Securing his second consecutive win in the FIA F3000 International Championship, Vitantonio Liuzzi dominated this afternoon's proceedings at the Barcelona circuit. In a confident mood before the lights went out, the Italian made a better start...
Securing his second consecutive win in the FIA F3000 International Championship, Vitantonio Liuzzi dominated this afternoon's proceedings at the Barcelona circuit. In a confident mood before the lights went out, the Italian made a better start than polesitter Enrico Toccacelo, then led the field into turn 1 and never looked back.
Pleased the win, Liuzzi said the key to his victory was the saving of a set of new tyres for the start of today's race. Praising the decision of his Arden team to adopt a low-running strategy during practice and qualifying yesterday in the post race press conference, the Italian was delighted with the end result.
"I didn't drive much yesterday," he commented. "Just five laps on one set of tyres, so I started on new tyres today, and this helped me a lot."
"I was confident for today's race and I am delighted to have won again. I made a a really good start passing Enrico (Toccacelo) and we are in good shape for the beginning of the season and we hope it will continue this way."
Slow away from the grid, Liuzzi's Arden team mate Robert Doornbos had less luck during the race as he struggled with the handling of his car and consequently sank down the race order, before retiring three laps from the end after making two pit stops.
Unable to convert his pole position into a race win, Toccacelo finished in second place for the BCN Competition squad with Raffaele Giammaria third after the AEZ driver emerged as the victor of an enthralling four-way battle over the last fifteen laps.
Having held the final podium position after the end of the scheduled pit stops, Coloni's Jeffrey van Hooydonk struggled to keep the clearly faster SuperNova of Alan Van Der Merwe at bay.
As the duo continued their fight, they were joined first by Raffaele Giammaria and then Patrick Friesacher. Passing Van Der Merwe briefly, Giammaria lost the position a few laps later. His frustration now at boiling point, Van Der Merwe attempted a desperate pass on Van Hooydonk a couple of laps later, resulting in an accident that sent the Belgian into the gravel.
His front wing dislodged, the South African returned to the track, having lost places to both Giammaria and team-mate Friesacher before making a pit stop and eventually crossing the line in 12th place.
Elsewhere, the race witnessed many incidents as drivers fought to stake their claims to the watching eyes of the F1 paddock. Perhaps the most high profile collision involved the Durango car of Yannick Schroeder, who started third, and the Ma-Con of Tomas Enge when the former drove into the Czech driver, taking them both out of the race while battling for a points paying position.