Aug 22

Race 2 in Zolder gives Will Bratt his maiden win in Euroseries 3000

Gonzalez unstoppable in race 1

The belgian venue of Zolder saw the complete growth of Will Bratt. The british driver, indeed, maximized the experienced gained in the races contested so far with a shining win in the second race. A great achievement for him and for the whole De Villota team, whose engineers worked really hard in order to fix in less than two hours the car damaged in the morning race.

The brit had a great start from the pole position, following by a storming Fabio Onidi that passed from 5th to second position in the first corner. They were followed by Sistos, Crestani, Hanley, the Gonzalez-Bonanomi duo, with the Venezuelan able to overtake his team mate immediately, and Francesco Dracone closing the group.

The fight was on also on the second lap, when Crestani overtook Sistos while braking for the first corner. The young mexican driver, author of a good first lap, tried to react but he touched the kerb with a rear wheel and spun into the tire wall bouncing back on track, luckily without being hit by any other competitor. The Lola B05/52 confirmed his safety and toughness allowing Juan Carlos to walk away unscathed, but the debris on track forced the stewards to send the Safety-Car in for four laps.

At the restart Bratt set off well and gained ground on Onidi lap after lap. Behind him, Hanley started to put pression on Crestani, but the TP Racing driver, in better shape compared to the morning race, raised his pace and went away, leaving the brit to face the menace of Gonzalez and Bonanomi.

Rodolfo’s race was ruined by a spin on the 20th lap, that leaved him in sixth position till the end of the race. The final laps saw a storming Bonanomi coming right at the tail of Hanley, but the Italian decided not to risk an overtaking manouver because of the dirt that made the track very slippery off the racing line.

Worth of note, Will Bratt is the sixth different winner in six Euroseries races held, making the championship organized by Enzo Coloni one of the hardest fought series in Europe. Will Bratt: “I’m really happy. I was awaiting this victory from 2007, but misfortune had stopped me too many times. It was a hard race because after the restart I was racing against myself, looking only at the time’s screen on my driving wheel because I wasn’t able to see the team sign on the pit wall. Now I want to win again in Valencia”.

Fabio Onidi: “I took the best I could from this race. I’m very happy about the start, I chose the right side and I passed in second position, while Crestani was blocked. On the contrary, I’m not happy about the restart. The Safety-Car didn’t follow the standard procedure and let us pass well before the pit lane entry. I was caught out and Will took a great advantage”.

Fabrizio Crestani: “I had a good start, but the guys in front were on my line so I had to slow down; it’s a pity because 2nd place was at hand. I’m happy about the podium, but the weekend as a whole isn’t satisfying for me. The time we lost in the second session of practice ruined our qualifying and in Zolder everything in more difficult when starting from behind”.

Race Classification
1. Will Bratt (EmiliodeVillota.com Motorsport) 27 laps in 40’37”571, avg. 159,94 km/h
2. Fabio Onidi (FMSI) + 7”834
3. Fabrizio Crestani (TP Racing) + 15”580
4. Ben Hanley (Bull Racing) + 16”668
5. Marco Bonanomi (FMSI) + 17”227
6. Rodolfo Gonzalez (FMSI) + 35”377
7. Francesco Dracone (Emmebi Motorsport) + 1 giro

Did Not Finish
Juan Carlos Sistos crash on the 3rd lap
Fastest lap: Will Bratt on lap 14 in 1’20”309

Drivers Standings
1. Bonanomi 32; 2. Crestani e Onidi 28; 4. Bratt 20; 5. Hanley 18; 6. Gonzalez 13; 7.
Maldonado 10; 8. Piccione e Bamber 8; 10. Herck e Puglisi 6; 12. Nunes 5; 13. Sistos 3; 14.
Dracone 2; 15. Rodriguez e Dalle Stelle 1.

Teams Standings
1. Fisichella Motorsport International 56;
2. TP Formula 44;
3. Bull Racing 21;
4. EmiliodeVillota.com 20;
5. Team Costa Rica e Lazarus 12;
7. Teamcraft 10;
8. Durango 6.

Gonzalez unstoppable in race 1

Bonanomi and Hanley on the podium in Zolder

With a perfect race, Rodolfo Gonzalez managed to dominate the first round of the Euroseries 3000 weekend in Zolder. The Venezuelan driver, who started from the second position on the grid, overtook Marco Bonanomi right at the start, passing him on the outside of the first corner. From then on it was a lonely race for Rodolfo, who clinched a sequence of fastest lap times, building a great advantage on the competition.

 Untouchable for the whole race, in the last minutes Gonzalez had to deal with a faulty fuel pump, that made him slow down during the last lap, with the engine even stopping a few metres ahead of the finish line. Anyway, the Venezuelan was stronger than the misfortune that hit him in the last races, and took a well deserved win.

With Gonzalez running away, all the attention was on the struggle for 2nd and 3rd place, between Bonanomi, Will Bratt and Fabio Onidi, author of a good start which allowed him to overtake Ben Hanley. The trio raced closely, with only 1”4 beetween them, until lap 7 when Onidi, slowed by understeer, lost ground and was passed by Hanley.

In the meantime Bratt, who seemed perfectly capable of keeping his 3rd place, was victim of a slow puncture, slowing down for two laps and then going off track and damaging the nose of his Lola. With this, the comeback of Ben Hanley was even easier: in the second half of the race the brit showed a really quick pace, with only the unstoppable Gonzalez quicker than him.

Ben charged on Bonanomi, while the Italian decided to ease the pace a bit in the last laps. Fabrizio Crestani was 6th, ahead of Juan Carlos Sistos and Francesco Dracone. In Zolder the paddock was astonished by the quickness of the race: the best Lola B05/52s raced on the high 1’19” pace, the same laptimes of the Superleague races held in Zolder some weeks ago.

Rodolfo Gonzalez: “I knew that on my qualifiyng lap i did too many mistakes, and that I had the pace to win. I had only to overtake Marco at the start and I did, also thanks to his fair driving. From then on I knew I had to push in the first laps, but I didn’t imagine that the fuel pump was going to scare me. But in the end everything was perfect for us”.

Marco Bonanomi: “Second place is good for the championship but i’m not happy with it. We did some changes on the car but we lost mechanical grip. I hoped to clinch the fastest lap, but Gonzalez was really flying”.

Ben Hanley: “A podium on the debut with a new team is good, but i hope to do better in the 2nd race. The car setup was perfect for used tires, so I was faster and faster every lap. Now we have to modify it to find some more speed with new tyres.

1. Rodolfo Gonzalez (FMSI) 22 laps in 29’44”107, avg. 178,5 km/h
2. Marco Bonanomi (FMSI) + 3”886
3. Ben Hanley (Bull Racing) + 5”021
4. Fabio Onidi (FMSI) + 25”611
5. Fabrizio Crestani (TP Formula) + 36”395
6. Juan Carlos Sistos (Team Costa Rica) + 1’07”566
7. Francesco Dracone (Emmebi Motorsport) + 1 lap
8. Will Bratt (EmiliodeVillota.com Motorsport) + 7 laps
Fastest lap: Rodolfo Gonzalez on lap 12 in 1’19”625, avg. 181,3 km/h.

source: euroseries3000.com