Race: Wirdheim gaffe hands win to Kiesa

Den Bla Avis driver Nicholas Kiesa took a shock win in the Formula 3000 race at Monaco today (Saturday) after Bjorn Wirdheim, who had dominated the race, slowed down to celebrate his win too early and inadvertently allowed the Dane past

Race: Wirdheim gaffe hands win to Kiesa

Arden driver Wirdheim controlled the race for almost its entire length until his astonishing error. Coming out of the final corner, he slowed to savour the victory with his mechanics, failing to realise that he was still some 50 metres short of the finish line. His team frantically waved at him to get moving, but Kiesa was able to nip past before the line to steal his first F3000 win.

Wirdheim's premature celebration capped a number of bizarre and dramatic incidents throughout the race. Trouble started when Giorgio Pantano literally barged his way past Ricardo Sperafico to take second. The Brazilian was struggling with his tyres, a problem that became so bad he eventually pitted, losing a whole lap in the process.

Behind Pantano, Enrico Toccacelo and Vitantonio Liuzzi squabbled for third until Toccacelo braked early and hard heading into casion square. The Italian rammed Toccacelo hard in the back, and was launched in spectacular fashion over the top of his rival, necessitating a lengthy safety car period to clear up the carnage. Both drivers were unhurt in the shunt, which, unsurprisingly, both blamed the other for.

Pantano looked set to claim second position, but had reckoned without earlier rival Sperafico. The Brazilian, now a lap down and running right behind the Italian, was none too pleased about their earlier altercation, and tried to unlap himself with a brave move into mirabeau that succeeded only in taking Pantano out of the race. Sperafico received the black flag for his troubles.

Nicola Kiesa Den Bla Avis
Bjorn Wirdheim Arden
Raffaele Giamaria Durango
Jaroslav Janis ISR-Charouz
Zsolt Baumgartner Coloni
Townsend Bell Arden
Yannick Schroeder ISR-Charouz
Jeffrey van Hooydonk Astromega
Bernhard Auinger Red Bull Junior
William Langhorn BCM F3000

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