FC Porto brings down the fall of AS Rome at Vallelunga

FC Porto brings down the fall of AS Rome at Vallelunga

02.11.2008: FC Porto brings down the fall of AS Rome at Vallelunga

FC Porto driver Tristan Gommendy shattered the hopes of AS Roma fans will a final lap pass for victory over Franck Perera at Vallelunga today.

In a dramatic crash-filled reverse grid event, Gommendy started 11th and gradually worked his way through the pack – making passes and dodging drama to take the Portuguese club's first Superleague Formula victory.

In a dramatic crash-filled reverse grid event, Gommendy started 11th and gradually worked his way through the pack – making passes and dodging drama to take the Portuguese club's first Superleague Formula victory.

Gommendy passed eventual third placed man Yelmer Buurman on lap 17 and then hunted down fellow-Frenchman Franck

Perera who was leading for AS Roma. Perera looked set to grab a popular home town win only for Gommendy to pull off a pass on the final lap. The ex-Macau F3 Grand Prix winner and Champ Car stormed to victory but struggled to get himself out of the car in parc ferme – nursing an injured left hand which he hurt in a practice crash yesterday.

Only seven cars made to the finish after a series of spectacular incidents. Tuka Rocha (Flamengo) launched off the back of AC Milan's Robert Doornbos at the end of the front straight and then cannoned straight into Brazilian rival Antonio Pizzonia (Corinthians) on the opening lap at Curva Cimini. All drivers emerged unscathed – the same could not be said for their cars.

After a long safety car period, racing resumed with early leader Enrico Toccacelo losing the lead to Atletico Madrid's Andy Soucek. He then tried to fend off Perera at Curva Cimini at the end of the front straight. The Borussia Dortmund and AS Roma touched wheels with the BVB machine turning sharp left and suffering a heavy impact with the inside wall. Fortunately, Toccacelo emerged from the car unscathed.

The final incident took place on lap 27 when promising Greek rookie Stamatis Katsimis spun and was collected by Tottenham Hotspur's Duncan Tappy and Galatasaray driver Alessandro Pier Guidi. Stamatis was sitting in fourth place at the time.

Other race casualties were Sevilla's Borja Garcia (brakes) and FC Basel's Max Wissel (engine) Pit stop issues and eventual gearbox problems eventually curtailed Atletico's assault leaving Roma at the front of the pack.

Perera led from lap 14 through to 29, only to be caught by Gommendy on the final lap. Adrian Valles scored fourth place for Liverpool while Championship leader, Beijing's Davide Rigon, finished in 5th place.

Beijing now holds a 59 point championship lead with only two races remaining. The Chinese club leads on 353 ahead of PSV Eindhoven, 294; Liverpool FC, 291; AC Milan, 267; RSC Anderlecht, 244; AS Roma, 243; Galatasaray, 236; FC Porto, 218; Sevilla FC, 217; Tottenham Hotspur, 207; Corinthians, 205; Al-Ain, 200; Rangers, 190; FC Basel, 183; Flamengo, 171; Borussia Dortmund, 158; Olympiacos, 142 and Atletico Madrid, 120.

The final round of the Superleague Formula championship will be staged at Jerez in Spain on November 21-22.

 

- Paul Ryan -  photo Superleague

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02.11.2008 / MaP

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