13, A LUCKY NUMBER? The work undertaken by Peugeot Sport throughout the winter on the Spider THP cars has paid off. The cars are not only quicker by two seconds per lap, but they are also even more fun to drive. In total, 13 cars lined up on the...
13, A LUCKY NUMBER?
The work undertaken by Peugeot Sport throughout the winter on the Spider THP cars has paid off. The cars are not only quicker by two seconds per lap, but they are also even more fun to drive. In total, 13 cars lined up on the grid for the first race of the season at Monza. The reigning champion Dino Lunardi won the race in front of Julien Beltoise and Englishman Simon Moulton.
Quality does not always mean quantity. As some competitors lacked time to prepare their cars for this event, there were just 13 competitors taking the start but they offered up a breathtaking spectacle with several feisty overtaking manoeuvres. Reigning champion Dino Lunardi, who completed much of the development work on the Spider THP over the winter, wanted to find out for himself how much of a difference these evolutions had made so he competed on the opening round without taking points. Lunardi claimed pole position and then went on to lead the field as soon as the lights went to green, in front of Simon Moulton, Julien Beltoise and the warring duo of Gael Castelli and Gregory Guilvert. The latter had to come into the pits to replace a loose turbo pipe, but the others kept going at a frenetic pace. Guilvert then embarked on a hectic chase: despite his lost time he had decided to come back out to play with his colleagues.
Two laps from the end Lunardi profited from the scrap between his rivals to pull out a gap and head towards victory. Behind him, the chequered flag decided the outcome of the duel by giving the nod to Beltoise second in front of Moulton and the rookie of the field: Castelli, who had graduated from 125cc karting. Guilvert who finally finished 12th claimed the fastest race lap as a consolation prize.
Further back and out on his own, Marcel Sciabbarrasi completed the top five ahead of Sebastien Dhouailly, who entered the Cup with the Lompech team at the last minute. Marlène Broggi was the top female finisher in seventh, to the detriment of Corentine Quinou who was demoted by David Pouget on the last lap.
Dino LUNARDI: " I'm very happy to have been able to get back to the Spider THP and judge the progress made. It was an action-packed race, but very exciting and unpredictable. "
Julien BELTOISE: " As Dino was not scoring any points I didn't try and fight him for victory because by finishing second I would still take the points for first. So I decided not to take any risks and just concentrate on fighting my key championship rivals, namely Simon Moulton. We fought hard but fairly, so it was a great start to the championship for me. " Simon MOULTON: " I took a podium last year at Magny-Cours, and now I've started off the 2008 season in the best possible way with a car I love. So I'm obviously very happy! "