2000: Report of the Italian Formula Renault in Misano.

"Pechito" López champion in the Italian Formula Renault. The young argentinian driver of 19 years, José María López, won the championship of the Italian Formula Renault in the last but one race disputed in the circuit of Misano, Italy. The...

"Pechito" López champion in the Italian Formula Renault.
The young argentinian driver of 19 years, José María López, won the championship of the Italian Formula Renault in the last but one race disputed in the circuit of Misano, Italy.

The driver of the Cram Competition started the weekend with a tenth place in the test of friday.On saturday López and his team took their time in the qualify because the track was wet due to the rain fall during the night. Only five laps needed López to win the pole position -the sixth in this season- and left behind Di Benedetto (2º) and Kubica (6º). The sunday was a perfect day for the argentinian. The victory was never in danger during the 21 laps of competition. Already in the first lap "Pechito" has a difference of almost two seconds. The happyness for see Kubica parked in a side of the track didn`t distract him from his objective of increase his advantage in the championship to be more tranquil in the last race of Mugello. Sure, "Pechito" think that the second in the race was Di Benedetto, when who really was in that position was his teammate Christian Montanari, whose cars are equals. López knew that he was wrong when he saw everyone in his team feasting in the pits the conquest of the championship. José María López won four races this season: one for the european championship in Jarama (Spain) and three four the italian: Monza, Varano and Misano where also he took the fastest lap with 1.32.187.

Surelly this weekend will be hard to forget for the argentinian. The obtaining of the championship and his undeniable talent and capacity are the guns that "Pechito" will show the next season, a season that could be the landing of López in the élite of the motoracing world.To know how lived López his consecration, Motorsport.com offer you the sensations during all the weeekend of the 2002 Italian Formula Renault champion.


"In the morning practice I realized the best time with used yers, the car was really fast without problems and with a good set up. In the afternoon, with new tyres I went out of the track and I couldn`t continue the activity. The car is very well for the qualify of tomorrow. I`m very confident in a circuit that I really like because is fairly fast with many curves of media speed".


"I`m vary happy, the Cram gave a great car with an exellent set up. We waited before go to the track because it was wet of the rain during the night. On sunday the objective is to start in front and keep the first position, and go to Mugello with a better difference for the championship".


"It was a very hard weekend with the pressure and the nerves that I had. This was the objective that we were chasing during all the year.

I made a good start, I took the leadership and inmediately I made a difference that allowed me to race more tranquil. When it rest just five laps for the end I saw Kubica`s car stop in the track. I keep focus in the race and thinking in the second position of Di Benedetto, but in pits my team was feasting the championship and I realised that the second was Montanari, the teammate of Di Benedetto.

It was so the happyness that all the team wanted to go to the podium with me. I felt very proud and deeply moved with the argentinian hymn. I know that this is just one step and I must keep working very hard for the future.

Win the championship means for me a support very important for next year, this is the category most important of formula in Italy and it has lot of valor because Felipe Massa won here and now he is in Formula One. This championship is for the Cram team, the Lincoln Sport Group and for my parents who always supported me".

The other argentinian in the Italian Formula Renault, Martín Ponte quit the race after a friction with Roberto Toninelli. The driver of the BVM Minardi jt. started fourteen and he was eighth in the moment of the collision.

"Now I will go relaxed to Mugello, the next weekend. And then I will compite in he last race of the Eropean in Estoril" said López.

"Pechito" will stay working in his training for the next year in the clinic Formula Medicine and he will travel to Argentina in November.

Also there`s a possibility that "Pechito" test a Renault of Formula One in the circuit of Estoril. Renault said in the begininig of the year that they will give a chance for two or three drivers of the differents Formulas Renault. The italian division is the most important, after the european. For this reasons López may have the chance of be in a Formula One very soon.

"We don`t know nothing about that. I don`t know if that test still on. I wish they call me" said "Pechito".

The last championship for an argentinian driver was last year when Gabriel Pozzo won the Group N World Championship of Rally. In formula cars the last champion was Ezequiel Toia in 1998 in the Toyota Formula in Japan.

*9° round of the Italian Formula Renault
*September 29th 2002
*Circuit: Autódromo de Santamónica
*Misano Adriático, Italy
*Lenght: 4060 metres
*Pole Position: José María López
*Qualify: Martín Ponte: 14°
*Final race: 21 laps
*Fastest lap: José María López
*Próxima fecha: 6/10 en Mugello, Italia


Pos. Driver Team
1° José María López CRAM
2º Christian Montanari Drumel
3º Roberto Streit CRAM
4° Toni Vilander RP Motorsport
5° Frank Perera Prema
6° Davide Di Benedetto Drumel
Ab. Martín Ponte BVM Minardi Jr.


Pos Piloto País Pts
1° José María López 177
2º Davide Di Benedetto 140
3º Robert Kubica 135
4° Roberto Streit 115
5° Christian Montanari 82

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Felipe Massa , Christian Montanari , Robert Kubica , Jose Maria Lopez , Toni Vilander , Gabriel Pozzo , Roberto Streit , Franck Perera , Martin Ponte