Marc Gene scored his first win of the 2003 Superfund World Series by Nissan season in race 1 at Zolder after on track winner Stephane Sarrazin was given a 25-second penalty
Gene led the race from the start after getting the drop on Gabord Competicion's pole sitter Franck Montagny, but his pace dropped off after seven laps as his rear tyres started to wear. This allowed Carlin Motorsport's Narain Karthikeyan, who took over in second after Montagny spun, to close up.
Karthikeyan lined up a pass on the leading Adrian Campos Motorsport car, but off line the track was still wet and the Indian driver did well to keep control of his car as he ran wide on the exit of Bolderberg. However, his error allowed Sarrazin into second, and Carlin team-mate Bruce Jouanny and Bas Leinders to get right on his tail.
Going into the final corner the Carlin cars were side by side and Jouanny ran out of space and hit his team-mate. Both spun, but Karthikeyan was able to continue. Jouanny however, was left stranded in the middle of the track at the final corner.
The Safety Car was sent out so that Jouanny's car could be pulled away. At the restart Sarrazin drew level with Gene along the start/finish straight and took the lead well before the first corner. Once ahead he pulled comfortably away, but his glory was short-lived and he was found to have been seven centimetres ahead of Gene as they crossed the start/finish line.
Sarrazin was subsequently penalised, which dropped him to the foot of the order. Leinders was promoted to second, while young Austrian Norbert Siedler was handed his first ever top three finish in the series with third.
Gene said: "Overall this has been a good weekend considering that we did no dry running after I missed the Thursday test. I feel sorry for Stephane that he got the penalty as I did a really bad restart."
M Gene Adrian Campos Motorsport 27m17.501s B Leinders Racing Engineering +0.298s N Siedler Zele Racing +0.760s N Karthikeyan Carlin Motorsport +1.216s P Villaamil RC Motorsport +1.799s P Edwards KTR +2.557s F Portiero KTR +3.360s A Vilarino Epsilon +4.234s T Rocha Zele Racing +5.014s B Besson Saulnier Racing +5.314s
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