F1 » 5 December 2011
Jaime Alguersuari triumphs in Massa kart event
Jaime Alguersuari continued F1's hold over Felipe Massa's annual karting event - but only after GP2 upstart Jules Bianchi was denied by the scrutineers.
Toro Rosso ace Jaime Alguersuari won the sixth edition of the International Challenge of Go-Kart Champs in Florianópolis, but was able to celebrate as the top three press conference was about to get underway.
Prior to a dramatic announcement, the Spaniard was looking good for second place, but was elevated to the top step of the podium after event rookie Jules Bianchi was stripped of both heat two victory and the overall title.
The Frenchman, currently a development driver behind event host Felipe Massa at Ferrari, had already won the first of two heats, but was adjudged out of compliance with the minimum weight limit after the second, allowing Alguersuari, who had finished second in race one, to be promoted to victor in the second outing.
The Spaniard's success, in his second appearance in the Florianapolis all-star event, adds his name to the five previous winners - Massa (2006), Michael Schumacher (2007 and 2009), Rubens Barrichello (2008) and Lucas di Grassi (2010) - all from F1.
Alguersuari, despite showing strongly on his return to the event, was unable to match Bianchi's pace as the French driver seemed to be out of reach of everyone, but twice took the chequered flag in second place, first after seeing off Massa's challenge at the end of a wet race under lights on Saturday night and then again on Sunday, when he came home ahead of di Grassi and Barrichello.
"I feel sorry for Jules, but rules are for everybody," the Spaniard noted, "The important thing is to be part of a big party like this. I love to come to Brazil and Florianópolis, and I look forward to being here again next year."
Behind Alguersuari, Massa and di Grassi completed the overall podium, with results drawn from the two heats.
"After such a complicated year like this, it is as good feeling at least to get to the podium," Massa concluded, "It is a big push for the new season in F1."
1. Jaime Alguersuari 45 points
2. Felipe Massa 29
3. Lucas di Grassi 28
4. Rubens Barrichello 26
5. Jules Bianchi 25
6. Antonio Pizzonia 21
7. Jerome d'Ambrosio 20
8. Luciano Burti 14
9. Ricardo Zonta 13
= Nelson Piquet Jr 13
11. Vitantonio Liuzzi 12
12. Allam Khodair 7
= Marcos Gomes 7
14. Helio Castroneves 6
= Caca Bueno 6
16. Tony Kanaan 3
= Enrique Bernoldi 3
18. Gianni Morbidelli 2
19. Nandinho Negrao 1
= Pietro Fittipaldi 1
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