The eleventh round of the Turismo Carretera championship disputed at the circuit of Rafaela, in the province of Santa FÃ© was different. Special. The Â¨Rafaela 100 MilesÂ¨ had it own format of race with two Â¨racesÂ¨ of 17 laps each and the finals...
The eleventh round of the Turismo Carretera championship disputed at the circuit of Rafaela, in the province of Santa Fé was different. Special. The ¨Rafaela 100 Miles¨ had it own format of race with two ¨races¨ of 17 laps each and the finals positions were declared by the add time system.
In this new method for the T.C. eyes one men and one team this everything right. Guillermo Ortelli dominated on sunday driving a clean and smooth race in his fantstic Chevrolet.
The four times champion finally won in a day without problems for him beyond the tries of Ariel Pacho with the Torino during much part of the 34 laps to get the leadership with a very quick car again.
In the qualifying session of saturday morning, Ortelli took the second place. However during the six laps of the short qualifying race disputed saturday afternoon, the fight with Norberto Fontana driving a Dodge was just amazing. The former F1 driver did a great move to pass him in the last moment of the last lap. Like Fontana knows to do it. Ortelli finished second and he should start the main race on sunday from the second row. No doubt he wasn`t much happy, but also he was cool knowing the machine he have for the ¨real¨ competition.
Fontana started the first half of the main race (17 laps) from the pole position followed by the Ford driver Gabriel Ponce de León in the first row.
Like in the Buenos Aires race, sunday was a day to forget for the T.C. 2000 champion. Norberto spun off-course on lap two loosing places until eighth. In lap 13 when he was fifth pushing hard the engine blew-up and retired.
Ponce de León enjoyed the first place from lap fourth to eleventh. In that moment the Ford candidate for the victory started to suffer problems with the engine too. A clear sample of the test that for the engine is this circuit where 80% of the lap is in full acceleration.
When Ponce retired was Ortelli`s moment to take the first place and never leave it until the end of the first half race. The positions in that moment were: Ortelli, Pacho, Silva, Christian Ledesma, Diego Aventín and Luis Minervino in the top six. The top three arrived all together and there was almost no gap between them which made expect for a second part very interesting. And it was.
The last and definitive 17 laps started and all the drivers (those who could arrive in the first half) wanted to fight. The top five were all very close each other. Ledesma passed Aventín and then Silva, but the championship leader lost the place and returned to fourth in the same lap.
In lap 25 Pacho finally decided to attack Ortelli and tried to catch the champion. The Torino driver passed him but only enjoyed the leadership for one lap when Ortelli took back the first place in a clear move that shows the level of his Chevrolet for this race.
The Pace Car appeared for third time after and important accident where Ricky Joseph, driving a Chevrolet, flown all over the track to ended out of race with no problems for him, but many bumps in his car.
As the green flag flew to restart the race on lap 29, Pacho`s Torino started to loose perfonmance and with this the chances of dispute the ledership with Ortelli.
While Pacho was complicated with his car, Silva`s Ford was in his best moment and he tried everything to overtake the leader in the last lap of race. Another podium for the man that looks for a victory before the season close.
Ortelli achieved his second victory this season (the last one was on February at the season opener) and the number 16 in the category.
Ledesma scored third. Fantastic race for the man who continues leading the championship with 151,5 near followed by Ortelli, 139,5. Aventín took fourth place and jumped to third in the standings with 132 points. The big loosers of the weekend were the Dodge driver Ernesto Bessone and Omar Martínez with the Ford. Both retired and now must work a lot if they want to fight this championship until the end. Silva is sixth with 100 points.
The T.C. received two very important guests: the former F1 driver and governor of Santa Fé, Carlos Reutemann and the driver of the 250cc Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MOTOGP), Sebastian Porto, native to Rafaela . The Argentinian enjoyed the love of the 30000 persons around the circuit.
Final top eight classification: Ortelli, Silva, Ledesma, Aventín, Etchegaray, Ramos, Pacho, J. M. Iglesias.
The category will race again on September 14th. at Río Cuarto, Córdoba. Be ready for another exciting event.