Max Wissel was the one constant in a chaotic second Superleague Formula race at Magny-Cours in France on Sunday, leading from start to finish for FC Basel. But behind him, it was anything but calm and collected.
Wissel, who crashed out at the first corner of race one, had two sets of fresh tires to start from pole position in race two. He streaked into a 9.5-second lead from the start, but this was negated by a safety car period on lap seven, when Sebastien Bourdais (Lyon) took out fellow Frenchmen Franck Montagny (Bordeaux) and Franck Perera (Flamengo).
The safety car failed to pick up Wissel, however, and as a result he was almost a lap ahead of everyone else when he caught the rear of the crocodile of cars. The safety car then released the pack, but this coincided with the pitstop window opening, so the entire field pitted as one - including Wissel, who benefited greatly.
In the confusion, race one winner Yelmer Buurman (AC Milan) was delayed by being forced to stack in the pits behind his team-mates. Along with John Martin (Beijing Guoan) and James Walker (Liverpool), they went a lap down through no real fault of their own.
Even more bizarrely, the safety car then came in and the race went green even though the crocodile of cars was not fully formed behind it. So Wissel led the lapped cars of Buurman, Walker and Martin on the road, with second-placed Julien Jousse (Roma) 13s behind.
"I don't know what happened behind me with the safety car," said Wissel. "It was quite easy, I was really quick. I had a puncture anyway, so I had to pit when I did."
Behind Jousse, Assen winner Davide Rigon finished third for Anderlecht, while Tristan Gommendy was a late retirement from fourth for Galatasaray, so series leader Craig Dolby (Tottenham) was gifted the place.
Borja Garcia finished sixth for Sporting Lisbon. Buurman was classified a lapped eighth, behind Maria de Villota (Atletico Madrid).
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Max Wissel FC Basel 46m21.647s
2. Julien Jousse AS Roma + 21.327s
3. Davide Rigon RSC Anderlecht + 29.965s
4. Craig Dolby Tottenham Hotspur + 41.464s
5. Borja Garcia Sporting + 47.992s
6. Maria de Villota Atletico de Madrid + 1m20.287s
7. Yelmer Buurman AC Milan + 1 lap
8. James Walker Liverpool FC + 1 lap
Tristan Gommendy Galatasaray 25 laps
John Martin Beijing Guoan 20 laps
Alvaro Parente FC Porto 18 laps
Chris van der Drift Olympiacos 7 laps
Franck Perera Flamengo 7 laps
Franck Montagny Girondins de Bordeaux 6 laps
Sebastien Bourdais Olympique Lyonnais 6 laps
Robert Doornbos Corinthians 1 lap
Marcos Martinez Sevilla FC 0 laps