FR3.5 » 1 January 1901
Carbone continues late charge.
Fabio Carbone has kept the World Series by Renault title fight open for one more race after scoring his third win in six races at Estoril.
The Brazilian's form has been stellar recently, with the result also proving his ninth straight top six finish which, combined with Giedo van der Garde's quiet eighth place finish, means the title race remains slightly open heading into the second race.
Carbone had started fourth, behind pole sitter Marco Bonanomi, Bertrand Baguette and Marcos Martinez. However, he benefited from the funnel into the first corner as the leading trio came together, forcing Bonanomi out of the race and damaging Baguette's machine, the Belgian retiring just two laps later.
The scuffles had allowed Martinez to establish a good lead as the drivers completed the first lap, with Carbone giving chase in second, followed closely by Robert Wickens, Julien Jousse and Alvaro Barba, the Spaniard starting well from ninth on the grid.
Although Martinez was establishing a decent pace up front, he wasn't quicker than Carbone, who was gradually reeling the Pons machine in lap-after-lap. Eventually, Carbone made his move on lap ten and promptly began to sprint off into the distance.
Cruising comfortably up at the front, Carbone's triumph continues a marvellous run of form for both himself and the rookie Ultimate Signature team. It will also further strengthen his second place in overall standings.
Further back, Martinez soon had to contend with the attentions of Barba, who was on a charge up the order, passing Jousse on lap eight before getting the better of Wickens seven laps later. Indeed, Barba caught up with his countryman by the chequered flag, but was not close enough to make a move.
However, while second place marked Martinez and Pons' equal best result of the season, his joy was short lived when he was slapped with a 25secs penalty for the incident at the first corner. The penalty dropped him to 11th and out of the points.
As such, Barba claimed a strong second place finish, with Wickens rounding out the podium after an uncharacteristically quiet race for the Canadian.
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