Race 1: Montagny floats to win

Franck Montagny took the initiative in his battle for the championship runner-up spot with Bas Leinders with victory at Interlagos

Race 1: Montagny floats to win

A massive downpour before the start of the race left the circuit almost undriveable, and even as the field cruised around behind the safety car several drivers spun.

Pole man Ricardo Zonta took the lead at the start proper after several laps under the safety car. However, he fell foul of the river of mud which covered the circuit at the exit of Turn 1 and crashed, handing the lead to Belgian Bas Leinders.

Justin Wilson, who started 11th, somehow contrived to make up eight places on the first lap to run third behind Leinders and Montagy, but admitted that he was not sure how he got there.

"I've got no idea what happened because I couldn't see anything," said Wilson. "The start took me by surprise and because my engine was so wet I couldn't get the power down. Through the first corner I could only see the outside of the corner and managed to avoid Zonta's car. That's all I could see!"

After a little over one lap, the safety car briefly re-emerged before the green flag again flew on lap five. This time it was Leinders who suffered and spun away the lead to Montagny.

Fortunately for the Belgian, the race was red-flagged before the end of the lap and he took the restart from pole position. However, it was to no avail as he dropped behind Montagny and Wilson through the first corner.

The Racing Engineering pairing crusied away from the field with ease and Wilson kept up the pressure on his team-mate, never dropping more than one second behind.

Spaniard Polo Vaillaamil kept out of trouble to finish third after passing Leinders at Turn 1. Leinders finished fourth, ahead of European F3000 champion Jaime Melo, Antonio Garcia and Narain Karthikeyan.



Franck Montagny (Racing Engineering)
Justin Wilson (Racing Engineering)
Polo Vilaamil (Campos Motorsport)
Bas Leinders (KTR), 1m25.781s
Jaime Melo (Zele Motorsport)
Antonio Garcia (Campos Motorsport)
Narain Karthikeyan (RC Motorsport)
Tuka Rocha (Gabord Competition)
Wagner Ebrahim (GD Racing)
Andre Couto (Vergani Racing)

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