Estoril: Race report

Tiago Monteiro has pulled out a superb day for Portugal and Carlin Motorsport at Estoril today. The home driver was clear winner of the second World Series by Nissan race, and that was after he finished second to Carlin team-mate Olivier Pla in...

Tiago Monteiro has pulled out a superb day for Portugal and Carlin Motorsport at Estoril today. The home driver was clear winner of the second World Series by Nissan race, and that was after he finished second to Carlin team-mate Olivier Pla in the morning event.

Monteiro led from start to finish, getting through his pitstop with no problems. Although he was kept honest by Espsilon Euskadi man Jean-Cristophe Ravier, who was never further behind than two seconds, a mistake-free run saw him welcomed home by a sizeable and joyous Portuguese crowd.

Ravier has few worries behind him, as championship leader Heikki Kovalainen (Pons Racing) was unable to match the Frenchman's pace and was a fairly distant third. Narain Karthikeyan (RC Motorsport) had been running fourth before a puncture put him out of contention, which left Juan Cruz Alvarez to take the postion, though the Argentine driver was over twenty seconds behind.

Carlin were already smiling after Pla had led home a one-two result in the first race. The Frenchman led home Monteiro for his first series victory, while his team-mate had to make do with a very close second after losing his pole position advantage at the start.

After Pla led into the first turn, the race was settled. Although Monteiro was quicker, he was sensible about trying to overtake. Carlin operates a policy of no team orders, and Monteiro could come away satisfied with a good points score, especially after Kovalainen ruined his morning with a stall on the formation lap grid.

Kovalainen had to start from the back, and then an incident with Enrique Bernoldi necessitated a nose-cone change. He picked up points for fastest lap, but that was all.

With Karthikeyan spinning out early on, and Ravier doing the same as he tried to outbrake Adrian Valles for third, the battle for the last podium spot was played out a long way behind the Carlin pair.

Valles was struggling, but kept his head and third place throughout. He endured major pressure from Tristan Gommendy and Sergio Hernandez, both of Saulnier Racing, but there was no change to the flag. Hernandez is in just his second series race, as is Julien Vidot, who came home sixth.

Today's results mean that Monteiro is now clear of Bernoldi (who was simply off the pace all weekend) in second place in the championship. Kovalainen's lead is now under threat. It is down to 35 points as the championship moves on to Barcelona in two weeks.

Honours were shared in the World Series Lights races. Milos Pavlovic took a straightforward win for Vergani Formula in the first race, leading home Simon Abadie (Epsilon Euskadi) and Celso Miguez (Meycom). The second race was more eventful and featured a clash between Abadie and Pavlovic. The collision led to retirement for Pavlovic, and although Abadie celebrated the win he was later disqualified by the stewards, leaving the win to Matteo Pellegrino (Vergani Formula). Celso Miguez and Harold Primat thus completed the podium.

The team Epsilon Sport has appealed the decision of the stewards.

-rpm-

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Narain Karthikeyan , Tiago Monteiro , Harold Primat , Sergio Hernandez , Tristan Gommendy , Olivier Pla , Adrian Valles , Juan Cruz Alvarez , Simon Abadie , Celso Miguez , Milos Pavlovic
Teams Carlin