19 September 2009
Baguette edging towards title
Bertrand Baguette needs just four points to wrap up the 2009 World Series by Renault title after completing a resounding victory in the opening race at the Nurburgring.
The Belgian made the most of his front row reverse grid start to stalk early leader Daniil Move before making his move on lap nine and completing a relatively simple third win of the season.
From the start, Move made the best start from pole position, diving into the tight first turn in the lead, ahead of Jon Lancaster initially, before Baguette got the better of him before the lap had finished. Further back, Superpole winner Brendon Hartley suffered a set back when he was tipped into a spin at turn one by Guillaume Moreau and sent to the back of the field.
Completing the opening lap with a lead of almost three seconds, Move's advantage was wiped out by a safety car, brought out to clear the wreckage of Filip Salaquarda's Prema car, the Czech driver colliding with Federico Leo before being collected by Marcos Martinez. The Spaniard, who began the season with a double victory, has now seen his slim title hopes mathematically ended.
Scampering away at the restart, Move was quickly reeled in again by Baguette, the Belgian feigning a few passes before eventually completing the move on lap nine at the esses.
Immediately taking advantage of the clear track ahead of him, attention instead turned to the battle for second, with Move doing his utmost to keep his P1 Motorsport car ahead of the competition.
Now under pressure from Lancaster, the Russian resisted all the way until lap 15 when the Briton got a good run and squeezed his way through at Kumho. It was a move that was repeated just three laps later by Fairuz Fauzy, the Malaysian moving up to third position.
Lancaster's charge, however, was being hindered by a ten second penalty hanging over him, the Comtec driver being punished for his staunch defence of Oliver Turvey earlier in the race, one that saw him ease the Briton into the pit exit down the home straight. His push to make up time briefly saw him get to within two seconds of Baguette's lead, only for an error on the exit of the Schumacher S to see him lose ground.
With Lancaster dropping away from Baguette, the Draco Racing driver was left to complete a comfortable victory, his twelve point haul made all the more vital following a retirement for closest title rival James Walker. The Briton was running seventh when he stopped shortly before the end of the race. He is now 42 points adrift of Baguette, with just 46 points available this year.
Lancaster crossed the line in second, but his ten second penalty means he will only be classified in ninth position.
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