Tristan Gommendy netted Porto's first Superleague Formula victory of 2009 at Donington Park on Sunday afternoon, the Frenchman using an early pit strategy to gain himself clear air to jump ahead of those who pitted later.
Enrique Bernoldi (Flamengo) led from pole position as fellow front-row starter Davide Rigon (Olympiakos) started from the pitlane due to an engine change after race one. Pedro Petiz (Sporting Lisbon) just managed to grab second at Redgate from Dominick Muermans (PSV Eindhoven), as the front runners from race one toiled to work their way through the traffic created by the reversed grid. The man on the move was Esteban Guerrieri (Sevilla), who bravely passed Muermans for third at McLeans, just before a safety car was required to remove the stranded AC Milan car of Giorgio Pantano, who had been harpooned into a spin by Rangers' John Martin at the Esses on the opening lap. As in the first race, Rigon pulled off again under the safety car, meaning it stayed out until lap six.
Guerrieri soon outbraked Petiz for second at Melbourne and took the lead when Bernoldi pitted on lap nine. That's as far as the ex-F1 racer got, however, as his car repeatedly stalled and refused to pull away, forcing Bernoldi to retire.
Guerrieri made his stop a lap later, but a likely victory was wiped out when his battery failed, forcing him out too.
That left three late-stoppers out front, of which Antonio Pizzonia was the fastest, and he swept his Corinthians car past Ho-Pin Tung (Atletico Madrid) and Muermans (PSV). But when they eventually stopped, it was Gommendy - who had flown under the radar by stopping early -- who led from Petiz, opening race winner Max Wissel (Basel), Craig Dolby (Spurs) and Kasper Anderson (FC Midtjylland).
Series points leader Adrian Valles (Liverpool) finished sixth, ahead of Tung and Pizzonia.RESULTS:
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Tristan Gommendy FC Porto 45m36.002s
2. Pedro Petiz Sporting Clube de Portugal +4.691
3. Max Wissel FC Basel +6.623
4. Craig Dolby Tottenham Hotspur +7.776
5. Kasper Andersen FC Midtylland +10.187
6. Adrian Valles Liverpool +11.540
7. Ho-Pin Tung Atletico Madrid +17.468
8. Antonio Pizzonia Corinthians +17.907
9. Nelson Panciatici Olympique Lyonnais +40.362
10. Jonathan Kennard AS Roma +41.002
11. Dominick Muermans PSV Eindhoven +54.946
12. Scott Mansell Galatasaray +56.634
Esteban Guerrieri Sevilla FC 10 laps
Enrique Bernoldi Flamengo 9 laps
Davide Rigon Olympiacos 3 laps
John Martin Glasgow Rangers 1 lap
Giorgio Pantano AC Milan 0 laps
Yelmer Buurman Anderlecht 0 laps