Home | News | Features | Drivers | Teams | Seasons | Galleries | Circuits | Forum | Shop
Reports that Piquet had held off Villeneuve to take victory at the weekend will have prompted a sense of deja vu among race fans of a certain age.
While many will have immediately been taken back to that golden age of the early 80s, when Nelson Piquet and Gilles Villeneuve did battle with the likes of Alan Jones, Jacques Lafitte, Carlos Reuteman, Didier Pironi, Alan Prost and John Watson, Sunday's news referred to the battle between former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr and 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve.
Piquet, who left F1 in disgrace following the Crash-gate saga, went into the history books as he became the first Brazilian to win one of NASCAR's top tier championship races, taking a resounding victory at the Sargenta 200 at Road America in his first NASCAR Nationwide Series of the 2012 season, and only the third NNS race of his NASCAR career.
The 26-year-old, who started from pole position after a dominating performance in qualifying on the four-mile road course that snakes through the Wisconsin hills, led from the start and stayed among the top pack throughout the race and the early pit stops.
Between laps 19 and 22 he jumped from sixth to second and then embarked on a duel for the lead with Villeneuve. When his crew chief informed him that he had to save fuel and was unable to continue the battle, Nelson stayed in the game over the next laps and pitstop periods and then, 16 laps from the end, took the lead after a race restart and maintained the lead until the end, crossing the line 2.5s ahead of his nearest competitor.
"I'm speechless!" he said after the race. "I have to thank the whole team for their amazing work. We have been so close to victory in the last few truck races but I am so glad the win has come in my first Nationwide race of the year.
"It was the perfect day. We were fast in practice but then we moved up a step by getting pole in qualifying and things worked well in the race. I tried to race as clean as possible without touching anyone and respecting everyone else on the track. I had to be careful with my brakes and fuel so that I could attack at the end.
"I could have fought harder in the middle of the race," he admitted, "but there was no reason why. I wasn't going to accomplish anything. I just held back a little bit and when it was the right moment I attacked. It was on one of the restarts where I passed Jacques and moved quickly through the field and led the race at the end. The only thing that would have made my day more perfect would have been if my parents were here to see it but my father called me after the race and he was laughing and was very, very excited!"
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2013. All rights reserved.
About | Advertise | Contact | Copyright | Privacy & Security | RSS