Baguette bags title over weekend

Published on September 23rd, 2009

A strong showing by Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy in his Mofaz Fortec Motorsport machine just lacked that final stroke to prevent Belgian Bertrand Baguette from sealing his third victory of the season at Nurburgring on Saturday and coming a whisker from claiming the overall title in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.

Later that weekend the Belgian did wrap things up in the second race to win the overall title.

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Rounding up the podium was P1 Motorsport’s Daniil Move, a first podium showing for him this season.

Move was on pole for the first Formula Renault 3.5 Series to be held at the Nurburgring and had Baguette for company in second spot. Things were off to an interesting start even before the Christmas tree turned green as the car of Interwetten.com Racing’s Salvador Duran broke down and had to retire.

Move really got a move on from the get-go as he got off to a flying start. Tagging behind were Baguette followed by Comtec Racing’s Jon Lancaster, Carlin Motorsports’ Oliver Turvey and Jaime Alguersuari.

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As the second lap got underway, Pons Racing’s Marcos Martinez, Federico Leo and Prema Powertrain’s Filip Salaquarda made contact heavily. Leo did manage to break free from the mechanical get-together but nonetheless the safety car still had to shift into action.

Although Move hanged to his lead from the restart, it was crystal clear that baguette and Lancaster had made up their minds about doing anything within their means to get past him. As the first five laps went on with nail-biting bumper to bumper action, the trailing pack of Turvey, Alguersuari and Fauzy were clawing away at their lead.

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Baguette laid in wait patiently for his opportunity to pounce and on lap nine that door opened wide for him to slip past Move into the lead. Lancaster was now in third and had to keep an eye on his rearview mirrors for Turvey. In the meantime, Fauzy had found a way past Alguersuari. Baguette meanwhile was stretching his lead over the rest while Move had to hold off Lancaster, Turvey, Fauzy and Alguersuari.

The order took a real jolt as Fauzy nicked his way past Turvey into fourth. He wasted no time in scoping out a move past Lancaster and Move next, keeping them on their toes. Lancaster kept pushing to reduce the pressure from Fauzy and was subsequently slapped with a 10-second drive-through penalty for dangerous driving.

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Fauzy seemed to be possessed as he lapped the Nurburgring, seeming to do no wrong. Come lap 17, the local hero moved up to third and then second come the finish.

All bets were closed though on the outcome of the title as Baguette was within a whisker of sealing it and rightly so, the Belgian wrapped things up in the second race of the weekend to take the title.

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“It’s been a tough weekend, with a lot of pressure. It’s my first international title though, which is great. I can go to Motorland Aragon without any pressure, just to win more races. We’re working on entering F1 next season. That’s my goal,” summed up the champ on his victorious weekend.

text: Dinesh Appavu  pix: WSR Renault 3.5

 

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