strategy pays dividends
breath-taking second race in the World Series held the full
attention of the 52,000 spectators present at the Zolder circuit.
In daring to adopt a different tyre-change strategy to the leaders,
the Epsilon Euskadi team helped Robert Kubica to take the win,
ahead of Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport) and Markus Winkelhock
(Draco Multiracing USA).
formation lap got underway without Christian Montanari (Draco
Multiracing USA), who fell victim to engine problems. Ivan
Bellarossa (Avelon Formula) was also forced to withdraw, his
engine still broken from the first race.
Will Power (Carlin Motorsport) got off to a poor start, allowing
Enrico Toccacelo (Victory Engineering) to take the advantage.
Right from the word go, Jaap Van Lagen (KTR) was on the attack
behind Power. Adrian Valles (Pons Racing), Robert Kubica,
Tristan Gommendy (KTR) and Markus Winkelhock (Draco Multiracing
USA) followed behind. The first seven drivers broke away into
a compact little group.
a good start, Simon Pagenaud (DHG Saulnier Racing) lost five
places, allowing Porteiro, Zuber, Kostka, Miguez and Pavlovic
to move up the field.
the 3rd lap, Toccacelo and Power had managed to create some
breathing space between themselves and Van Lagen and the chasing
drivers. A lap later, Winkelhock went past Gommendy.
the 5th lap onwards, the Pit lane was opened for the mandatory
tyre changes, which had to be performed before the 18th lap.
Toccacelo and Power were still bumper to bumper at this point,
but Power made a costly error during the 7th lap, allowing
Van Lagen to take second place and pursue the Italian driver.
Porteiro dropped to 5th position, having to give in to Kostkas
aggressive driving. Pavlovic was forced out due to failure,
whilst Maldonados race ended once again with him stranded
in the gravel trap.
the 14th lap, Eric Salignon (Cram Compétition) crashed
at high speed into the tyre wall while Jaap Van Lagen was
off the track for his pit stop. Toccacelo, Valles, Chandhok
and Vervish were the last drivers to make their stop. Toccacelo
and Valles did not come in until the 16th lap. However, it
was Robert Kubica, who had stopped very early on, who took
the lead. Toccacelo held onto second place in front of Winkelhock,
Van Lagen, Zuber, Pagenaud, Valles, Miguez, Pasini and Pilet.
Safety car was called out onto the track during the 18th lap
so that the marshals could remove Salignons car and
clean up the track surface. Van Lagen put his car into a long
spin and with it lost any chance of finishing among the leaders!
race restarted for five laps that promised to bring a thrilling
finish! Nudged by another driver, Toccacelo went off into
the gravel trap, whilst Celso Miguez was forced to retire.
Behind Kubica, Zuber moved up to second place, over 4 seconds
back from the Polish driver.
nasty-looking accident happened on the 24th lap, with Giovanni
Tedeschi crashing into Matteo Meneghellos car. The red
flag was shown, bringing the race to a halt. Fortunately,
both drivers walked away unharmed from the incident.
Kubica: This rounds off what has been an excellent weekend,
except for my qualifying times, which were average. I had
precious little to lose in this race and so the team attempted
a daring strategy which paid off for me in the end.
Winkelhock: I was unlucky in the first race because
I had some gearbox problems. But the team put in some good
work and I was confident for the second race. Everything went