17/07/05 - Bilbao - Race 2 Heylen edges it After a nail bitingly close race, Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) scored his fifth victory of the season, extending his lead even further in the Eurocup overall standings. The Belgian finished in...
17/07/05 - Bilbao - Race 2
Heylen edges it
After a nail bitingly close race, Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) scored his fifth victory of the season, extending his lead even further in the Eurocup overall standings. The Belgian finished in front of Nicola Gianniberti (Oregon Team) and Angel Burgueqo (Team Elias).
As the second qualifying session had been cancelled, the line-up for the starting grid was based on the first race's finishing order. Jan Heylen and Pedro Petiz (Oregon Team) therefore started on the font row.
Although Heylen was first away in the rolling start, he was unable to shake off three drivers: Pedro Petiz, Nicola Gianniberti and Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing). The first lap was not over before Petiz started to go on the attack.
Behind the leading four drivers, Angel Burgueqo was holding off Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing), while Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium) led the chasing group made up of Marc Benz (Iris Racing), Mathieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing), Frederic Gabillon, Sebastien Dhouailly (Team Lompech Sport) and Jean-Christophe Ravier (Epsilon Euskadi).
At the front, Petiz continued to put pressure on Heylen whilst Badey tried to get past Gianniberti! A gap developed between the two head-to-heads, allowing the Burgueqo/Kuppens pair to close up on Badey.
Antonio Aristi (Epsilon Euskadi) slipped up, running into the tyre wall. Jean-Yves Mallat (TP Competition) only just managed to avoid him, but his teammate, Philippe Mace (TP Competition), joined the ever-lengthening list of drivers forced to abandon.
Heylen made a minor error at the end of the 5th lap, but Petiz was unable to take advantage of it. This left the first five drivers close together again. A lapse in concentration resulted in Pedro Petiz clipping the wall with his rear wheel and breaking a half-axle in the process. The Portuguese driver, after a heroic performance this weekend, was forced to abandon the race!
Angel Burgueqo then succeeded in getting past Ludovic Badey, who was also overtaken by Renaud Kuppens! Meanwhile, Gianniberti picked up where his teammate Petiz had left off and started to attack Heylen!
Further back in the field, Bruno Bazaud (Gemo Sport) and Luis-Miguel Reyes (Team Elias), who had both already spun, were this time involved in a crash with each other!
Gianniberti pressed Heylen right to the chequered flag, but the Belgian driver hung on to take his fifth win in six races!
In seventh place overall, Marc Benz took his first victory in the Junior championship, ahead of Mathieu Lahaye and Sebastien Dhouailly.
Jan Heylen: "It was very difficult race because I had problems with my brakes. It's good to have been really pushed, that made the race even more exciting!"
Nicola Gianniberti: "I had a very good car, in which I could have won. But this second place was important for the team, particularly after I went off in yesterday's race because another car's oil on the track."
Angel Burgueqo: "I like this circuit and enjoy every lap that I do in the Megane. But I'm not entirely satisfied because I wanted to win!"