out on his own
Toccacelo (Victory Engineering) led from start to finish to
take victory in the first race in the 2005 World Series. The
Italian driver was joined on the podium by Austrian Andreas
Zuber (Carlin Motorsport) and Polish driver Robert Kubica
(Epsilon Euskadi). The podium thus featured drivers from three
different countries and three different teams!
first moment of drama occurred during the formation lap, when
the Australian Will Power (Carlin Motorsport), 4th in qualifying,
was forced out due to transmission failure.
Enrico Toccacelo took full advantage of his pole position
to keep the lead at the race start. Right from the first lap,
the Italian pulled away from Andreas Zuber and Robert Kubica.
And with only 19 laps to cover in this first race, spirits
were flying high behind the leaders. Jaap Van Lagen (KTR),
Markus Winkelhock (Draco Multiracing USA), Eric Salignon (Cram
Compétition) and Giovanni Tedeschi (RC Motorsport)
paid dearly for their overenthusiasm.
two laps, Enrico Toccacelo had already established a 2.4 second
lead over Andreas Zuber. The Austrian was being chased by
a group made up of Robert Kubica, Tristan Gommendy (KTR),
Felix Porteiro (Epsilon Euskadi) who had made a fantastic
start from the 6th row of the grid Adrian Valles (Pons
Racing) and Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA).
Winkelhock was forced to abandon on lap 4, due to gearbox
failure. This left the group of Ryo Fukuda, Simon Pagenaud
(DHG Saulnier Racing) and Patrick Pilet (Jenzer Motorsport)
in the slipstream of Montanari.
tightly behind Zuber, Kubica appeared to be waiting for the
right moment to move past into second. Matteo Meneghello (Eurointernational)
went off into the gravel trap (6th lap), but was able to regain
the track with the help of the marshals.
gap between the leader and his two main rivals stabilized
after 8 laps. Not too far behind Kubica, Tristan Gommendy
continued to lap on his own in 4th position. The dual being
fought out for 5th between fellow Spaniards Porteiro and Valles,
however, was a different matter entirely!
five laps to go, Gommendy moved up much closer to Kubica.
Behind Porteiro and Valles, Montanari and Pagenaud also closed
the gap, Pagenaud having overtaken his team mate Fukuda.
Frédéric Vervisch (GD Racing), who was lapping
among the back markers, span his car, stalling it in the middle
of the track in the process. Meanwhile, Dams driver, Venezuelan
Pastor Maldonados race ended in the gravel trap. The
Italian Ivan Bellarosas engine broke down, but technicians
at Avelon Formula should be able to manage to change it in
time for the second race.
were the last incidents in this first race, which saw Enrico
Toccacelo, Andreas Zuber and Robert Kubica take the honours!
Toccacelo: I think that Zuber got off to a better start
but I managed to take advantage of pole position to get to
the first corner in front. For the first few laps I concentrated
on trying to avoid making any mistakes because the track was
dirty. After that, I attacked right to the end.