Badey at the wire After starting from pole position, Ludovic Badey (TDS) let Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium) do all the running out front before regaining the upper hand on the final lap. Bruce Lorgere-Roux (Tech 1 Racing) took the third ...
Badey at the wire
After starting from pole position, Ludovic Badey (TDS) let Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium) do all the running out front before regaining the upper hand on the final lap. Bruce Lorgere-Roux (Tech 1 Racing) took the third podium spot for this first race in the category.
Jean-Philippe Dayraut fell victim to an electronic problem while lining up for the formation lap. He was only able to start the race four laps after the rest of the field. Lorgere-Roux and Freitas then both stalled on the grid resulting in another formation lap.
Ludovic Badey got off to a good start and held off Cesar Campanico on the brakes into the first corner. As we have come to expect, the opening lap was full of incident with a number of drivers running off into the hoardings. Luca Filippi was the major beneficiary completing lap one in third ahead of Pedro Petiz, Jaap Van Lagen and Bruce Lorgere-Roux. Unfortunately, the Italian was involved in a collision resulting in a spin at the start of lap two.
Badey and Campanico took advantage of the incidents further back to open a gap over the chasing group of Pedro Petiz, Van Lagen, Lorgere-Roux and Lahaye. Very soon, Campanico was to emerge from Badey's slipstream and pass him in a confident manoeuvre.
On lap three, James Kirkpatrick fell victim to an excess of valour on the part of Jeroen Reintjens and crashed out on turn one. Van Lagen closed up to Petiz and moved into third. The two drivers then pulled away from the Tech 1 Racing pair engaged in a head-to-head battle.
Luca Filippi, who has started a fine comeback to make his way back into the points, was then involved in another coming-together on the opening bend at the start of lap five! At the front of the field, Campanico and Badey were putting on a fine display of bumper-to-bumper antics.
Somewhat further back, the battle going on for fourteenth place between Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing), Steve Abold (Roma Team Baumgartner), Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) and Pierre Hirschi (Hirschi Racing) was every bit as exciting!
After six laps, Campanico finally managed to open up a slight gap over Ludovic Badey. Similar gaps were opening up between Van Lagen, Petiz, Lorgere-Roux and Lahaye. Further back, Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) was lapping alone to hold onto seventh. Miguel Freitas was in eighth after having passed Reintjens, who lost another place to Luigi Ferrara (Oregon Team)! But on lap nine, Freitas threw away his fine performance falling back to 11th, much to the delight of Ferrara, Reintjens and Charouz (Racing for Belgium)!
Ludovic Badey, who had been biding his time, closed back up to Cesar Campanico with only three laps to go. Bruce Lorgere-Roux snatched fourth place away from Pedro Petiz. Badey attacked Campanico in the closing sections to regain the lead. Then Van Lagen ran into difficulties and had to let both Lorgere-Roux and Petiz through!
Ludovic Badey: "I was quicker than Cesar in the closing laps but I didn't think I'd be able to get past him. It was a little too easy. But whatever the case, it's still a good result for the Championship."
Cesar Campanico: "My car was quick in a straight line but a little temperamental in the more twisty sections. I had a fuel pressure problem on the last lap and it's a shame to see victory slip away from you like that."
Bruce Lorgere-Roux: "It was quite an experience for my first ever touring car race! I got given the cold shoulder at the start and it was hard to come back from there."