Albacete: Saturday report

Andre Couto and Bas Leinders will lead the World Series races tomorrow. The Series leader, Ricardo Zonta, will start from 2nd and 3rd row; Montagny, 3rd in the second session, wants to reduce the gap. Albacete, 22 June 2002 ? For the first...

Andre Couto and Bas Leinders will lead the World Series races tomorrow.

The Series leader, Ricardo Zonta, will start from 2nd and 3rd row; Montagny, 3rd in the second session, wants to reduce the gap.

Albacete, 22 June 2002 ? For the first time since the Series started, nor Ricardo Zonta (Gabord Competición) neither Franck Montagny (Racing Engineering) will be the favourite drivers for the victories in the Telefónica World Series by Nissan races. Andre Couto (Vergani Racing) and Bas Leinders (KTR) achieved both pole positions in the two qualifying sessions of the top category during the 3rd round of the Series taking place at the Albacete circuit.

Albacete will live tomorrow a very special day: the World Series will be celebrated the same day as the local festivity's day, Saint John's day. For this reason, a Mirage F-1 plane will do an exhibition at 2.00 p.m. just before the second race.

Qualifying 1

The leader Ricardo Zonta (Gabord Competición) and the challenger Franck Montagny, currently lying 26 points behind the exF-1 driver, were unable to get the best time because due to some problems in finding the proper set up in this tricky circuit. They will start the first race from 4th place and 8th place on the grid, although both improved their positions from yesterday. Portuguese Andre Couto got his best starting grid position in the second lap and decided to preserve the tyres. He bettered Jean Christophe Ravier (Epsilon by Graff) by 0.320 seconds. 11 drivers ended the qualifying packed in less than a second from the pole did. Bas Leinders (KTR) and Zonta are on the second row on the grid; Rafael Sarandeses (7Up GD Racing) classified 5th at 0.672 from Couto.

Qualifying 2

In the second session, no one could improve Couto's 1:19. The fastest driver was Bas Leinders lapping 1:19.037, it was the first pole position for Belgium. Couto will be with him in the front row on the grid. Montagny worked his way through set up problems and bettered his position in the hot conditions with the track surface above 60 degrees. Ravier jumped to a final 4th in the last qualifying session. Swedish Peter Sundberg (Tata RC Motorsport) and Ricardo Zonta will start from the third row.

Fórmula Nissan 2000

Paulo Alho (Venturini Racing) and the leader Matteo Bobbi (Vergani Racing) achieved the best timed laps. The quickest driver in the first session was the Portuguese with 1:22.434, 0.094 seconds ahead Bobbi. José M. Pérez Aicart (Escuela Lois Circuit) and Santiago Porteiro (Repsol Meycom) pushed to a final 3rd and 4th position just 0.313 and 0.593 ahead from Alho.

In the second session, Bobbi improved his performance and moved into pole with 1:23.199 (4th pole this season). Pérez-Aicart ended the qualifying in 2nd place just 0.432 seconds ahead, and Celso Míguez and Porteiro secured 3rd and 4th. Mathias Lauda (Epsilon by Graff) got 8th and 13th best time. His teammate Gelete Nieto got 11st in both sessions.

Standings: 1. Bobbi, 74 points; 2. Borja García, 48; 3. Porteiro, 41; 4. Pérez-Aicart, 38; 5. Del Pino, 34; 6. Miguez, 27; 7. Navarrete, 24.

Fórmula Junior 1600 Spanish Championship

Adrián Vallés (Escuela Lois Circuit) was the winner in the first race of the Spanish Formula Junior Championship hold today ahead of Víctor Jaguen (TCR Motorsport) and Roldán Rodríguez (Porfesa Competición). This is his 4th consecutive victory.

Standings: 1. Vallés, 81 points; 2. Orecchioni, 39; 3. Barba, 34; 4. Rodríguez, 30; 5. Carol, 28.

The schedule for tomorrow

Tomorrow, the first World Series race will take place at 11:45 (19 laps) and the second race will be at 14:15 (28 laps with a compulsory pit stop).


Frank Montagny

"I couldn't test in Albacete last week because I participating at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Besides, we haven't been able to work in the set up until Friday. We did a very hard work today because we wanted to rode well and do the job of two days. I'm really confident for tomorrow's second race".

Andre Couto

"This is the first pole of my career and it has crowned a week of flat-out work by team and team's engineers. The set up was very good. Strategy for tomorrow is quite easy: do a good start and hold the lead of the race until the end"

Bas Leinders

"My last pole was in 1998 when I was in the German F3 Championship. I'm very satisfied because this pole for the second race is a brilliant result for my team and also for the championship, because it means that some drivers have chances of victory and not only two"

J.C. Ravier

"It's the first time in the season where I really have felt good. My team has done a very good job with the set up and this result is what we have been looking for during several weeks. I want to win for them"

Albacete Circuit
Length: 3.539 m
Lap record: 1:20.942 (Ángel Burgueño, 1998)

Grid 1st race
1. Andre Couto POR Vergani Racing 1:18.695
2. Jean C. Ravier FRA Epsilon by Graff 1:19.015 / 0.320
2. Bas Leinders BEL KTR 1:19.112 / 0.417
4. Ricardo Zonta BRA Gabord Competicion 1:19.320 / 0.625
5. Rafael Sarandeses SPA 7Up GD Racing 1:19.367 / 0.672
6. Peter Sundberg SUE RC Motorsport 1:19.441 / 0.746

Grid 2nd race
1. Bas Leinders BEL KTR 1:19.037
2. Andre Couto POR Vergani Racing 1:19.381 / 0.344
3. Franck Montagny FRA Racing Engineering 1:19.546 / 0.509
4. Jean C. Ravier FRA Epsilon by Graff 1:19.629 / 0.592
5. Peter Sundberg SUE RC Motorsport 1:19.903 / 0.866
6. Ricardo Zonta BRA Gabord Competicion 1:19.911 / 0.874

Championship standings (2nd of 9): 1.R. Zonta, 78 points; 2. F. Montagny, 52 ; 3. B. Leinders, 45; 4. N. Filiberti, 22; 5. J.C. Ravier, 19; 6. R. Sarandeses, 15; 7. A. Vilariño, 15; 8. A. García, 15; 9. N. Karthikeyan, 15; 10. J. Wilson, 12


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About this article
Series Other open wheel , Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Franck Montagny , Matteo Bobbi , Bas Leinders , Mathias Lauda , Adrian Valles , Andre Couto , Borja Garcia , Celso Miguez , Peter Sundberg
Teams Racing Engineering