Guerrieri scores Olympiacos' first win
|By Charles Bradley||Sunday, September 6th 2009, 11:21 GMT|
Esteban Guerrieri scored the first victory in Superleague Formula for Greek club Olympiacos at Estoril on Sunday morning, the Argentinian passing both Adrian Valles (Liverpool) and Antonio Pizzonia (Corinthians) to secure the win.
Guerrieri - who also won at Zolder driving for Al Ain - leapt into the lead from the outset, as poleman Pizzonia appeared to miss the lights at the rolling start and was rammed from behind by Valles. Guerrieri extended a 1.7s lead before his mandatory pitstop, but there his lead was negated as both Valles and Pizzonia moved ahead of him with faster stops.
But the 24-year-old, who has driven for three clubs this season, was not to be denied. After all the leaders struggled to pass late-stopping backmarker Maria de Villota, Guerrieri attacked the delayed Pizzonia around the outside at Turn 6 on lap 20. The Brazilian held him off there, but Guerrieri lunged again at the following corner and pulled off a brilliant pass.
Guerrieri then chased down leader Valles, and took full advantage when the Liverpool car slid onto the kerbs at Turn 2, the legacy of a late-race brake problem, allowing Guerreri to dive down the inside into Turn 3. He reeled off the remaining four laps to score a 2.1s victory.
"The race was excellent," said Guerrieri. "The pitstop wasn't great but the car was great. In the second stint I tried not to kill the tyres early on, and saved my push-to-pass for the late stages too. The others were really struggling for rear grip by then, but my car was nicely balanced."
Pizzonia finished third, but was lucky not to be penalised after he left the pits with his rear jack still attached. Fortunately, it quickly fell off and there was no sanction.
Yelmer Buurman was fourth for Anderlecht, ahead of John Martin (Rangers) and Giorgio Pantano (AC Milan). Tottenham's Craig Dolby could only manage eighth, but that moved him into second in the championship as FC Basel's car refused to engage first gear and Max Wissel was a non-starter.
Of the newcomers, Alvaro Parente crashed out of 10th for Porto when he tripped over de Villota after she ran wide at Turn 2, firing him into the barriers as she rejoined into his path.
Ex-Formula 1 racer Sebastien Bourdais finished 11th for Sevilla on his series debut, losing time early on but setting some competitive lap times as the race wore on.
Franck Perera took seventh on his return for Roma.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Esteban Guerrieri Olympiacos 45m47.271s 2. Adrian Valles Liverpool + 2.166s 3. Antonio Pizzonia Corinthians + 3.010s 4. Yelmer Buurman Anderlecht + 13.980s 5. John Martin Rangers + 18.200s 6. Giorgio Pantano AC Milan + 28.787s 7. Franck Perera AS Roma + 31.158s 8. Craig Dolby Tottenham Hotspur + 35.764s 9. Pedro Petiz Sporting +1m00.995s 10. Carlo van Dam PSV Eindhoven +1m21.104s 11. Sebastien Bourdais Sevilla FC +1m22.390s 12. Nelson Panciatici Olympique Lyonnais +2m25.470s 13. Enrique Bernoldi Flamengo + 1 lap 14. Maria de Villota Atletico Madrid + 1 lap Retirements: Kasper Andersen FC Midtylland 28 laps Alvaro Parente FC Porto 11 laps Ho-Pin Tung Galatasaray 8 laps Max Wissel FC Basel 0 laps