Gabriel Ponce de LeÃ³n proved why he is the champion taking an amazing victory at Viedma Raceway, located on southern Argentina, where the Argentinian Touring Car Championship (TC 2000) disputed it second round. Diego AventÃn with the other...
Gabriel Ponce de León proved why he is the champion taking an amazing victory at Viedma Raceway, located on southern Argentina, where the Argentinian Touring Car Championship (TC 2000) disputed it second round.
Diego Aventín with the other Focus completed the 1-2 for Ford followed by Gabriel Furlán in third place driving a Mitsubishi Lancer.
Unpredictable. Is the key that`s makes so interesting this new TC 2000 of 2004.
Ponce de León`s victory is a clear sample: The factory Ford driver arrived to the first position after iniciate the competition 19th. due to different problems during saturday and sunday morning, despite he had a winning car.
Until the champion catched the leadership the main protagonist of the weekend was his brand-new teamate, Diego Aventín.
The second round at Viedma ment for Aventín his debut in TC 2000, nothing less that driving for the champion team. His arrival to the category could be a change in the always difficult relation between the series and the Turismo Carretera`s leader Oscar Aventín, Diego`s father.
Political issues appart, Aventín dedicated his time in Viedma impressing everyone. On saturday became in the ever first driver that achieves the pole position in his debut weekend.
On sunday Aventín confirmed his position after the short morning race which put him in the front for the main event.
With the green lights Lucas Armellini, at the wheel of a private Chevrtolet Astra, jumped ahead the Focus and took the leadership.
Five laps completed with Armellini, Aventín and Juan M. Silva in the top three while the fight was between Esteban Tuero, Gabriel Furlán and Leandro Carducci, who spun backwards out of track.
Pone de León was already third after ten laps setting the fastest lap in almost all the laps.
Armellini maintained the leading position until lap 14 when an engine failure made him loose positions until fifth.
While Aventín enjoyed his leadership the argued between Tuero and Furlán continued hard as all the race, always with the former F1 driver ahead.
Had no problems Ponce de León in the moment of leave behind Tuero and Furlán and quickly the champion cut the gap with his teamate.
The dispute between both young drivers became in a fantastic show of driving. Ponce looking for a place to put his car, and Aventín, despite his inexperiene with the Focus, trying not to give any chance to Ponce de León
It took five laps to Ponce find a hole, but it finally appeared on lap 23. The champion tried in the first turn and it was impossible, when on turn three with an amazing and sourprising move catched the leadership while Aventín was trying to understund what just happened. Ponce gave his teamate an advance lesson of how drive a TC 2000.
A moment later it was Furlán`s chance to overtake Tuero in the fight for the last step of the podium. Many laps took Furlán but finally had his reward after all.
The last part of the race was a clear dominium of Ponce de León, who built a good gap in a few laps only.
Armellini and Guillermo Ortelli, driving the Peugeot 307, retired with mechanics problems when both were in the points zone.
Furlán tried to close the gap with Aventín, that was suffering the tyres ware but the chequered flag appeeared giving to the factory Ford team and Ponce de León one of the most imporant victories due to the hard work done and after many problems during the weekend that complicated the champion`s aim.
¨I`m really happy to be able of take this result after start from the back. I advanced very quick leaving behind many cars and then I iniciated the final attack. We came to Viedma with the target of add points and we did, besides we take the leadership in the championship. I want a congratulate Diego for the great weekend¨, commented Gabriel.
Also very happy, Aventín mentioned: ¨I`m sourprised with the result, I didn`t thought to finish second. The team gave me a really good car. Is important for me be in the factory Ford-YPF team and also in the podium. I spoke with my dad yesterday and sure he`ll call me later¨, completed.
Third place means a lot in Furlán`s team and he explains it: ¨This is very important. It was complicated in the beggining of the race. With Tuero we advanced a lot until I passed him. We are yet knowing the car and there`s a lot to develop still¨, said the driver of the only Mitsubishi.
It wasn`t a good weekend for Toyota, Honda and Chevrolet factories teams. Christian Ledesma`s eighth place with the Astra was the best between them. All the teams has yet a lot to improve and work with the new rules. The best is about to come in TC 2000.
Next round will be at San Juan Raceway, one of the most beautiful and interesting circuits of the year, where the TC 2000 circus will be ready for another show.