Morbidelli clinches Speedcar title
|By Steven English||Sunday, April 26th 2009, 11:12 GMT|
Vitantonio Liuzzi won today's final race of the Speedcar season in Bahrain, while Gianni Morbidelli clinched the title in fifth place.
Morbidelli went into the reverse grid race one point ahead of reigning champion Johnny Herbert and his task was made a lot easier when Herbert was tapped into a spin at the start by Ramez Azzam.
The Italian maintained fifth place in the race while Herbert charged back up from 11th, but the Briton could only make it as far as his tail and Morbidelli soaked up the pressure to clinch the championship.
"I'm extremely happy because it was hard," said Morbidelli. "This weekend we were not very competitive but we did it, and this is the most important thing.
"During the race I was sure Johnny was fast and when I saw him in the mirror I understood that my life was going to get difficult! I just focussed on my race and tried to do as few mistakes as possible."
Jean Alesi started last, courtesy of his blown engine in yesterday's race, but jumped the rolling start and passed the entire field before the first corner. When he came in for his inevitable drive-through penalty, he left Tomas Biagi in the lead from Hasher Al-Maktoum and Liuzzi third.
Liuzzi caught and passed both cars ahead of him and eased away to victory.
"I had a clean and controlled race," said Liuzzi. "I was trying to save the tyres because yesterday we had a problem in the last 10 laps. I think we did the best we could do this weekend with a first and a third."
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Vitantonio Liuzzi UP Team 41m02.174s 2. Tomas Biagi Palm Racing 3.453s 3. Hasher Al-Maktoum UP Team 4.936s 4. Nicolas Navarro Durango 10.277s 5. Gianni Morbidelli Palm Racing 12.117s 6. Johnny Herbert JMB 12.464s 7. Chris Buncombe West Tec 19.899s 8. Christopher Zoechling Continental Circus 22.644s 9. Marchy Lee HPR 29.194s 10. Jean Alesi HPR 35.642s 11. Massimo Cioci Durango 44.595s 12. Heinz-Harald Frentzen Continental Circus 52.811s Retirements Damien Pasini JMB 12 laps David Terrien West Tec 11 laps Ramez Azzam Scuderia Giudici 7 laps Gianni Giudici Scuderia Giudici 7 laps Fastest Lap, Liuzzi 2m07.487s on lap 4