Fabio Leimer leads the way in Valencia

Fabio Leimer leads the way in Valencia

31.05.2009: Podium celebrations for Kral, Leimer and Arabadzhiev (left to right) Jenzer Motorsport's Fabio Leimer led today's International Formula Master round three from start to finish, after qualifying on pole earlier this

Podium celebrations for Kral, Leimer and Arabadzhiev (left to right)

Jenzer Motorsport's Fabio Leimer led today's International Formula Master round three from start to finish, after qualifying on pole earlier this morning.

The young Swiss enjoyed a strong start, maintaining his lead despite JD Motorsport's Josef Kral following him closely into the first corner.

An incident involving ADM Motorsport Earl Bamber and Iris Project's Simon Trummer brought out the safety car soon after, giving Kral a chance to fight for the lead once again. Unfortunately the Czech wasn't able to convert his restart pace into a pass and eventually finished in second place.

Fellow JD Motorsport driver Vladimir Arabadzhiev claimed third place despite starting fifth on the grid. The Bulgarian overtook Hitech Racing's Kasper Andersen in the earlier stages of the race, before benefiting from team-mate Sergey Afanasiev's retirement on lap seven.

Jenzer Motorsport's Pål Varhaug claimed fourth place, having started the race in ninth, ahead of Iris Project's Patrick Reiterer in fifth position. Hitech Junior's Kasper Andersen finished the round in sixth place despite running as high as third earlier on.

Team-mate Alexander Rossi followed in seventh place ahead of Jenzer Motorsport's Nicolas Maulini who scored a point on his return to IFM; the Swiss last raced in the Series in 2007.

Leimer maintained his lead in the drivers' classification after scoring a point for pole position this morning, a point for fastest lap and the 10 points for his win. Pål Varhaug still leads the rookies' classification, claiming the best rookie finish and fastest rookie lap in today's race.

Race one takes place tomorrow, Sunday 31 May, and will be shown live on Eurosport International and Asia Pacific from 08:00 (GMT).

Fabio Leimer, Jenzer Motorsport

"I had a good start but Josef was alongside me and he was really close; I thought he could pass me! After I got settled in the race and it was ok. I was pushing hard throughout because I didn't know if we would have tyre problems later as Valencia is very demanding on tyres but everything was ok."

Josef Kral, JD Motorsport

"I had a really good start and was side by side with Fabio [Leimer] very quickly but I had to slow down soon after. The same happened at the restart after the safety car.

"The car was starting to be difficult to drive; I think the track changed from this morning as the car was fantastic then. It's a good result for the team anyway, as we got lots of points"

Vladimir Arabadzhiev, JD Motorsport

"I had a good race; Sergey [Afanasiev] overtook Kasper [Andersen] earlier on and I was able to pass him at the same time. Then Sergey had to pit, which gave me third place. It wasn't a straight forward race as the track is quite demanding to the car but I'm happy with the results."

Lap-by-lap analysis

Lap 1: Snoeks pits after formation lap / Kral up to second place / Bamber spins and collects Trummer at Turn 2 - both OUT / Safety car deployed / Kouzkin pits

Lap 2: Provenzano pits - OUT

Lap 3: Safety car in this lap

Lap 4: Kral attempts overtaking move on Leimer for the lead / Maulini passes Rossi for eighth place

Lap 5: Rossi retakes eighth place from Maulini

Lap 7: Andersen under pressure from Varhaug and Reiterer for fourth place / Afanasiev pits - OUT / Snoeks rejoins the race

Lap 8: Contact between Rossi and Maulini / Leimer sets the fastest lap of the race: 1:29.059

Lap 9: Black/Orange flag for Maulini

Lap 10: Maulini pits for a new nose

Lap 15: Varhaug overtakes Andersen for fourth position / Reiterer also passes Andersen for fifth place

Lap 25: Final lap / Leimer wins round three

Chequered flag: 13.43

- Formula Master - also photo

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31.05.2009 / MaP

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