Monza: Wirdheim wins, Enge takes title

Tomas Enge wrapped up the Formula 3000 International title at Monza in Italy today (Saturday), but will now have to wait and see what action the sport's governing body, the FIA, might take against him after his positive anti-dope test result for cannabis

Monza: Wirdheim wins, Enge takes title

Bjorn Wirdheim led all the way to take his first F3000 race win at Monza, as his Arden team-mate Enge grabbed third place and - disciplinary action allowing - the championship title.

Enge commented: "All I can say is that I have a good feeling that the speed on the circuits has been there this season. I've done a good job on the track. When I crossed the line I was crying. It feels incredible, like nothing I've experienced before."

In a dramatic race Swede Wirdheim over-shadowed title-hunting trio Enge, Sebastien Bourdais and Giorgio Pantano.

"It's fantastic to finish the season on a high," said Wirdheim, the series' most impressive 2002 rookie, who also secured fourth in the points with this performance.

Of the top three in the points it was the Italian Pantano who came closest to winning the race - a result he needed if he was to have any chance of nicking the title at the last gasp.

Pantano challenged hard over the early laps, but eventually dropped away from Wirdheim and eventually finished only fourth after losing two places on a one-lap sprint to the flag after Ricardo Mauricio's huge shunt brought out the safety car.

Bourdais had retired from fifth place with engine failure. The Frenchman had been stuck behind American Derek Hill for much of the distance and was well behind Enge in fourth when he finally moved up to fifth. The safety-car period, which might have given him a crack at passing Enge and taking the title, came too late. He'd already retired.

Antonio Pizzonia grabbed second place on that last lap dash. The Brazilian had opted for a super low-downforce rear-wing set-up and used it to great effect. He'd moved up to third place ahead of rocket-starter Enrico Toccacelo (up from ninth on the grid) early on. Later he held off Enge through the corners and sped away on the straights until that last lap, when he grabbed second place at the Lesmos when Pantano made a mistake.

Enge moved up from sixth to fourth when a move by Ricardo Sperafico on Toccacello went wrong and they both dropped back. Enge converted fourth to third on the last lap when Pantano made another mistake at the Ascari chicane. The Italian held onto fourth place, while Nicolas Kiesa and Rodrigo Sperafico completed the top six.

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