Valencia: Race report

Telefonica World Series by Nissan. Franck Montagny, first leader in the World Series. A victory and a second position put the Frenchman in top of the classification. The Brazilian Ricardo Zonta makes the Barça win in the first race of...

Telefonica World Series by Nissan.
Franck Montagny, first leader in the World Series.

A victory and a second position put the Frenchman in top of the classification.

The Brazilian Ricardo Zonta makes the Barça win in the first race of the World Series -- and finishes 2nd in Race 2 after overtaking 16 cars!

Rafael Sarandeses and Ander Vilariño completed the top three positions of the official debut of the Series at the Valencian Circuit in front of 32,000 spectators!

Valencia, 12 May 200 2-- Franck Montagny is the first leader in the Telefónica World Series by Nissan after the two races celebrated at the Circuit of Valencia. The French driver won the second race and achieved a second position in the official launch of this spectacular competition. The World Series has opened a new important space in the world of motorsports. But the real ace of the journey was the Brazilian Ricardo Zonta. Zonta won the first race and reached the second step of the podium starting from the 19th position.

Franck Montagny (Racing Engineering) and Rafael Sarandeses (7Up GD Racing), followed the first podium; in the second race, the victory was for Montagny. He led the race and finished 1st, in front of Ander Vilariño (Epsilon by Graff) and the same Zonta. The 32.000 spectators that attended this debut in the Circuit of Valencia vibrated with the spectacular World Series top category.

Race 1
Ricardo Zonta made the F.C. Barcelona win in the first race of the World Series. The former Fórmula 1 driver gave a joyful day to the team after their lack of results. A show of strategy, talent and confidence. Montagny defended his pole position and did a good start, followed by Sarandeses and Zonta. But the Safety Car caused by a multiple accident between Vilariño, Wilson, Burgueño and Sundberg.

Zonta profited the retirement of the Safety Car and overtook Sarandeses in the main track, from the inside part (their tyres had a slight contact). The victory was a something between him and Montagny. Finally Zonta could overtake the Frenchman in a spectacular manoeuvre at lap 9. Zonta escaped from Montagny while the Racing Engineering driver adopted a conservative second position. Finally Sarandeses could keep his third position, followed by the Belgian Bas Leinders (KTR) and the Argentinian, Nicolás Filiberti (Zele Motorsport). García finished in an excellent sixth position.

Race 2
Montagny led the second race with authority, in front of the Belgian Bas Leinders and Angel Burgueño (Repsol Meycom). Later on, the Spanish ace had a race incident with Tuka Rocha (Gabord Competición) and had to retired. Ander Vilariño was also in the top front group, while Sarandeses and Zonta started from the last row of the grid. The Brazilian show started in that moment, He was 9th in Lap 1, finishing in third position.

Montagny commanded the race from the beginning, but he had some problems with the clutch, fearing a KO when compulsory pit stop had to arrive. Vilariño shortened the gap as the race progressed but he finally finished in the 2nd position. This is the first podium for the Basque driver, in front of Zonta. The Belgian Bas Leinders repeated the 4th position while Jean Christophe Ravier, the other Epsilon by Graff driver, achieved an impressive 5th place.

Franck Montagny is the provisional leader of the Series with 37 points, followed by Zonta with 34 points, and Bas Leinders is third, with 20 points.

The next meeting will take place at Jarama (Madrid) the next 8 and 9 of June.

Points Sistem for the three categories
Only the top 10 drivers are in the points. The distribution is as follows: 1st. 20 points; 2nd. 15 points; 3rd. 12 points. 4th. 10 points. 5th. 8 points. 6th.6 points. 7th. 4 points. 8th. 3 points. 9th. 2 points. 10th. 1 point. Fast lap: 2 points.


Ricardo Zonta
"In the first race it was difficult to catch up the first two drivers, but I profited the exit of the Safety Car to contact them. The second race has been very spectacular. I started from the 19th position and we decided with my engineer to pit very early. By that time I was in the 9th place, but one of the mechanics was 15 seconds slower in my pit and I lost a lot of time and had to overtake again a lot of drivers, as I found myself in the middle of the race. I'm so happy with these results, I don't remember a race like that in my live."

Franck Montagny
"In the first race, after Zonta passed me, I had some problems with my gear box and I preferred to keep my second position. In Race 2 we started with new tyres so I took a lot gap between the others. But then again the clutch had a failure and Y was afraid that the car stopped when I had to pit. Ander was very fast, probably he could have win had he more experience."

Rafael Sarandeses
"I did a nice start but it was difficult to keep the downforce with the Safety Car. Zonta profited that, and I also spun so well, I finished in the 8th position. I'm glad by the start of this Championship, it is very exciting. The best of this Series is that the Spanish drivers doesn't have to go abroad to show their talent, ".

Ander Vilariño
"I had an incident in the first race. I think that Justin Wilson did not see me. I want to thank God by the mistake of the mechanic of Zonta, because that let me step in the second position. This year, I thought about going to the FIA F3000, but I have just one thing to say: Zonta, Montagny and Justin Wilson ".


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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Justin Wilson , Franck Montagny , Bas Leinders , Tuka Rocha , Angel Burgueño , Ander Vilarino
Teams Racing Engineering