Petiz puts an end to Martin's dream Having led the race from the opening bend to the penultimate lap, Maxime Martin (Boutsen Energy Racing) finally had to settle for second place behind an imposing Pedro Petiz (Tech 1 Racing). Starting from ...
Petiz puts an end to Martin's dream
Having led the race from the opening bend to the penultimate lap, Maxime Martin (Boutsen Energy Racing) finally had to settle for second place behind an imposing Pedro Petiz (Tech 1 Racing). Starting from pole, Dimitri Enjalbert also put in a good performance to make the French team's success complete. This final race brings the Nurburgring meeting, which attracted 110,000 spectators over two days, to a close.
Maxime Martin got off to the perfect start and managed to outbrake both Pedro Petiz and Dimitri Enjalbert into the opening bend! Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) also tried to find his way through, but wasn't so successful, ending up in the gravel trap. In the field, Carlo van Dam (Racing for Belgium) went into a serious slide, but managed to control his Megane without incident. The Dutchman was however soon to abandon.
Martin completed lap one with a 2'' lead over Petiz and Enjalbert, who were in turn coming under threat from a very sharp Michael Rossi (Racing for Belgium). Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport), Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) and Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) were all also in the chasing group.
Sebastien Dhouailly (Tech 1 Racing) had started the race well: in eighth after having got past Ludovic Badey, he had to keep an eye on Ralph Meichtry, who was on a comeback after also having found his way past the TDS driver.
On lap five, Matthieu Lahaye took fifth place from Fabrice Walfisch. The reigning Junior Champion then was 1''3 back from Rossi, who in turn was keeping the pressure on Petiz.
Clearly in difficulties, Ludovic Badey slipped out of the top 10 when he was passed by Mike Verschuur. Similarly, Ten Brinke moved up a place at the expense of Walfisch.
After the halfway stage and before and fuel stops, Martin had a lead of 4''3 over Petiz. A few lengths further back, Enjalbert could finally relax a little when Lahaye got past Rossi. Also in difficulty, the young Frenchman dropped back another three places on lap 11.
Walfisch and Dhouailly were the first leaders to stop at the end of lap 12. Petiz and Lahaye followed suit one lap later. Maxime Martin waited until lap 14 to make his stop, handing the lead to Dimitri Enjalbert for one lap only!
Despite a quicker pitstop, the Frenchman was only able to rejoin in the wake of the battle between Martin and Petiz! Ten Brinke, Meichtry and Verschuur were the last three drivers to come in for their compulsory refuelling stops.
With 17 laps gone, Martin moved back into the lead. But under pressure from Pedro Petiz, the Belgian was unable to hold off the Portuguese driver, who moved to the front on the penultimate lap! Behind things were more strung out; with Enjalbert, Walfisch and Ten Brinke looking sure to finish in that order. Ralph Meichtry's late stop strategy enabled him to take seventh away from Sebastien Dhouailly.
Pedro Petiz: "I got off to a good start and was quick to pass Dimitri. Then, I held onto second for a long period. I took advantage of a small mistake by Maxime to slip into the lead. Congratulations to the team for an excellent pitstop."
Maxime Martin: "This result is very important for the Championship. We lost quite a bit of time in the pits, and I think that's what cost me the victory but it's all part of the race. We will be stronger next time round!"
Dimitri Enjalbert: "The race went well for me despite a poor start. I think I wasn't as quick as yesterday, but this podium spot is still a good result for the Championship standings."