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23.03.2008

Alzen takes his second

Uwe Alzen scored his second Speedcar victory in the Sunday morning race at Sepang, having already won the second 'reverse grid' event at Sentul. The German touring car veteran chased early leader David Terrien, and eventually found his way past.

The grid saw the top eight line up in reverse order, with Saturday's eighth-placed finisher Terrien on pole ahead of Nicolas Navarro, Stefan Johansson, Ananda Mikola, Alzen, Mathias Lauda, Johnny Herbert and Saturday winner Jean Alesi.

There was drama even before the start as Ukyo Katayama pitted for attention to an apparent suspension problem, while when the grid moved away behind the safety car Navarro failed to get going, and was pushed to the pits. Both men subsequently joined the race from the end of the pitlane.

When the field was released Terrien charged into the lead, chased initially by Johansson and Mikola. The man on the move on the first lap was Alesi, who rose from seventh to fourth by the end of it, having passed Alzen, Lauda and Herbert. Further back there was action as Christian Danner nudged JJ Lehto into a spin at Turn 2, having done the same to Alex Yoong in the same spot the previous day!

Terrien opened up a small advantage on Johansson, while Alzen soon began pressuring the former McLaren and Ferrari star. Alzen eventually forced his way by at the last corner at the end of lap 5, and the two men traded paintwork as they came out onto the pit straight.

As Alzen set his sights on leader Terrien all eyes were on the battle behind. Alesi began to ease closer to Johansson, and soon the three former Grand Prix drivers were nose to tail and enjoying a fabulous dice that kept those watching in the F1 garages thoroughly entertained.

Herbert passed Alesi for fourth on the eighth lap, but the Frenchman regained the position almost immediately. However, when Alesi got into a slide Herbert nipped back through.

The Briton then started to hassle Johansson, and when Stefan appeared to go a little wide, Johnny needed no second invitation and dived down the inside. However Johansson closed the door and the pair touched, sending Stefan into a spin on what was an unlucky lap 13. Herbert lost momentum briefly and a delighted Alesi jumped past both of them. From ninth on the grid Gianni Morbidelli was also close enough to gain a place before Johansson could recover.

"It was very competitive," said Alesi. "We had Stefan holding us up a little bit, and he was not easy to pass. Always when I made a mistake, Johnny went ahead of me! It was a shame for Stefan because he was doing a good race, but at the end of the day we are all competitors, and we do our best."

Meanwhile out front Alzen caught Terrien, passing him for the lead in the hairpin in a clean move and staying clear for the remainder of the race. He was just under 2secs clear at the flag.

"It was an unbelievably hard race," said Alzen. "The start was not bad, better than yesterday. I made a mistake on the first lap and lost two places, and then I started to push. It was so hard, and I had to push over the whole distance. I think it was 70degC in the car, quite unbelievable! I passed Terrien in the hairpin, where I overtook Lauda yesterday. It's good because now I am a little bit closer to Alesi in the championship."

Alesi, Herbert, Morbidelli and Johansson completed the top six, while Navarro recovered to seventh after his pitlane start. Hasher al Maktoum, Alex Yoong (after surviving an off) and Lehto rounded out the top 10, while Katayama and Danner were the only other finishers. Saturday's third placed man Mathias Lauda retired after twice suffering punctures, while Mikola, Marchy Lee and Fabien Giroix also failed to finish.

Benoit Lamonerie, General Manager of Speedcar Series was pleased with the first F1 participation race saying, "I'm delighted at the clean and entertaining show that we put up and it is an honour to have done so at the Malaysian Grand Prix. It was also good to see that the podium was shared by young talent as well as motorsport veterans which is the spirit of Speedcar."

The series resumes in two weeks' time with another pair of races supporting the Bahrain GP, where the hot weather will again provide a challenge.

About Speedcar Series

The Speedcar Series is a one-make stockcar-style competition featuring identical 620bhp cars. The series is based in Dubai, and is taking place across Asia and the Middle East. The series features a mix of ex-Formula One and international drivers. A prize-fund of USD 3 million will be distributed to drivers at the end of the season, with the eventual champion receiving USD 600,000.

About Grand Racing

Beginning 2008, with strong partnerships in promoting the events, Speedcar Series jointly collaborates with GP2 Asia in 5 races as 'Grand Racing' event. Two of which will be coinciding with F1 in Malaysia and Bahrain.

TV Rights Speedcar Series TV rights are distributed by One-o-one UK Ltd

 

- Speedcar Series - also photos





Author: maggy (admin2)
Last modified: Sunday, 23.03.2008 - 03:37
More reports from this category all copyright automobilsport.com.

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