Sunday, November 21, 2004

Premat pounces in Macau

Alexandre Premat of France has won Macau Grand Prix to take the FIA Intercontinental Cup. In a chaotic race shortened to 11-laps he was one of the last men standing in a race marred by incidents and accidents.
There was drama at the start when Loic Duval hit the barrier on the left hand side of the road exiting the Mandarin Oriental bend, then two of the most fancied runners were eliminated when Nico Rosberg crashed out of the lead on Lap Two, hitting the wall at Lisboa and taking Lewis Hamilton with him. This promoted Frenchman Alexandre Premat to the lead and despite brushing the wall himself he duly picked up the safety car on Lap Four. Hamilton managed to get going again but later crashed out of the midfield.
Jamie Green jumped Robert Kubica on the restart to take second and he set off after Premat and by Lap Seven he was picking up the tow on the main straight. It was not to last as Kubica slipped ahead of Green as he appeared to be having a problem, rapidly dropping down the leaderboard.
Daisuke Ikeda crashed at San Francisco on Lap Nine and shortly after Rodolfo Avila was also in the barriers. A second Safety Car period ensued resuming on Lap Twelve. Fabio Carbone, front wings askew, barged ahead of Di Grassi to take third on the restart seemingly untroubled by the aerodynamic disadvantage.
A major shunt at San Francisco on Lap Thirteen involving numerous cars brought out the red flags leaving Premat to celebrate the win. The efforts of Carbone went for nothing as the results were declared at the end of lap eleven under the countback rule.

Provisional Results
Premat, Kubica, Di Grassi, Carbone, Perera, Carrol

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