Surprise win for Rodrigo Sperafico

Rodrigo Sperafico scored his first Formula 3000 victory in a dramatic season opener at Interlagos, as Brazilians finished in the top four places at their home race

Surprise win for Rodrigo Sperafico

Durango Formula driver Sperafico inherited the lead from Tomas Enge, whose Arden Lola suffered a fuel pump failure while he held a huge advantage over the rest. With the Czech driver out, Sperafico defended his place from Mario Haberfeld, surviving the threat of a late-race restart from a safety car period to take the flag.

Polesitter Sebastien Bourdais took the lead from the start, but the Super Nova driver did not hold the position for long. Enge had his Lola well hooked up and he simply drove past his French rival into Turn 4.

Bourdais' challenge came to a premature end when he slowed with a puncture on lap seven. Once the Avon tyre had been changed, he rejoined the race, but could only take fastest lap as consolation for the lost points.

With Bourdais gone, Enge opened up a huge lead over Sperafico and Haberfeld. By lap 29 he was a massive 14 seconds in front, only for the fuel pump problem to intervene. The Arden car trickled into the pits to retire.

Although Haberfeld got to within 0.5sec of Sperafico, the Durango car appeared to be comfortable at the front. Then five laps from the end, Zsolt Baumgartner tangled with his Nordic Racing team-mate Ryan Briscoe. In trying to recover his spun Lola, Baumgartner stalled on the racing line, forcing the intervention of the safety car.

That set up a two-lap showdown at the end of the race, but Sperafico got the drop on Haberfeld and took the victory. Red Bull's Ricardo Mauricio and Petrobras driver Antonio Pizzonia completed the Brazilian white-wash.

"It's unbelievable," Sperafico said of the historical 1-2-3-4. "I am so happy for the Brazilian drivers and the Brazilian people."

Arden's other driver, Bjorn Wirdheim was the best of the non-Brazilians in fifth. He put in a great drive after stalling on the grid.

For full race results, click here.

For full championship standings, click here.

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