Norberto Fontana takes season opener in San Luis

The Turismo Competición 2000 opened it 24th. Championship in the new circuit of San Luis. The 2002 champion Norberto Fontana (Toyota Corolla / TTA / 1) took the victory after a fantastic fight with the second finisher Gabriel Ponce de León (Ford...

The Turismo Competición 2000 opened it 24th. Championship in the new circuit of San Luis. The 2002 champion Norberto Fontana (Toyota Corolla / TTA / 1) took the victory after a fantastic fight with the second finisher Gabriel Ponce de León (Ford Focus / Berta Motorsport / 6). Gabriel Furlán Mitsubishi Lancer / 8) completed the podium.

Fontana and the Toyota Team Argentina want to repeat the results of the 2002 season when they won the championship for drivers and teams. There`s no better way for a season start than with a great victory like they did in San Luis. Already in the practice session when he was the fastest, Fontana and his Toyota Corolla seemed to be the candidate to win on sunday. Norberto confirmed his position taking the pole position in the qualify session.

On sunday, in a fantastic sunny day with 25000 fans around the 4.612 metres of the circuit, started the activity with the first series won by Fontana after a very interesting fight with Walter Hernández (Ford Focus / Berta Motorsport / 5) in the first lap. Fontana won followed by Leandro Carducci (Honda Civic / Fineschi Racing / 12) and the Mitsubishi of Furlán. The best rookie in this series was the former driver of the World Series Formula by Nissan, Nicolás Filiberti (Honda Civic / Saúl Lui Competition / 37) who finished fifth.

The second series had the presence of Ponce de León and Omar Martínez (Toyota Corolla / TTA / 2) in the first round. After six laps the Ford Focus driver won followed by Guillermo Ortelli (Honda Civic / HRA / 4) and Martínez.

The final race started with Ponce de León in first place followed by Fontana, Ortelli and Carducci.

In the second lap a friction bretween Filiberti and Oscar Canela (Honda Civic / Alisi Honda Racing / 32) left the rookie without chances to continue in the competition.

Ponce de León led until the sixth lap when Fontana passed him after a fantastic maneuver between the 2002 champion and the 2001 champion.

After only eighth laps, Hernández who started from the tenth round was already seventh, while the four times champion of Turismo Carretera, Ortelli left his Honda in fire when he was third!!!

A couple of laps later Martínez also quit with problems in his rear right tyre when he was fourth. The race continued with Fontana and Ponce de León fighting for the leadership, however the Toyota driver seemed to be very cool during the hour of competition.

The most interesting moment of the race was the last laps after the Pace Car entered. Fontana, Ponce de León, Furlán and Hernández fought in a fantastic way for the victory.

Finally and after twenty-seven laps, Fontana took his seventh victory in T.C. 2000 after 28 races. Also it was the tenth vicory for the Toyota Team Argentina since they joined the category in the 2000 season. The Ford team took a very important result from this first round with the second position of Ponce de León and the fourth of Hernández. The Ford Focus showed very competitive and after a 2002 of no victories, is ready to start winning races.

The third place of Furlán is a great result to start dreaming with fight the championship. It won`t be easy with his private team. The best Honda Civic was Carducci finished fifth. It was the best result for him in 14 races in T.C. 2000, while the best factory Honda was J.M. Silva with the sixth position.

It was a very good comeback for the Chevrolet factory team. After leave the category in 1997, Chevrolet is back with the ProRacing team. Marcelo Bugliotti was the only Chevrolet Astra of the team for this race. The second will be ready for the second race in General Roca with Christian Ledesma as driver. However is very important the work done by Bugliotti. After qualified in third place on saturday, a friction with Furlán during the series made him started from the last position the final race. A mistake of Bugliotti in lap 21 when he was tenth finished the activity for the team in San Luis.

Who had a horrible weekend was Esteban Tuero with the Sport Team. Tuero had problems during the qualify session, the series and in the final race. They have a lot to work in the Mitsubishi Lancer.

Thus was the season opener of the T.C. 2000 championship. Next race will be next march 23rd. in General Roca.

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Series General
Drivers Esteban Tuero , Norberto Fontana , Omar Martinez , Guillermo Ortelli , Gabriel Ponce de Leon