Di Palma wins at Buenos Aires

He did it. Patricio Di Palma won in Turismo Carretera driving a Torino. After two years and a half working very hard Patrcio Di Palma gave his father a very special present. What he did this Sunday was just historic. But let`s make some memory to...

He did it. Patricio Di Palma won in Turismo Carretera driving a Torino. After two years and a half working very hard Patrcio Di Palma gave his father a very special present. What he did this Sunday was just historic. But let`s make some memory to understand why is so important this result.

April 20th. 1975. The Turismo Carretera disputed that weekend the ¨Mercedinas¨ 500 Miles and one men took the victory with one car. Luis Rubén Di Palma with a Torino. That was the last victory for a Torino in Turismo Carretera until May 11th. 2003. 28 years the Argentinians waited until see ¨their¨ car in the top of a T.C. podium. There`s no doubt that the race of last Sunday wasn`t just one more in the history of the category. The tears in the eyes of Patricio were the clear evidence of these.

This Torino project start on 2000 when Luis R. Di Palma decided to came back to competition with his own Torino. Luis worked very hard in his new car until on September 30th of that year driving his helicopter one of the most important idols in the history of our sport died after a fatal accident. However the spirit of Di Palma keep alive with his three sons José Luis, Patricio and Marcos. The three of them drivers in T.C. With the death of his father Patricio decided to continue the dream of Luis and he put that Torino in the track in the weekend of October 29th. in the circuit of Nueve de Julio. After a very good 2001 season finishing fourteenth the championship with a podium as best result. The 2002 season was more complicated with the budget for Patricio. The best moment was on May 11th. in Olavarría when he retired with gearbox problems two laps before the end when he was in second position trying to catch the leader Aventín.

This season started with some good results but the victory arrived this weekend.

On Saturday Patricio qualified fifth. On Sunday he won his qualify race, the fastest, which gave him the first position in the grid of the final race.

The final race was amazing with the dispute of the leadership between Patricio and Henry Martin with a Ford. Patricio held the first place until lap 13 when Martin passed him by the outside.

However Di Palma didn`t gave up and he continue his attack against the Ford number 10. In lap 15 the Pace Car appeared until lap 18. ¨The car was very oversteering and the Pace Car helped me to cool the tyres¨, said Patricio.

In lap 22, two before the end, Patricio passed Martin in a great maneuver. But the best of the race was about to come. Martin almost take the leadership again in the curve ¨El Ciervo¨ but the talent of Patricio alow him to keep the first place. The last chance for Martin was in the ¨Ascari¨ curve. The Torino and the Ford were head to head and in the moment of the turn a little friction between the two leaders left Martin with the 22nd. position after the chequered flag and Patricio with the victory with Ponce de León, second finisher, at 0s318. The podium was completed by Rafael Verna also driving a Ford.

40000 persons said present in this historic competition. This was the first ¨alone¨ victory for Patricio in T.C. The other victory for him in T.C. was in 1996 in this same circuit in the ¨2 hours of Buenos Aires¨ when he won sharing the driving of his Chevrolet with Emilio Satriano. Also in Buenos Aires was the last victory of Luis Di Palma on September of 1998 with a Ford and his last race in the category in 2000 also with Ford.

The fight for the championship continued in this competition in a different way. Because Ledesma, leader, has a horrible weekend. He arrived to this sixth round with 127kg. of ballast in his Chevrolet. Ledesma started the final race 29th. and he decided in lap fourteenth when he was 15th. to get back to 27th. place. This result alow him to add one point and also go to the next race with less kg. Ledesma keep leading the championship with 78,50 points.

Ortelli had his worst Sunday in three years in T.C. Because he retired in the qualify race and he coulnd`t participate of the final race. The three times champion is third in the tournament with 67 points. Bessone was the one that took advantage from this sixth competition. The Dodge driver finished sixth and now he is second in the championship with 72,50 points. The best Ford is Martínez, who arrived 9th. in Buenos Aires, with the fourth position with 59 points.

The next round will be at Olavarría on June 1st.

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