DAMS driver Jose Maria LOPEZ became today the first Championship winner of the history of the Eurocup Formula Renault V6 with a fantastic podium finish in the Monza Grand Race and still one race to go before the end of the season....
DAMS driver Jose Maria LOPEZ became today the first Championship winner of the history of the Eurocup Formula Renault V6 with a fantastic podium finish in the Monza Grand Race and still one race to go before the end of the season. LOPEZ needed at least 20 points today in order to secure the Championship win before the last race, with 3rd place the Argentine did exactly what he needed : "The race happened very well. I was worried after yesterday's crash. My start was good but I did not take any risk and I did not try to pass GOMMENDY. I had a few problems with other cars and lost 2 places but the car was good and I could recover quickly. The Team reacted very well when the safety car went out, they sent me in the pits and when I got back on the track I was third. Then I had just to keep position as I knew it would bring enough points for the Championship. I am so happy, the season has been very long, the beginning was difficult. After Magny Cours JANI was 60 points ahead of me, I was not very optimistic. But we never gave up, the Team has always trusted me. From Monaco, things started to go better, then we had a fantastic summer, we were in a dominant position every week end and this helped me to score a lot of points (12 podiums including 5 wins in 14 races). Today we have it, I am delighted. This is the best year of my career, the Team is fantastic and I want to thank everybody at DAMS for their job, they are top professionals."
Jean-Paul DRIOT : "We never had any doubt, Jose Maria is a very good race driver. He had a very professional attitude and progressed all over the year. Jose knew when he had to push hard and we he had to secure points with no risk. He has everything of a great Champion and this season has been one of the best we ever had, I wish a great career to Jose Maria."
Mike DEN TANDT had a very difficult race with 12th position even if he had the opportunity to take the lead of the race after the safety car. "This week end is difficult for Mike, said Jean Paul DRIOT, but this makes part of the experience he is building up. We know he is very talented and we keep confidence in him."
Davide DI BENEDETTO was very fast and was fighting with the leaders in 4th place when he was hit by BELLICHI. After a confusion during the pit stop, DI BENEDETTO took 7th place. Jean-Paul DRIOT : "Davide was not lucky today because he was in the front group early in the race. It is clear that he makes part of the 5 fastest drivers this week end. It is a good opportunity for us and him to work together here, we would be very happy to have Davide again in the Team, he is a great driver.
<pre> "GRAND RACE" 1 Neel JANI (CH) JENZER MOTORSPORT 39:25.467 2 Kousuke MATSUURA (J) ARTA - SIGNATURE 39:27.776 + 2.309 3 Jos