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Baguette doubles up at Le Mans
19 July 2009
Bertrand Baguette has moved clear in the World Series by Renault standings after completing a double victory at Le Mans, while closest rivals Marcos Martinez and James Walker once again endured problems.
Having won from third position on the grid in the 'reversed' race one, Baguette made an even better get away from sixth on this occasion to run second in the early stages before leapfrogging Walker through the pit stops.
He is the second driver this season to score a double victory, following on from Martinez's feat at Monza earlier in the year.
Much of Baguette's hard work was completed by his tremendous getaway, the Belgian slotting his Draco car into second position behind Walker, who inherited the lead from second on the grid after a tardy start for first time pole sitter Jon Lancaster.
The Briton was dropped to fourth as the field filtered out of the opening bend, with Charles Pic also ahead of him in third position. Pic's progress, however, would be hurt by a puncture on lap five, forcing him to pit earlier than planned and leaving him behind his rivals.
Even so, the Frenchman did kick off a flurry of activity in the pit lane, with Jaime Alguersuari and Miguel Molina – running fifth and sixth – coming in, the two Spaniard's going on to swap positions on the exit.
Walker pitted a lap later but would be delayed in his box, dropping him back a few positions and allowing Baguette to capitalise when he made his stop and emerged on track with a comfortable lead.
Once the pit stops had been completed, Baguette led Molina, Alguersuari, Lancaster and Walker, although the latter's hopes of scoring good points to keep Baguette in sight in the standings came to a premature end when he spun off close to the finish and dropped to ninth.
It meant Baguette was able to cruise home for close to a maximum haul of points, an effort that sees him extend his lead over Martinez, who damaged his Pons Racing car at the end of the first lap for the second race in succession, to 19 points.
Molina and Alguersuari completed the podium for USR and Carlin, the latter Spaniard claiming his maiden podium at World Series level a week before he is expected to make a step up to Formula 1 with the Scuderia Toro Rosso team.
Fairuz Fauzy completed a strong weekend by snatching fourth position off Lancaster in the closing stages, although the Briton's effort in fifth does mark Comtec Racing's best result of the season.
GP2 race winner Edoardo Mortara produced a fine drive on his World Series debut for the Tech 1 Racing team to finish in sixth position, ahead of Marco Barba in the second Draco machine, while Pasquale di Sabatino, Walker and a delayed Oliver Turvey completed the points positions.
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