May 08, 2009
Published on tags: Superleague
Joe Consiglio led the French Grand Prix from start to finish to claim his second win of the season and extend his and Nordsjoen's lead at the top of the standings.

The Maltese driver mastered the twists and turns of Charade and, despite some minor damage sustained in a contact with team mate Adam Rouse, enjoyed a drama-free race, the only concern being the reliability of a fragile Honda engine that once more let down Rouse.

Behind Consiglio, it was celebration time for Daniel Ortega Racing and Allen GP with Kieran Ryan and Chris Allen achieving their respective teams' first podiums; both opened their point tally at the occasion, having retired in the preceding events. There were first points also for Synergetic Motorsports, with Phil Cullen closing in 4th, and Constant Racing (Stanton, 7th).

The last point-awarding positions went to Mark Fuller and Mark Wicks, 5th and 6th respectively, and Adam Rouse, whose race was cut short by an engine problem when he was challenging for the lead but still classified 8th.

The race had an eventful start - though it spared the retirements we had seen in previous races. At the relatively fast turn 1, William Ponissi's Allen, slowing down to avoid Ryan McConkey, was hit hard by Nikos Evangelidakis. The resulting mayhem involved also Mark Wicks, but resulted only in damage to car number 19. Ponissi had another, much more terrifying shunt with Evangelidakis at the end of the lap, and had to pit to fix the damage.

Elsewhere, 5th on the grid Mark Stanton found himself spinning at turn 1 and re-joining at the end of the group. The first laps claimed also Michelangelo Manrique, who lost control and hit the barriers, joint-Championship leader Janne Tanskanen and Roberto Luis Conde, while on lap 4 all the lights turned off on Mal McKee's car - the Belfast driver's bad luck striking again.

While the race finished with only 8 drivers - out of 19 - completing over 75% of the distance, the event proved a turning point in the league's young online racing experience. With a smooth formation lap and less issues compared to the opening three races of the year, the foundations are laid for a further improvement in the racing experience.

As Stewarding and a system of Rules enforcement are stepped up, a more responsible attitude from the GPVWC drivers will ensure the league goes from strength to strength.