MAY 26, 2002
Bourdais wins Monaco Formula 3000 race
SUPER NOVA RACING's Sebastien Bourdais won the Monaco Formula 3000 Grand Prix on Saturday with a clean race from lights-out to checkered flag. Bourdais was unchallenged by anyone with his closest rival Rodrigo Sperafico (Durango Formula) going out early with rear suspension problems. His championship rival Giorgio Pantano (Coloni) had a poor qualifying and spun out early in the race and it was left to Patrick Friesacher (Red Bull Junior Team) to take up the chase. He was shadowed early on by the second Coloni car, being driven by Enrico Toccacelo but he crashed out after 32 laps of the 45 lap race. Also going out were David Saelens (European Minardi) and Bjorn Wirdheim (Arden International) which meant that third place in the end went to Tomas Enge, who moves up to second in the series three points behind Bourdais and four points ahead of Pantano.
The race claimed 12 of the 20 cars with mechanical failures and accidents, leaving only eight runners. The Petrobras Junior Team cars of Antonio Pizzonia and Ricardo Sperafico were fourth and fifth with Alex Muller sixth for Durango. After the race however Muller was given a 25-second time penalty for repeatedly hitting Ricardo Mauricio (Red Bull Junior Team) as they battled. On the last lap Muller bumped Mauricio out of the way at Rascasse. Mauricio tried to punt Muller off at the last corner but ended up in the barriers at the final corner.
As a result the final point went to Mario Haberfeld (Team Astromega) who was embarrassed in the early laps of the race by the pace of his young team mate Rob Nguyen. The Australian made a mistake on lap 17 and spun into the wall at Tabac.
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