Alesi wins Race 1 in Bahrain

Jean Alesi

Jean Alesi won the first Speedcar Series race of the weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit. The Frenchman who started second on the grid was joined on the podium by Heinz Harald Frentzen in second position and Johnny Herbert in third.

Heinz Harald Frentzen had a bad start and left the door open for Alesi to go through and take the lead. Johnny Herbert and Gianni Morbidelli also took the opportunity to slip past, leaving Frentzen in fourth.

Season 1 champion Johnny Herbert was defending his line and position while Gianni Morbidelli stayed on his tail pushing him hard on every turn. In a three way battle Morbidelli was punted out of the way by Frentzen who gained a position to third place. By the 5th lap The German had gained ground on Herbert and with a clever inside move, got the better of him. For the rest of the race, the top 3 positions were maintained by Alesi, Frentzen and Herbert.

The Frenchman said, "I'm obviously thrilled at winning my first race of this Season and it's also an experience to share it with two of my good friends from Formula One. I look forward to taking them on again tomorrow."

Further down the pack, Vitantonio Liuzzi who was leading the driver championship after winning the first race in Dubai, made contact with Marchy Lee sending him into a spin. By the 9th lap, the damage was showing with Liuzzi's car trailing sparks down the circuit. The Italian had to come into the pits to change a punctured tire before a small fire in his engine while in the pits ended his hopes of finishing the race with points.

Another battle ensued in the middle order between Thomas Biagi and Liuzzi's team mate Hasher Al Maktoum who managed to gain on Biagi and finish in 5th place earning vital points for his UP Team and keeping hold of the team championship lead.

Newcomer Chris Buncombe who was racing for the first time this afternoon moved up the ranks to ninth position after having started at thirteen. He narrowly missed finishing in eight position and earning a point to Giovanni Lavaggi, also new to the Series.

With Speedcar Series' reverse grid for Race 2 to begin tomorrow at 15:00 local time, Lavaggi has the advantage of starting on pole position, followed by Damien Pasini who closed in seventh.

Qualifying Session Preliminary Classification

Pos Driver Teams Laps Time
1. H. Frentzen Team Lavaggi 10 2:05.851
2. J. Alesi HPR 13 2:05.924
3. V. Liuzzi UP Team 12 2:06.281
4. G. Morbidelli Palm Beach 12 2:06.522
5. J. Herbert JMB 13 2:06.746
6. H. Al Maktoum UP Team 14 2:06.908
7. T. Biagi Palm Beach 14 2:07.252
8. C. Zoechling Durango 11 2:08.079
9. M. Lee HPR 10 2:08.184
10. J. Villeneuve Durango 9 2:08.492
11. C. Buncombe Team Lavaggi 13 2:08.943
12. G. Lavaggi Team Siram 11 2:09.167
13. D. Pasini JMB 6 2:09.330
14. E. Panacci Continental Circus 11 2:11.265
15. E. Charles Continental Circus 13 2:13.220

Preliminary Classification Race 1


Driver Team Laps Time / Gap
1 J. Alesi HPR 19 40:37.701
2 H. Frentzen Team Lavaggi 19 1.409
3 J. Herbert JMB 19 14.841
4 G. Morbidelli Palm Beach 19 22.510
5 H. Al Maktoum UP Team 19 24.050
6 T. Biagi Palm Beach 19 24.975
7 D. Pasini JMB 19 49.126
8 G. Lavaggi Team Siram 19 63.625
9 C. Buncombe Team Lavaggi 19 64.026
10 J. Villeneuve Durango 19 80.766
11 E. Charles Continental Circus 19 1 LAP

Not Classified

M. Lee HPR 11 DNF
V. Liuzzi UP Team 9 DNF
C. Zoechling Durango 0 DNS
E. Panacci Continental Circus 0 DNS

Fastest Lap H. Frentzen Team Lavaggi 2:07.073 on lap 6

Drivers' Championship Standings in Round 2

Pos Driver R1 R2 R3 TOTAL
1 Heinz Harald Frentzen 8 8 16
2 Gianni Morbidelli 6 5 11
Johnny Herbert 5 6 11
4 Vitantonio Liuzzi 10 10
Jean Alesi 10 10
6 Hasher Al Maktoum 4 4 8
7 Jacques Villeneuve 3 3
Thomas Biagi 3 3
Damien Pasini 1 2 3
10 Marchy Lee 2 2
11 Giovanni Lavaggi 1 1

R1 = Dubai, UAE – December 5, 2008
R2 = Dubai, UAE – December 6, 2008 (cancelled due to rain)
R3 = Sakhir, Bahrain – January 23, 2009
R4 = Sakhir, Bahrain – January 24, 2009

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