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Catalunya: Series race one report

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Catalunya: Series race one report
Oct 20, 2008, 7:51 PM

Things go well for Julien Jousse! Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Racing) claimed his first victory of the season after a colourful race and allowed his team to inch closer to bagging the Teams title. The French driver finished ahead of Mikhail Aleshin ...

Things go well for Julien Jousse!

Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Racing) claimed his first victory of the season after a colourful race and allowed his team to inch closer to bagging the Teams title. The French driver finished ahead of Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) and Robert Wickens (Carlin Motorsport).

Even though the track was still wet in parts, drivers opted for slick tyres. Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com) was caught out during the formation lap. He lost control of his car at the entrance to the pit-stop and hit the wall. The Mexican driver was forced to retire!

Fairuz Fauzy (Fortec Motorsport) took advantage of the reverse grid to place himself in pole position ahead of Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil Team Comtec). In third row on the start grid, Mikhail Aleshin surprised everyone when the lights went out. The Russian driver took the lead ahead of James Walker (Fortec Motorsport) and Julien Jousse. Jousse made the most of a collision between Fairuz Fauzy and Miguel Molina (Prema Powerteam) using the opportunity to sneak in. There was another collision between Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing), for whom the race ended there, and Alvaro Barba (Prema Powerteam). The safety car was called out.

When the action resumed, Mikhail Aleshin held onto his lead ahead of Bonanomi and Jousse. Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) grabbed the fourth spot but ground to a halt with an open front axle. Esteban Guerrieri was forced to retire and gave up following a problem with his gearbox.

The battle for victory was between Aleshin, Bonanomi and Jousse, who struggled to break free from each other. Behind, Robert Wickens in fourth place moved into contention with Filipe Albuquerque (Epsilon Euskadi) and Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature), and then caught up with the leading trio. The four drivers were bumper to bumper.

At the start-finish straight, Marco Bonanomi drew level with Mikhail Aleshin. The Italian driver clipped the rear of the Russian's single-seater and was sent into a spectacular multiple roll. Bonanomi was unharmed. The safety car was called out onto the track again.

Mikhail Aleshin once again took control of the race as soon as the Safety Car disappeared. The Russian driver handed first place to Julien Jousse in the next lap, by locking his wheels from braking too hard.

Julien Jousse held the top spot until the finish and won for the first time this season. The French driver also claimed second place in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series overall standings. Behind him, Mikhail Aleshin held off attacks from Robert Wickens right to the end.

According to Julien Jousse, "I have been waiting a long time for this victory this season! It feels good, especially as it's important for the team and driver standings. I saw Bonanomi's roll. I was scared that he would crash into me. I then took advantage of a mistake made by Aleshinâ^a¦ Then the end of the race was calmer."

According to Mikhail Aleshin, "Right from the start I had problems with my brakes. I could feel vibrations when I braked hard, the others were catching up with me. When I saw the state of Marco's car, I was shocked because I had only felt a slight impact at the rear."

According to Robert Wickens, "Carlin Motorsport prepared the car well today. After the first Safety Car I didn't think that I would do any better than fourth place. Then I quickly caught up with the leading group. I did everything I could to overtake, but I had to make do with third place in the end, which is important for the team."

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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