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Euro3000 2004: Pastorelli breaks mould at Monza.

Nicky Pastorelli claimed his first victory in the Superfund Euro 3000 Championship by finally breaking points leader Fabrizio del Monte's run of three successive victories in round four of the 2004 campaign at Monza.

del Monte did not go home empty-handed, however, claiming the final podium position behind Pastorelli and an inspired Cristiano Tuka Rocha, who took a maiden podium for series convert Zele Racing.

Pastorelli flew off the line from second on the grid, overtaking polesitter Mathias Lauda to seize and important early lead going into the first corner. Norbert Siedler and Rocha both made equally good starts, but were bundled out wide at the tight complex, cutting the first chicane before rejoining the track in second and third places respectively - ahead of Lauda.

Although their exploits were the main talking points at the first part of the complex, there was more controversy at part two, with the 16-car field entering wheel-to-wheel. John Village Automotive newcomer Alex Lloyd was caught up in the melee and spun out, colliding first with fellow British driver Tor Graves, before taking his own team-mate, Jonny Reid, out of the running. Graves also retired with a damaged front wing, while Allam Khodair also called it a day.

By lap three, Pastorelli had established a clear four-second lead over of Brazilian driver Rocha, who was closely followed in third by a determined Siedler. Behind the Austrian - keen to make a mark after blowing successive pole positions in rounds two and three - fellow countrymen Bernhard Auinger and Lauda were engaged in a fierce battle for fourth place.

The field was bunched up when the yellow flag came out for Eduardo Bisconcin, who ran off the track on lap five, but this did not help Siedler, who also made a mistake and ran wide into the gravel, enabling Lauda to close in and eventually overtake on lap eight.

By that point, frontrunners Pastorelli and Rocha had established a seven-second lead over the rest of the competition. The Draco Junior Team driver narrowly held onto his lead, despite Rocha steadily reducing the gap by half a second as the laps went by.

“This is an excellent result for me and the team!" the Dutchman bubbled, "I knew it would be difficult here in Monza and the race was very competitive, but I was able to establish an early lead in the first few laps.

"However, as the track got more slippery, it became more difficult to pull away. Tuka Rocha was constantly putting pressure on me, but I managed to keep my concentration and bring home our first win. There are still six races and sixty points at stake in the championship so I'm hoping this is the start of a good run for me.”



Related Pictures

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Nicky Pastorelli takes the flag at Monza
Cristiano Rocha - Zele Racing
Fabrizio del Monte - GP Racing
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) in pit lane at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Pierre Gasly (FRA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in pit lane at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
The car of Pierre Gasly (FRA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) is retrieved after a first lap accident at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Rio Haryanto (INA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Rio Haryanto (INA, EQ8 Caterham Racing) in action at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) crosses the line at the end of race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates in parc ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates with team mate Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) celebrates after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates with his father Jonathan after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Race winner Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & runner-up Stefano Coletti (MON, Racing Engineering) celebrate with champagne after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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