Petiz takes maiden victory at Monza
|By Peter Mills||Sunday, October 4th 2009, 15:28 GMT|
Sporting Lisbon's Pedro Petiz scored his maiden Superleague Formula success in the reverse grid race at Monza this afternoon.
The Portuguese had endured a troubled race one, culminating in ramming Porto's Tristan Gommendy on the approach to the pitlane when the Frenchman engaged his pitlane speed limiter a little prematurely.
The 22-year-old tin-top convert, a winner of the Renault Megane Trophy in 2007, picked up the reverse grid pole for his woes and maintained the advantage to claim his first major open-wheel triumph.
In a manic race, Tottenham Hotspur's Craig Dolby charged through the field to take second place from the seventh row of the grid, in the process edging closer to title rival Adrian Valles in the points race. Dolby was assisted by pitting on lap 10, one tour after a mass scrum which resulted in a log jam in the narrow pitlane.
Dolby's drive was eclipsed by that of race one victor Sebastien Bourdais, who stormed from last on the grid to secure the final step of the podium. Bourdais has scored an impressive 90 points out of possible 100 over the weekend, but was quick to pay compliment to the efforts of rival Esteban Guerrieri, who finished fourth this afternoon for Olympiacos.
"I think Esteban was the quickest package this weekend, he ran us really close in race one," said Bourdais. "We both started at the back [in race two], but unfortunately he had some incidents. When the FC Basel car of Wissel and [Antonio] Pizzonia had problems, things just opened up for me, which was quite nice."
Liverpool's Adrian Valles took fifth, just half a second ahead at the chequered flag of Anderlecht's Dutch pilot Yelmer Buurman.
The first of several incidents occurred almost immediately when front row qualifier Jonathan Kennard and AC Milan's Giorgio Pantano made contact away from the start at the first chicane. Kennard's Flamengo car was tapped into a pirouette by the former GP2 champion, forcing the Englishman to rejoin in last position.
The incident allowed Petiz a two-second break over the field at the conclusion of the opening lap, with Pantano acting as an unwitting rear gunner for the Sporting Lisbon man by continuing to back up the field in second place.
Pantano would slip to an eventual 11th place, not helped by being in the thick of the pitlane chaos along with FC Basel's Wissel. After another fighting drive, Pizzonia's Corinthians machine was once again struck down with technical trouble in the latter stages of the race.
With one round of the championship, at Jarama, remaining, Liverpool's Valles retains the points lead, 59 ahead of Dolby. Guerrieri's strong weekend has helped to propel Olympiacos up to third.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Pedro Petiz Sporting Clube de Portugal 41m51.037s 2. Craig Dolby Tottenham Hotspur +6.051 3. Sebastien Bourdais Sevilla FC +11.436 4. Esteban Guerrieri Olympiacos +12.945 5. Adrian Valles Liverpool +18.660 6. Yelmer Buurman Anderlecht +19.107 7. Ho-Pin Tung Galatasaray +24.939 8. Carlo van Dam PSV Eindhoven +34.379 9. Antonio Pizzonia Corinthians +46.858 10. Maria de Villota Atletico Madrid +54.555 11. Giorgio Pantano AC Milan +1:07.513 12. John Martin Glasgow Rangers +1:47.547 Retirements Tristan Gommendy FC Porto 22 laps Max Wissel FC Basel 17 laps Nelson Panciatici Olympique Lyonnais 15 laps Kasper Andersen FC Midtylland 5 laps Julien Jousse AS Roma 3 laps Jonathan Kennard Flamengo 3 laps