RACE 1: HUFF MASTERS THE WEATHER Robert Huff claimed victory in particularly tricky racing conditions in Anderstorp. Poleman Tiago Monteiro came a close second after a charge at the end of the race while James Thompson stormed through the...
RACE 1: HUFF MASTERS THE WEATHER
Robert Huff claimed victory in particularly tricky racing conditions in Anderstorp. Poleman Tiago Monteiro came a close second after a charge at the end of the race while James Thompson stormed through the battling field to occupy the final podium position.
Rain fell as the cars waited on the grid and consequently tyre selection was a gamble for the teams. Huff was on wets and got a superb start to lead into the second corner. Behind him followed the SEATs of Tiago Monteiro and Jordi Gene (also on wets). It was evident that the drivers on slicks (including Gabriele Tarquini, Alex Zanardi, Alain Menu and Robert Dahlgren) were struggling as they had already dropped down the rankings.
Gene and Monteiro battled side by side until lap three when the Spaniard moved up to third. However, his race was to take a turn for the worse; as the track dried his tyres wore out and he fell down the positions one-by-one to an eventual 18th. Quite the opposite happened for his team-mate Tarquini. His slick tyres punished him at the start as he dropped to 15th from seventh but in the late stages he charged through overtaking several cars at a time to cross the line fifth. Fellow SEAT drivers Tom Coronel and Yvan Muller passed the chequered flag fourth and sixth respectively; the Frenchman being slowed down by a power-steering failure, but scored the first points in a turbo diesel car.
The decision to use slicks also benefited Alain Menu who plunged across the line ahead of Rydell to take pole for the second race. Nicola Larini was constantly in the action with Rydell as they shuffled for position several times and fought with Fredrik Ekblom, the most competitive of the BMW drivers. However the Italian drove determinedly to finish seventh making it an all Chevrolet front row. Rydell crossed the line just out of the points in ninth.
With Ekblom dropping down to 12th in the final part of the race, Andy Priaulx achieved the best result for BMW in 11th position.
The winner of the Independent competitors was Luca Rangoni, classified 17th overall; his choice to start on slicks paid off as in the final laps he managed to overtake Roberto Colciago and win the race.