FR3.5 » 1 January 1901
vd Garde wraps up title as Molina wins.
Miguel Molina has won his second World Series by Renault race of the season at Estoril, although Giedo van der Garde's title win grabbed all the headlines in Portugal.
Repeating his victory from the circuit last season, Molina had to work hard for victory after a race-long battle with Charles Pic, but benefited from the Frenchman's failure to clear Pippa Man during the pit-stops.
van der Garde, meanwhile, already knew he was champion by the end of the first lap as the only driver who could prevent him, Fabio Carbone, had been collected by Alvaro Barba off the start line following a poor getaway. It brings a superb run of form to an end for the race one winner.
Up at the front, Pic had led early on after coming out on top in the skirmish for the lead before being called into the pit-lane quite early on lap eight. Unfortunately for him, his return to the circuit saw him get bottled up behind Mann, allowing Molina to take advantage of the clear track in front of him.
With Mann stopping late, it allowed Molina to pit and return to the circuit comfortably in the lead, a benefit he made the most of as he wound up a three second winner over Pic.
Behind the leaders, Julien Jousse ensured that both Tech 1 Racing cars would finish on the podium, thus ensuring that they keep the team championship alive heading to the final round in Spain, along with P1 Motorsport and Ultimate Signature.
Betrand Baguette made up for his disappointment in race one to claim a solid fourth place finish, just ahead of the driver who retired in the same first lap incident, Marco Bonanomi. The Italian had been running third, but struggled for pace and would end up fifth in the sole Comtec car.
Esteban Guerrieri made up for Carbone's failure to finish in sixth, while Marcos Martinez scored some much needed points for both himself and Pons Racing in seventh.
More importantly, while van der Garde's second eighth place finish of the weekend marks his worst event of the season, it was exactly what he needed to win a championship he has led from the very first day.
“It's a strange weekend because Roly Vincini, the P1 Motorsport team manager, isn't with us today. We'd like to dedicate this title to him. It hasn't been our best weekend of the year, but it was all about picking up the last few points I needed. It's time for me to look to the future but for now I just want to savour this special moment.”
Filip Albuquerque completed his second points finish of the weekend on his return to the series, while Marco Barba rounded out the points in tenth.
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