GP2 » 7 June 2004
Euro3000 2004: del Monte bears fruit at Jerez.
“This is an amazing achievement for me and the team," Reid admitted, "We've all worked really hard for this moment, and I'm so happy my family was here to see me on the podium. I didn't have a good start and I managed to benefit from a few people not finishing, but it was a good clean result for me and I am delighted!”
Lauda's efforts earned him the 'man of the race' nomination, the Austrian taking 65 per cent of the votes from viewers of the live DSF broadcast and the series' website.
“This is my first time on the podium and it feels fantastic!" Lauda, who is also competing in the FIA F3000 Championship, smiled, "My start was quite bad and I dropped down to sixth place in the race. Overtaking is really tough and I realised after trying a few times that passing on the inside was not possible so I had to go outside to gain places. It was a really tough race and I'm looking forward to celebrating my result today!”
Behind the podium finishers, Auinger's slide continued, eventually depositing him in seventh position - out of the points and behind the recovering Pastorelli. The Dutchman claimed the final marker after finishing just 18secs adrift of del Monte thanks to the pace car intervention, and joined Draco team-mate Fausto Ippoliti in the top six. The Italian took fifth place, improving on his only previous points score despite having to pit after losing his front wing in a first lap brush with Siedler, while 'Babalus' completed a good day for the Euro 3000 team by backing Lauda up in fourth spot.
”If Fausto had enjoyed a better qualifying position, he would have won today," maintained Draco's Nadia Morini, "He recorded some incredible times [in the race], but will to learn that, in Euro 3000, qualifying is very important. It's a pity.”
Maxime Hodencq paid the price for his naivety, the 17-year old overtaking team-mate del Monte while the safety car was on track and being disqualified a sa result.
Among the retirements, Siedler last just six of the 34 laps, while Cristiano Rocha and Tor Graves both exited just one tour after the start. That, however, was still one better than Giacomo Ricci....
"Tor didn't get a chance to compete because he was hit at the start and the car's suspension was bent," revealed GP boss Tancredi Pagiaro, "It's a real pity because the cars would have allowed him and Maxime to be front-line drivers in this race. I just hope that they will be able to get some satisfaction at the next race in Monza.”
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