Mon, 10 Apr 2000

Ananda flops in first leg of F3000

JAKARTA (JP): Young Indonesian racer Ananda Mikola failed to survive the first leg of the FIA F3000 series opener at the Imola Circuit in San Marino, Italy, after his car hit the safety wall on the 15th lap on Saturday evening.

Manager Piers Hunnisett said that Ananda, who started in 26th place, created an upset when he outmaneuvered three racers to increase his position to 23rd.

On the third lap, he increased his position to 16th. By then many expected he would finish in the top 10 as he was only about half a second behind the leader of the first leg, Nicolas Minassian of France.

On the fifth lap, Briton Darren Maning almost caught up with Ananda, who was in 16th position, but Ananda's lost some car power in the following lap, putting him in 22th position.

"On the eight lap, Dutch Christian Alberts, who was ahead of Ananda, went off the track, allowing Ananda's position to increase to 21st," he was quoted by Antara as saying.

"After a while, Briton Ricardo Maurizio, who was in 10th position, also slid out and did not continue with the race. So Ananda surged to 20th position," he said.

On the 15th lap, Ananda was no longer able to secure his position because he felt something wrong with his car. He decided to leave the track after hitting a safety tire. Hunnisett said that Ananda was in good condition but that his car was wrecked.

"I felt something was wrong with my car and I was under pressure before I retired from the race," Ananda said.

"I forced myself to speed up. If I could have been a little more patient I think I could have finished in the top 15," he said.

Minassian won the first leg, followed by Bruno Jungueira from England and Mark Webber from Australia in third position. (ivy)