FR3.5 » 2 May 2009
Martinez wins Spa opener
Continuing where he left off a fortnight ago in Barcelona, Marcos Martinez secured his third win in a row at Spa-Francorchamps to extend his advantage in the World Series by Renault standings.
The Spaniard finished ahead of Bertrand Baguette, who battled through from eighth on the grid to finish second, while Miguel Molina completed the podium in third.
Marco Barba took advantage of the reverse grid rule to start race one from pole position, but he lost out at the start to slip behind Martinez and Daniil Move.
At the end of lap one, Martinez led from Move, Barba and Charles Pic. Baguette held fourth and was working hard to keep Miguel Molina, James Walker and Brendon Hartley at bay. Out front, Martinez began to pull away from Move while the battle for third raged between Barba and Pic. Baguette, Molina and Walker took advantage to make up ground and close in on the two front-men. Pic was to pay heavily as Baguette then Molina both overtook him.
Behind Martinez, positions began to bunch up. Move was joined by a group composed of Barba / Baguette / Molina / Pic and Walker. Further down the field, Brendon Hartley, in eighth, was also having to defend his position against Pasquale di Sabatino, Chris Van der Drift, Oliver Turvey and Jaime Alguersuari.
Baguette, who had started out at eighth place on the grid, was continuing his progress through the field and overtaking team-mate Marco Barba to shift up into third place by the end of the fifth lap. The Belgian quickly closed the gap on Daniil Move. After four observation laps, Baguette made his move at the 'bus stop' chicane and was now in an impressive second place. At the same time, Molina passed Marco Barba to take fourth place. One lap later, it was Charles Pic's turn to overtake the Spanish driver.
With twenty minutes left to race, Marcos Martinez had a lead of 2.5secs over Baguette. Daniil Move was third ahead of Miguel Molina, Charles Pic, Marco Barba and James Walker. The unfortunate Walker was to abandon the field for the gravel trap. This was to the advantage of Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport). Leader of the rookies, the English driver moved up to seventh place. He subsequently got the better of Marco Barba to take sixth.
Marcos Martinez drove to his third win in three races ahead of Baguette. In the closing laps, Miguel Molina found the opening to pass Daniil Move and take third. The Russian driver was also caught off guard by Charles Pic in the last lap.
“Our goal was to finish on the podium,” Martinez said. “I got off to a good start and I got into a good rhythm. I upped the pace when Bertrand Baguette came back to second place and I held the gap. This is a good result for us, it reinforces our championship lead.”
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