EU 2000: Zolder race one notes
Ammermuller on another planet The German driver Michael Ammermuller (Jenzer Motorsport) completed a splendid solo effort here today to win the first race of the season after starting from pole. Westley Barber (Comtec Racing) came out on top in ...
Ammermuller on another planet
The German driver Michael Ammermuller (Jenzer Motorsport) completed a splendid solo effort here today to win the first race of the season after starting from pole. Westley Barber (Comtec Racing) came out on top in a fine struggle with Jerôme d'Ambrosio (Euronova Racing) and Junior Strous (Mr. Glow Motorsport) to take the second podium spot.
Michael Ammermuller really made the most of his pole position to get off to the best start and complete the first lap at the front of the field ahead of Junior Strous, Jerôme d'Ambrosio, Westley Barber and Kasper Andersen (Formula Sport). Carlos Iaconelli (JD Motorsport) and Nicolas Prost (Graff Racing) did not even make it to this stage of the race after a coming together.
Very quickly, Ammermuller started to stretch out a lead over his rivals, with the gap going up by over a second a lap! The struggle between Strous, d'Ambrosio and Barber was something to behold-- but it was only helping the leader to pull away.
Themselves a little further back, Serra, Raikhlin, Canal and Baguette were involved in a similar struggle for fifth. As for Dani Clos (Pons Racing) and Tom Dillman (Prema Power Team), they both made errors which saw them end up in the gravel trap!
After that, the race remained uneventful until lap 10 when there was a collision involving Kamui Kobayashi (Prema Power Team) and Filipe Miguel Delgadinho Albuquerque (Motopark Oschersleben). A shame given that the Japanese driver had just recorded the fastest lap of the race.
However, this incident seemed to give the race fresh impetus: Westley Barber passed Jerôme d'Ambrosio and Junior Strous one after the other. Strous then went on to lose third.
Whether due to tyre wear or simply fatigue, errors were on the increase with Dima Raikhlin (SL Formula), Kasper Andersen and Walter Grubmuller all running onto the grass.
Behind Ammermuller who had now built a lead of over 10'', Westley Barber was putting some tarmac between himself and Jerôme d'Ambrosio and Junior Strous who were still locked in combat. Behind them there was another battle going on between Daniel Serra, Bertrand Baguette and Reinhard Kofler. Even if they are Cram Competition team mates, neither Sera or Kofler had any intention of making life easier for the other and it was to end in tears for Sera who was forced to abandon.
The last lap was looking promising for the home crowd as Bertrand Baguette closed on Kofler. But despite the encouragement of the fans, the Belgian youngster was unsuccessful in his quest to make it into fifth place.
Westley Barber: "I'm delighted with the result. The competition in this Championship is very stiff. Unfortunately, I won't be in the running for tomorrow's race. It would be impossible for me to make it into the points starting from the back of the grid."
Jerôme d'Ambrosio: "It's a good result but I'll have to wait until the last race of the season in Italy to take part in the Eurocup again! We had to change the engine to comply with Eurocup regulations. I couldn't really find my bearings here and was having trouble containing Strous towards the end of the race. I think that the outcome of this race was a fair one."
UK 2000: Sean McIntosh Thruxton preview
EU 2000: Zolder race two notes