Italian Gudio Cappellini pulled off a miracle finish by leading, losing and regaining first place before winning the Grand Prix of Portugal: the opening round of the 2005 Formula 1 World Championship on the Arade River
Italian Gudio Cappellini pulled off a miracle finish by leading, losing and regaining first place before winning the Grand Prix of Portugal: the opening round of the 2005 Formula 1 World Championship on the Arade River.
The contest became a two boat battle as the two world champions, defender American Scott Gillman of the Emirates Team and Cappellini of the Tamoil team, previous five-time winner of this particular event drove bow to bow for the entire 55 laps.
Cappellini headed the event until the first restart when Gillman pounced on him less than 8 laps before the finish. The California driver slowly pulled away slowly until the final lap when he came up on a myriad of back markers slowing him enough for Cappellini to charge by in the final chicane to take his 47th victory by 1.86 seconds.
Third place was a battleground on it’s own, a position finally taken by Italian Fabio Comparato of the Comparato Racing Team. Fourth slot went to disappointed French driver Philippe Dessertenne after a great start when he climbed up from seventh to fourth before filling third which he held for half the race.
Fifth was Laith Pharaon who had a jackrabbit start in his Team Green machine jumping up to third before slowly dropping back to a fifth at the end. Sixth place went to Danish Gert Ladefoged who had barrel rolled during morning practice after qualifying third. Eighth was Australian David Trask who was last years rookie of the year picking up three points for the XPV Racing Team after his brother Bob dropped out just eight laps into the event.
Fabrizio Bocca of the Rainbow team took ninth after starting 20th off the dock collecting two points, while Portugal’s Duarte Benavente came tenth in the final points paying spot.
The win gives Guido Cappellini 20 points to start the season with Gillman five points behind and Comparato third with 12.
The next round of the world championship will be the Grand Prix of the Mediterranean in Calgiari, Sardinia on the weekend of July 3/4.