Racing Engineering's Bas Leinders wins at Jarama!
The final meeting of the 2003 Superfund World Series took place this weekend at the circuit of Jarama (Madrid), where also the first race weekend of the 2003 season was held eight months ago. Low temperatures and rain welcomed the teams and drivers. These conditions made the qualifying sessions as well as the races difficult. Stephane Sarrazin went into the first race from eighth position and finished fifth. Bas Leinders started thirteenth and was hit by Donoso during the last lap of the race. This caused him to retire from the race and cost him precious points for the drivers championship.
Race two saw Stepahen Sarrazin starting sixth, but in an early spin he damaged his car badly and had to retire. His teammate Bas started seventh and one more time proved his outstanding qualities as a driver by winning race two.
Racing Engineering finished second in the team championship with its drivers Bas Leinders third and Stephane Sarrazin seventh in the overall standings.
Like many times throughout the 2003 World Series by Nissan the Sunday races were declared wet races. Stephane Sarrazin starting from position eight had a good start into race one and overtook Edwards. By lap five Staphane made his way up to fifth place, which he kept until the end of the race.
Bas starting thirteenth on the grid faced a very difficult first race. Having a very good start, he spun and finished the first lap nineteenth. By lap ten Bas had already made his way up into tenth position and was, as everyone could see, much faster than Donoso who was running in ninth. Bas' attempts to overtake the World Series debutant failed due to the aggressive driving style of the young GD Racing driver. Being forced off the track several times, Bas could keep still his position. During the last lap Donoso hit Bas, still running ninth, so hard from behind that Bas could not finish the race.
Like the first race, all drivers went into the second with rain tyres. Stephane Sarrazin who started from sixth position on the grid, damaged his car in an early spin, and could not continue the race.
Bas Leinders, on the other hand, started the race from seventh position and immediately jumped into fourth place. Gaining another position in the second lap, Bas was third when the Safety Car neutralized the race in lap three. With the Safety Car still out Bas came in for his obligatory pit stop in lap six and rejoined the race seventh. Bas kept pushing throughout the race and took over the lead in lap twenty. From that moment, he increased the gap to Ravier running in second position, and was the winner of race two.
After this victory Bas Leinders stated, "I did a lot of overtaking during today's two races, but in the second race I had a really, really good start. I was third or fourth already in the third corner, but was pushed off the track by Besson. I might not have had the fastest lap in the race, but I was the fastest one overall. I started this year to win the championship, but the two Gabord drivers were very strong. I am glad I am the first one behind them.
Alfonso de Orleans, the team principal stated "We had a very solid team this year with two very good drivers. I am sure that Bas would have finished second in the championship if Donoso had been driving properly and not crashed into Bas. As for Stephane, he is a fantastic driver, but with this unlucky weekend, he lost out on a good final championship standing. I would like to give a special thanks to the mechanics and engineers who did a fantastic job this weekend and throughout the year. Well done boys!"