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FPA: Double delight for Maxime Jousse

Sunday, June 27 2010

Formula Palmer Audi championship leader Maxime Jousse cruised to a dominant second win of the weekend at Snetterton today (Sunday) - extending his standings lead in the process.

Pole-sitter Jousse blasted off the line and never looked back as he put his rivals in the shade throughout the 18-lap contest. Championship contender Nigel Moore lost second place on the run down to Riches for the first time when Dutchman Melroy Heemskerk made a stellar start from third on the grid. Things would get slightly worse for Moore later in the race when he was passed by Jose Alonso Liste - ending his sequence of finishing every FPA race on the podium this season.

Second place for Heemskerk certainly didn't seem clear cut in the early stages of the race, as a gaggle of cars attacked from behind. While Jousse was busy carving out a five second lead in the first six laps, Heemskerk seemed to be holding up Moore and Alonso Liste. Vincent Beltoise also briefly joined the scrap, before Heemskerk found improved pace at the mid-distance stage.

Heemskerk was able to use his overboost wisely to pull away from the pack by more than a second, leaving Moore to fend off the advances of Alonso Liste. The Briton couldn't hang on however, as Alonso Liste made a great move around the outside of Riches on lap eight. Moore remained in touching distance for the second half of the race, but he was never close enough to make a real challenge.

Jousse meanwhile had pulled out a lead of nearly seven seconds, taking his fourth victory of the season after a dominant lights-to-flag performance. Heemskerk and Alonso Liste hung on to the remaining podium positions, ahead of Ginetta-backed Moore.

"That was a good one," said Jousse. "I got a great start and was able to pull away. I was consistent throughout the race and that is the key to this championship."

The fight for fifth place gradually built into an exciting finale, as fifth through to seventh positions were separated by just over 1.5s. Beltoise had lost touch with the podium scrap up ahead and eventually fell into the clutches of the next trio of cars. Italian Giuseppe Cipriani enjoyed one his best races of his FPA career, which included a nice move on Howard Fuller. Now in sixth place, Cipriani pressured Beltoise in the final two laps, but the Frenchman hung on to claim another credible top five finish.

As the chequered flag waved Beltoise and Cipriani were followed home immediately by Fuller and Callum Holland, who were also busy having their own last gasp battle.

Jordan Williams took a brave ninth place - racing in a spare car following his frightening accident in yesterday's second race. Car racing rookie James Thorp scored an impressive top ten finish after seeing off the advances of fellow countryman Kieran Vernon. The pair actually went side-by-side across the start/finish line on lap four, but Vernon outbraked himself and spun heavily into the barriers and out of the race at Riches Corner.

Ramon Pineiro enjoyed a wild ride from the back of the grid after the Spaniard suffered with gear selection problems during qualifying. The Caja Madrid-supported youngster made a number of eye-catching moves on his way up to an impressive seventh place, before contact with Howard Fuller at the Esses halted his progress. The spin dropped him back down to 14th, although Ramon did make his way back up to 11th at the finish.

Formula Palmer Audi Championship - Rounds 4, 5, 6 & 7 - Snetterton - Race Three Provisional Classification:

1. Maxime Jousse, 18 laps
2. Melroy Heemskerk, +6.986s
3. Jose Alonso Liste, +8.919s
4. Nigel Moore, +9.536s
5. Vincent Beltoise, +15.695s
6. Giuseppe Cipriani, +16.037s
7. Howard Fuller, +16.550s
8. Callum Holland, +17.352s
9. Jordan Williams, +23.613s
10. James Thorp, +27.174s