Justin Wilson took his first win in the Dallara Nissan World Series after fending off Ricardo Zonta at Valencia, although Zonta claimed the championship by virtue of his second place
Wilson got the drop on Zonta at the start and led the Brazilian into the first corner. The pair proceeded to pull away from the field, but although they were never more than a few car lengths apart before the pitstops started, Zonta was never quite close enough to attempt a pass.
Convention dictates that the front runners leave their stops as late as possible, but in a bid to wrest the lead from Wilson, Zonta stopped four laps earlier than his rival. The tactic may have worked had the former F1 star not accidentally turned the ignition off as he left the pits. He lost around a second before he rectified the situation, but with the cars so closely matched it was vital.
Wilson emerged from his stop with a slender but comfortable advantage, which he held to the flag for his first win of the year.
"The race went to plan," said the 2001 F3000 champ. "I pushed hard and I made no mistakes. David, my engineer, has transformed my part of the team in the second half of the season, so there's a big thanks to him."
Zonta won the title by virtual of another terrible race for his rivals. Franck Montagny worked his way up from eighth on the grid to take a distant fifth, but Bas Leinders again failed to score after coasting into the pits on lap 12.
Jean Christophe Ravier was delighted to take third, while Jonathan Cochet took his second fourth of the weekend. Damien Faulkner made his strategy pay to climb from 18th on the grid to finish in the points in ninth.
Justin Wilson Racing Engineering 37m17.309s Ricardo Zonta Gabord +0.752s Jean Christophe Ravier Epilson by Graff +8.571s Jonathan Cochet KTR +19.035s Franck Montagny Racing Engineering +31.092s Ander Vilarino Epilson by Graff +31.644s Polo Villamil Adrian Campos Motorsport +35.476s Roberto Gonzalez GD Racing +40.298s Damien Faulkner Zele +41.394s Peter Sundberg Tata RC+49.241s
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