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Wirdheim signs off in style.

Bjorn Wirdheim finished his FIA F3000 career in style at Monza on Saturday by taking his third win of the 2003 campaign, and reprising the run that set him up for a crack at this year's championship title.

In the final race in the 2003 season, Wirdheim, who became the first Swede to take the title, held off Hungary race winner Patrick Freisacher to score his second consecutive win in the royal park. It was a successful end to a busy two weeks for Wirdheim, who made his promised F1 test debut with Jordan at Monza in the second week of September. It was indeed a day for anniversaries, as the Swedish racer took the top step of the podium almost 25 years to the day since the late, great Ronnie Peterson died at the same Italian venue.

Wirdheim, who could become his country's first grand prix driver since Stefan Johansson left F1 in 1991, was delighted with the way that he and the team had signed off the season.

“It was a hard won race this weekend,” the 23-year old admitted, “I made a poor start from pole and had to overtake Freisacher and Pantano, but the team also did a marvellous job in the pits, and this win is a big thank you to everyone for this season.”

The Arden driver eventually crossed the line 8.5secs ahead of Red Bull Junior Freisacher, who leapt up to fifth position in the final points standings after a strong finish to a season that began with a broken arm in round two.

Coloni's Ricardo Sperafico completed the podium, and his six points were enough to secure the runners-up position in the points table. However, the brazilian had to survive a fraught opening couple of laps before being able to concentrate on the job in hand

"It was essential that I survived the first chicane,“ he revealed, “I immediately tried to pass van Hooydonk at the Parabolica, but we collided slightly and my front wing got damaged, causing me some understeer.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi scored yet another fourth place finish - his fifth this season - and again impressed, especially as qualifying problems meant that he was forced to carve his way through the field from a lowly twelfth on the grid. He headed home the two Astromega Lolas of Jeffrey van Hooydonk, who was returning to the series after an enforced absence, and Tony Schmidt, who scored points for the third race in succession.

Completing the points finishers were the Czech Republic's Jaroslav Janis, who was once again the ISR Charouz team's only representative as Yannick Schroeder continued to recover from injury. Super Nova's Enrico Toccacelo finished eighth for the final point, despite brake problems and also a loss of time in the pit-stops.



Related Pictures

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Bjorn Wirdheim - Arden International
Nabil Jeffri - Arden International [credit: GP2 Media]
Jack Aitken, Arden, GP3 [Credit: Jack Aitken PR]
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2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) & Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix), Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) & Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) & Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 9 Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Saturday 28 November 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) leads Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) & Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) at the start Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
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2015 GP3 Series Round 7. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia Sunday 11 October 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) leads Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 7. Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia.. Saturday 10 October 2015. Top three qualifiers, Matheo Tuscher (SUI, Jenzer Motorsport), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 6 September 2015. Alex Fontana (SUI, Status Grand Prix) leads Matheo Tuscher (SUI, Jenzer Motorsport), Alex Palou (ESP, Campos Racing), Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP), Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International), Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 5 September 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), leads Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International), Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) and the rest of the field at the start of the race. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 5 September 2015. Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) passes Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 5 September 2015. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) celebrates in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 6. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 5 September 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International) and Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Race One Press Conference. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.

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