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Schumacher wins as Massa shines

NEWS STORY
28/11/2009

Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher scored a superb victory today in Heat 1 of the International Challenge of Go-Kart Champions in Florianopolis.

Starting from sixth in the grid, the German took the lead in the late stages of the 28-lap race when IRL ace Vitor Meira and Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi tangled while battling for the lead. Schumacher, however, shared the fans and media attention with his friend and former teammate Felipe Massa. In his comeback following his accident during qualifying for the Hungarian GP, the Brazilian drove a convincing race to jump from 11th on the grid to a well-deserved third place at the flag.

Pole-sitter Nelson Piquet led until mid-race, but was unable to defend his position from Meira and Liuzzi attack and only managed to finish ninth. Not far behind, Schumacher closed the gap on the front runners lap by lap and only had to wait for the right moment to take the lead. Massa fought hard to earn positions and only got his podium spot when he was finally able to overtake Meira in the final lap.

Massa could not hide his joy with the outcome of the race. "My kart was not that good in qualifying, but then improved all race long," he said. "I'm very proud of this event because I think it is the most important of the world nowadays in terms of karting. You will not find so many great drivers in any other race. For me, after four months away from a strong competition, was also nice to realize that I'm 100% fit."

Heat 2 will commence at 11:00 (local time) on sunday with a GP2-style reversed grid format. Massa said of the tough task ahead. "Of course, I will do my best to try and win, but Schumacher is going to be difficult to beat. He is very clever and knows everything about karting."

The winner of this year's edition will be once again known by aggregate results.

Heat 1 results

1: Michael Schumacher 26:28.571
2: Vitantonio Liuzzi + 2.768
3: Felipe Massa + 4.684
4: Lucas Di Grassi + 5.553
5: Vitor Meira + 6.727
6: Rubens Barrichello + 7.989
7: Tony Kanaan + 8.288
8: Antonio Pizzonia + 8.423
9: Nelson Piquet + 16.237
10: Duda Pamplona + 17.775
11: Ricardo Zonta + 26.208
12: Tarso Marques + 26.671
13: Enrique Bernoldi + 27.088
14: Mario Moraes + 27.447
15: Joao Paulo Oliveira + 29.485
16: Popo Bueno + 30.511
17: Luciano Burti + 33.342
18: Felipe Giaffone + 38.662
19: Bia Figueiredo + 39.039
20: Eduardo Berlanda + 50.544
21: Xandinho Negrao + 1 lap
22: Marcos Gomes not classified
23: Raphael Mattos not classified
24: Christian Fittipaldi not classified
25: Max Wilson not classified

Best lap: Michael Schumacher 55.841

  • Picture by Miguel Costa Jr/MF2
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