Fontana conquers El Zonda

Norberto Fontana took this sunday it eighth victory in the fourth round of the Argentinian T.C. 2000 Championship, disputed at the hazardous circuit El Zonda of San Juan, after shown a great driving lesson in his Toyota Corolla nº1. The 2002 ...

Norberto Fontana took this sunday it eighth victory in the fourth round of the Argentinian T.C. 2000 Championship, disputed at the hazardous circuit El Zonda of San Juan, after shown a great driving lesson in his Toyota Corolla nº1.

The 2002 champion took the victory in 51m39s993 at 150.504 km/h, leaving behind Oscar Fineschi with a private Honda Civic of his own team and Marcelo Bugliotti with the factory GM Chevrolet Astra completed the podium, giving General Motors it best result since they came back to the series this season.

Behind the top three were Christian Ledesma, with the other factory GM Chevrolet Astra, the two Ford Focus with Walter Hernández and Gabriel Ponce de León in the top six.

Before the final race started, the two Ford Focus seemed to be the cars to defeat in this fourth round, but by halfway through the Focus started to loose perfonmance and with this their possibility to repeat the 1-2 did by the team a couple of weeks ago in Trelew.

When the green flag appeared, Hernández, who started second, passed his teammate Ponce de León in the first curve. Behind the two factory Ford team cars, Ledesma started to pushed on Ponce de León position, while Fontana also started to pushed over Yannantuoni (fifth) and Fineschi (fourth).

The champion knew what he had to do and he took the time to do it. In lap ninth he passed Yannantuoni. Then was the turn of Fineschi and Ledesma after a couple of fantastic fight. With 18 laps of competition the Toyota driver was third and only the two Ford Focus were in front him. Just one lap took the 2002 champion to pass the 2001.

While Fontana was trying to get the first place, Bugliotti was fifth after started 24th.!

The Ford of the leader Hernández started to feel the ware of the race and he couldn`t defend the leadership any more. Fontana took the first position in lap 29 and he never left it until the chequered flag.After loose the leadership, Hernández finished fifth with a complicate Ford Focus in the lasts laps of race.

The fight for the secon position during the 10 final laps was amazing with Fineschi, Ledesma and Bugliotti trying to get their first podium of the year. Finaly in lap 34, Bugliotti passed his teammate but hr couldn`t with the Honda of Fineschi, who took from this race his best result in 110 races in the category. ¨It passed a long time until I could be in this podium and I`m really happy. We arrived to a very good set up in the car, thanks to the work of Guillermo Kissling (Team Manager), and I know we are going to better race by race¨, said Fineschi who now is fifth in the championship with 24 points.

Bugliotti gave with this third position the first podium to a Chevrolet Astra in T.C. 2000. A very important to keep working very hard and dream with a victory in the shot time. ¨We knew we had a good potential, but I didn`t expect to be in the podium after start 24th.¨ completed the man that won here a year ago driving a Honda.

One more time Norberto Fontana shown why he has the number one in his Toyota Corolla. The former F1 driver is no doubt the best driver in T.C. 2000 and he seemes to be a step foward of the rest of his rivals for the 2003 championship. ¨I knew the car I had and that why I wait the moment to attack. It was a race where I fell very well. In spite that was difficult in the straight because od the engine and the ballast in my car (100kg.), the Toyota was fantastic in the rest of the lap. I`m very happy to share this podium with two friends like are Fineschi and Bugliotti¨ said Fontana that now leads the T.C. 2000 championship with 62 points over Ponce de León, 45 and Hernández, 43.

It was a horrible sunday for the Honda Racing Argentina Team. Guillermo Ortelli and the rookie Martín Basso, couldn`t start the final race with engine problem, while Juan Manuel Silva retiered in the first lap.

The next round of the T.C. 2000 will be next June 8th. at Bahía Blanca Raceway.

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Martin Basso , Christian Ledesma , Norberto Fontana , Juan Manuel Silva