GP2 champion Giorgio Pantano handed AC Milan its first victory of the Superleague Formula series at Magny-Cours in France this afternoon. He beat reigning drivers' champion Davide Rigon's Olympiacos car to the flag in an all-Italian battle for honours.
John Martin jumped ahead of poleman Rigon at the start to give Rangers the lead over Olympiacos, with Jonathan Kennard (Roma) holding off the other Italian club, AC Milan, with Pantano at the wheel.
Pantano took third on lap three, while the man on the move from the back of the reversed grid was Tottenham's Craig Dolby, who was up to 10th
after a handful of laps and would lead after the frontrunners made their pitstops.
Pantano was right on Martin's tail when the Australian stopped on lap nine, but he suffered a disastrous pit stop and would later crash out.
Pantano was in control after the stops, but his 5sec lead over Rigon evaporated as the race went into its second half. Rigon got the gap down to 1.9sec when he locked up massively at the hairpin, and this seemed to give Pantano fresh impetus.
The GP2 champ crossed the finish line 2.2sec clear for his first win on his second start in the series, with Max Wissel scoring a fine third for FC Basel.
Miguel Molina finished fourth for Al Ain after a heated battle with Kennard, which included a collision at Lycee. Kennard was later forced to retire.
Yelmer Buurman raced through from 17th
to fifth for Anderlecht, ahead of opening race winner Adrian Valles (Liverpool). Dolby, meantime, dropped back to 10th in the closing stages, having run as high as sixth.
The podium finishes from both races have now qualified for the six-car super final, the victor of which takes home €100,000.RESULTS:
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Giorgio Pantano AC Milan 46m57.511s
2. Davide Rigon Olympiacos + 2.273s
3. Maximilian Wissel FC Basel + 11.372s
4. Miguel Molina Al Ain + 15.455s
5. Yelmer Buurman Anderlecht + 17.987s
6. Adrian Valles Liverpool + 18.811s
7. Tristan Gommendy FC Porto + 19.759s
8. Enrique Bernoldi Flamengo + 21.740s
9. Antonio Pizzonia Corinthians + 21.998s
10. Craig Dolby Tottenham Hotspur + 23.594s
11. Duncan Tappy Galatasaray + 31.831s
12. Ho-Pin Tung Atletico Madrid +1m08.911s
13. Nelson Panciatici Olympique Lyonnais +1m26.911s
Jonathan Kennard AS Roma 28 laps
Kasper Andersen FC Midtjylland 17 laps
John Martin Rangers 16 laps
Pedro Petiz Sporting 6 laps
Dominick Muermans PSV Eindhoven 0 laps