SEPTEMBER 20, 2004
Action here and there
There was no Formula 1 racing at the weekend but there was no shortage of action for some of those who hope one day to make it into Grand Prix racing. In Malaysia, the Japanese Formula Nippon teams were in action in the rain and PIAA Nakajima Racing's Andre Lotterer won and took the lead in the series from Richard Lyons. With two races to go in the nine-round series, Lotterer now has 29 points - six points more than Lyons, who has been relegated to third place after failing to score in Sepang. Lyons had a dreadful time of it, starting at the back after an engine failure in the qualifying sprint race. he had worked his way up to fourth place when he collided with the Mobilecast car of Yuji Ide. He was penalised a lap after the incident which must be seen in the light of the recent controversy involving Ide's team mate Benoit Treluyer at the last race. Lyons's team mate Naoki Hattori finished second to Lotterer with Juichi Wakisaka (Le Mans Company) third. Wakisaka is now second in the championship with 24 points. Satoshi Motoyama (5Zigen) failed to score and now trails Lyons by four points.
The Nissan World Series teams were in action at Estoril in Portugal where local hero Tiago Monteiro (Carlin Motorsport) won one event and his team mate Olivier Pla won the other, with Monteiro finishing behind him. Championship leader Heikki Kovalainen stalled on the grid for the first event and started from the back and then had a collision with Enrique Bernoldi and so failed to score, except to pick up a point for the fastest lap. In the second race Kovalainen finished a distant third behind Jean-Cristophe Ravier (Espsilon Euskadi). The championship situation is more interesting than ever with Monteiro having closed to within 35 points of Kovalainen while Bernoldi has slipped behind and will need to be careful of Ravier with two races to go.
At Brno the Formula 3 Euro Series race saw two wins for Jamie Green, the champion, while the fight for rookie of the year honours heated up with Giedo van der Garde (Signature-Plus) keeping up with Franck Perera (Prema Powerteam). The duel will be settled at the final races in Hockenheim in two weeks.
The Euro3000 series was in action at Zolder where Norbert Siedler won while championship contenders Bernhard Auinger and Nicky Pastorelli took each other out early in the race. The win put Siedler fourth in the championship, equal on points to New Zealander Jonny Reid who finished second. Championship leader Fabrizio del Monte finished fifth, but still managed to increased his lead over Pastorelli.
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