Rueda puts an end to Schiller’s winning streak
Yesterday Fabian Schiller scored his second pole of the season and he made a good start from Fran Rueda. Behind, Jelle Beelen (V8 Racing) and Fredrik Blomstedt (R-ace GP) slipped past Miguel Ramos (Equipe Verschuur) who overtook the Swede on lap 6. The latter then spun in a contact with Max Braams (V8 Racing).
On lap 10, Rueda took the lead by passing his team-mate in the infield section just before the deployment of the safety car following the collision between Jelle Beelen and Miguel Ramos who were battling for third place. The Spaniard made no mistakes on the restart and won the race from Schiller and Andrés Méndez (Oregon Team), followed by a squabbling pack who were at one another’s throats on the last two laps when the all clear was given.
Max Braams emerged in front chased by Ben Anderson (Duqueine Engineering), who, like Davide Roda (Oregon Team) was handed a 10-second penalty for not respecting the track limits. Dennis Andersen (High Class Racing) inherited fifth place in front of Fredrik Blomstedt, Jeroen Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur), Christophe Hamon (Duqueine Engineering), Carmen Jorda (V8 Racing) and Due (Oregon Team) who all scored points.
Schothorst beats Palttala
The previous day, Pieter Schothorst set his first pole of the season with a record lap for the category in 1m25.303sec. The Dutchman started the race in front of Markus Palttala, Bruno Bonifacio (Oregon Team), Nicky Pastorelli (V8 Racing) and David Fumanelli.
An accident eliminated Raoul Owens (R-ace GP), Dario Capitanio (Oregon Team), Duncan Huisman (V8 Racing), Anders Fjordbach (High Class Racing) and Diego Mejia (Duqueine Engineering), and brought out the safety car on the first lap. In the confusion Palttala took the lead but his team ordered him to hand back the place on the restart so Schothorst found himself back in front. He won the race closely followed by the Finn.
Behind these two, Bruno Bonifacio retook third, which he’d lost at the start to Nicky Pastorelli who retired at half distance, but the Brazilian was excluded post-race as his car didn’t comply with gearbox oil level. David Fumanelli then inherited his podium spot, followed by Lonni Martins (Duqueine Engineering), Tanart Sathienthirakul (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0), Kevin Korjus (R-ace GP) and Jordan Grogor (V8 Racing). Roy Geerts (Equipe Verschuur) retired shortly after a contact with David Fumanelli.
Fran Rueda (AM) : “Winning my first race in the Renault Sport R.S. 01 feels really great. I stayed behind Fabian to see his lines and his weaknesses as it’s tough getting close to the car in front of you, in particular in the second sector where you can lose downforce. I was going to attack him a bit earlier but a minor problem prevented me from doing so for a lap. Then I made a move that stuck. Just after that out came the safety car. I made a good restart, not the best in my career, but it was enough to open up a gap and win.”
Pieter Schothorst (PRO) : “It’s really been a long time coming. We didn’t really get the season off to a great start, and we were also a bit unlucky on some occasions, but it seems that’s all in the past ! The team worked flat out to solve the problems and put me on the topmost step of the podium. Markus and I both made a reasonable start ; he got past me on the outside before giving back his position. His tyres’ temperatures were better than mine at the restart but I managed to pull away !”
Provisional overall endurance classification *
1. M. Palttala – F. Schiller (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0) 65
2. K. Korjus – F. Blomstedt (R-ace GP) 55
3. R. Geerts – M. Ramos (Equipe Verschuur) 28
4. R. Owens (R-ace GP) 26
5. T. Forné (R-ace GP) 24
Provisional overall PRO classification *
1. Kevin Korjus (R-ace GP) 68
2. Pieter Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) 66
3. Markus Palttala (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0) 63
4. David Fumanelli (Oregon Team) 53
5. Lewis Williamson (Strakka Racing) 43
Provisional overall AM classification *
1. Fabian Schiller (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0) 93
2. Fran Rueda (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0) 68
3. Andres Mendez (Oregon Team) 46
4. Fredrik Blomstedt (R-ace GP) 44
5. Miguel Ramos (Equipe Verschuur) 31
*subject to the official confirmation of the results after scrutineering and sporting checks.