TARQUINI AND SEAT WIN Gabriele Tarquini secured SEAT's first victory in a race that was declared wet after light rain fell just before the start.After he and Andy Priaulx touched at Scheivlak bend on lap 2, the Italian took the lead for ...
TARQUINI AND SEAT WIN
Gabriele Tarquini secured SEAT's first victory in a race that was declared wet after light rain fell just before the start.After he and Andy Priaulx touched at Scheivlak bend on lap 2, the Italian took the lead for good.
Augusto Farfus came home 2nd ahead of his BMW Team Germany companion Jorg Muller. Luca Rangoni completed a brilliant day by winning again the independents' race and finishing 6th just ahead of his closest competitor Roberto Colciago.
Nicola Larini was also on top form for Chevrolet as he came from 7th on the grid to finish 4th. Along the way he made stunning overtaking moves on Roberto Colciago who finished 7th, Priaulx who finished 5th and eventually Rangoni.
On lap 4 Alain Menu, who was lying 8th went off at the Audi Esses; exactly like his team-mate Rob Huff in race 1.
He did not rejoin. Huff started from the back of the grid along with Tom Coronel; they crossed the line 13th and 14th respectively.
Felix Porteiro had a successful race, claiming the final point position for BMW Team Italy-Spain. He and team-mate Alessandro Zanardi came very close to crashing at the Tarzan corner before Porteiro squeezed through on lap 5.
Three laps later the Spaniard overtook fellow countryman Jordi Gene for 9th. To obtain the final point he then had to make a move on Tiago Monteiro; he did so with two laps to go.
The Alfa Romeo N.technology team had a difficult time. James Thompson started from the pit lane and fought hard to finish 19th. Dutchman Olivier Tielemans faired slightly better crossing the chequered flag 17th.
QUOTES FROM THE RACE DAY
"I couldn't have expected more from the first race, it was almost a dream. I always thought we could get a podium here but it was unknown how the tyres would wear over a race. I wanted to be kind on my tyres and therefore I didn't push too hard. They did drop off a bit so when we had the safety car I was slightly concerned. It was good to have Nicola (Larini) behind me because I knew he wouldn't do anything stupid. Everything came together and I believe a lot of the success came form qualifying so well."
"The win is an especially good result considering the trouble we had with qualifying. We changed things on the brakes and the car worked well. I had a great first race to go from 13th to 7th which meant points and lining up on the front row for race two. Andy (Priaulx) and I made contact when I came from the inside. Perhaps he didn't see me because he closed in and when we hit he went wide. Then it was hard to keep the lead with several BMWs behind."
"I didn't have a great start in Race 1, but it was good enough to keep my position. I didn't challenge Alain (Menu), not only because he is my team-mate, but also because he was just too fast to catch. Behind me was Rangoni but I wasn't worried about him until the safety car. Then I got concerned because my tyres were worn but in the end it finished perfectly. What I achieved in race two was the best result possible. I didn't have the speed to overtake the BMWs normally but when Rangoni and Priaulx made mistakes I was ready to gain from them."
"There were plenty of times it might have been possible to make a move on Tarquini because I was quicker than him on the infield. I decided to wait until the end of the race to see if he lost his tyres but the opportunity never came so I had to settle for second. To be leading the championship is positive but that also means going to Valencia with a lot of weight. The challenge of the championship is still out there for everybody."
"The lights went out extremely quickly for this race. I, as an old guy, must have better reactions than the younger ones because I got off at rocket speed and overtook five cars on the straight. We had a bad day yesterday, but this morning after the warm-up we completely changed the set-up: springs, dampers, roll bars, everything. For race two I had the perfect car. In terms of the championship the past shows I am the man of the second half of the season so let's wait and see."
"It has been a perfect weekend for me. The first race was tough because mid-way through I had a problem I couldn't identify. My grip went and I lost contact with the two Chevrolets. The second race was fantastic and I was involved in a great fight. In the end I decided to leave the fighting to the works drivers because I am focused on the independent category."