstwhile leader Valles had a tough weekend for Escuela Lois Circuit. He spun to the back of the field in race one on the opening lap and fought back to claim seventh. In race two he did not make any mistakes, but fifth place was not enough to keep ahead of Alvarez and Vidot in the overall standings. Alvarez leads with 118 points, six ahead of Vidot, with Valles 13 adrift.
Championship leader Juan Antonio del Pino (G-TEC) was not quite able to repeat his Saturday success in the Formula Junior championship, but second place still increased his advantage over Racc Motorsport's Christian Cano. Del Pino had a race-long battle with Carlos Gonzalez, but it was the Cracs driver who took the win.
Gonzalez said: "This is my first race weekend for the team and to get a win and second is such a fantastic result. I hope I can repeat this performance again for the rest of the season."
Cano was not far behind in third as the top three pulled away from the chasing pack. Giacomo Ricci took fourth for Cibiemme Team and he remains a strong contender for the championship.
Del Pino now leads the standings by 23 points over Cano, with Ricci just eighth points further behind with three rounds still to go. The next race takes place at Valencia in two weeks' time.
<pre> World Series Race 1 1. Franck Montagny Gabord Competicion 26m47.022s 2. Ander Vilarino Epsilon Euskadi +11.124s 3. Jean Christophe Ravier Epsilon Euskadi +20.363s 4. Narain Karthikeyan Tata Team Carlin +31.225s 5. Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing +35.155s 6. Heikki Kovalainen Gabord Competicion +36.264s 7. Bas Leinders Racing Engineering +36.727s 8. Polo Villaamil RC Motorsport +38.390s 9. Bruno Besson Saulnier Racing +44.228s 10. Felix Porteiro KTR +44.668s 11. Stephane Sarrazin Racing Engineering +44.979s 12. Jose Marie Perez Aicart Adrian Campos Motorsport +55.381s 13. Paul Edwards KTR +1m16.097s
Fastest Lap Franck Montagny 1'33.263
World Series Race 2 1. Ander Vilarino Epsilon Euskadi 38m43.580s 2. Narain Karthikeyan Tata Team Carlin +2.037s 3. Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing +2.606s 4. Jean Christophe Ravier Epsilon Euskadi +11.016s 5. Franck Montagny Gabord Competicion +11.299s 6. Stephane Sarrazin Racing Engineering +29.360s 7. Paul Edwards KTR +47.239s 8. Heikki Kovalainen Gabord Competicion +48.053s 9. Santiago Porteiro Adrian Campos Motorsport +1m06.273s 10. Jose Marie Perez Aicart Adrian Campos Motorsport +1m06.847s 11. Angel Burgueno Respol Racing for Spain Vergani +1m07.182s 12. Didier Andre Saulnier Racing +1m07.649s 13. Bruce Jouanny Carlin Motorsport + 4 laps 14. Polo Villaamil RC Motorsport + 4 laps
Fastest Lap Jean Christope Ravier 1'34.258
World Series Light primera carrera Julien Vidot 29m13.904 Milos Pavlovic 0'641 Juan Cruz Alvarez 1'124 Celso Miguez 1'900 Pablo Donoso 18'930 Ananda Mikola 19'554 Adrian Valles 19.968 Mateo Pellegrino 21'806 Bastien Brière 22'181 Milka Duno 49'565
Fastest Lap Alvaro Barba 1'36.410
World Series Light segunda carrera Juan Cruz Alvarez 26m05.635 Milos Pavlovic 8'737 Celso Miguez 9'421 Adrian Valles 10'878 Ananda Mikola 20'168 Bastien Briere 21'677 Mateo Pellegrino 31'085 Julien Vidot 31'342 Pablo Donoso 31'085 Mathias Lauda 34.358
Fastest Lap Juan Cruz Alvarez 1'37.045
Campeonato de España de Formula Junior Carlos Gonzalez 21'11.417 Juan Antonio del Pino 1'277 Cristian Cano 4'072 Gicommo Ricci 7'302 Carlos Alvarez 9'558 Victor Jouven 9'928 Hector Suarez 12'853 Javier Villa 15'570 Arturo Llobell 16'116 Keisuke Ebisuda 22'147
Fastest Lap Juan Antonio del Pino 1'53.907