Bertrand Baguette ends the weekend at the foot of the podium
For the penultimate meeting of 2008 the World Series by Renault found themselves on the Portuguese circuit of Estoril, where over and above all Bertrand Baguette wanted to forget all about the difficult weekend he had experienced at Le Mans. And the least one can say is that the Draco driver kicked off the weekend in fine form, with a best overall lap time during the initial free practice session. The yellow single-seater's ideal set-up was confirmed a few hours later, with the 2nd best time; a mere tenth of a second from the fastest lap time.
Enough to make Bertrand pretty optimistic, prior to setting off for the qualifying sessions. Foremost objective: to qualify for the Superpole. An assignment readily completed, with a 3rd best time in his group, and once again one tenth of a second off the reference time. A few minutes later it was the 7th overall place which came the Belgian driver's way. "At that moment it became warmer and we hadn't had the opportunity to check out our set-up under those conditions ", Baguette explained."The car proved to be somewhat less efficient, but with a 7th time overall I'm al least sure that I'll be starting from the front row of the grid this Saturday afternoon.."
Particularly fast at the green light, Bertrand managed to get the better of the Italian Marco Bonanomi, who was on pole. Even though the latter rather tried to push the Draco driver towards the wall, the Belgian driver didn't allow himself to be upset by this .not until Marcos Martinez, the Spanish driver who had set off from the 2nd row managed to collide with the two up front! "His man?uvre was quite simply incomprehensible", Baguette explained. "Apart from running us off I can't really see what he was hoping to achieve! My rear tyre was deflated, and my rear aileron was broken! And on top of that Martinez carried on as if nothing had happened! He obviously got penalised afterwards, but in the meanwhile my race was over! I tried to carry on for a couple of laps, but with a broken aileron, the handling was pretty bad. The tyre finally blew, and that's where it ended. Frustrating, because once again it was external circumstances that stopped us from bringing this to a successful conclusion, especially knowing that we had the speed!"
This Sunday Baguette was on the 4th row for the start of the second race... .just avoiding the Brazilian Fabio Carbone, who had stalled on the grid! Up in 5th place at the first braking zone, the RACB National Team driver was back at the wheel of a well set-up single-seater, even though he remained stuck behind Jousse and Bonanomi. "It's quite tricky to overtake on this track, and we therefore decided to carry out an early compulsory stop. An excellent idea; because when the pit-stop window closed I was up in 4th spot, and ahead of Bonanomi. A place I retained right through to the end of the race, so at least I finished the weekend on a high note..." Following this penultimate round of the championship Bertrand Baguette is in 7th place in the rankings, within sight of Mikhail Aleshin and Julien Jousse. On 17th and 18th October next the Draco driver has every intention of finishing off the championship in full strength.. "I have nothing to lose, and I'm aiming at clinching a 2nd victory after my success at Spa. It is particularly important to finish off the season on a high, and you can rest assured that I'll do my utmost during that final in Barcelona, a track where I have scored well in the past..."