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Paddock postcard from Barcelona 09 May 2004

Jeff Gordon (USA) Hendrick Motorsports DuPont Chevrolet in the Williams garage with his wife.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, 7 May 2004 (L to R): Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault Team Principal with Carlos Sainz (ESP) Citroen Rally Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, 8 May 2004 (L to R): Sete Gibernau (ESP) Moto GP rider is interviewed by Niki Lauda (AUT) for RTL.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, 8 May 2004 Randy Mamola (USA) Former Motorbike racer and commentator for Eurosport.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, 7 May 2004 Race winner Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Arden International.
International Formula 3000 Championship, Rd2, Barcelona, Spain, 8 May 2004

Motor racing royalty grace the Catalunya pit lane

NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon provides one of the star turns for race fans in Spain this weekend as a guest of the Williams team.

The American has strong ties to the team, of course, having taken part in the ‘swap’ last year, prior to the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, with Juan Pablo Montoya. The Colombian drove Gordon’s Chevrolet NASCAR stock car, while Gordon impressed mightily in Montoya’s Williams FW25. Gordon described his weekend as “fabulous”. Gordon, who said that he was “too old” to contemplate any switch to the different discipline and culture of Formula One racing, was accompanied by fellow racer Jimmy Johnson.

National heroes Moto GP star Sete Gibernau, golfer Seve Ballasteros, and rally ace Carlos Sainz also made appearances, together with Moto GP commentator and former racer Randy Mamola, and besides the usual smattering of former drivers, Gianni Morbidelli, Andrea Montermini and Luis Perez-Sala also visited. It was also good to see Prism pr founder Steve ‘The Phantom’ Madincea up and around again after his recent serious illness, and FIA steward Burdette Martin and his wife Anne.

At 11am on Saturday morning the Circuit de Catalunya paid its respects to Ayrton Senna on the Champions Avenue behind the main grandstands, and in the afternoon’s Formula 3000 race Formula One-bound rising star Vitantonio Liuzzi simply destroyed his opposition for Christian Horner’s Arden International team with a brilliant display. Enrico Toccacelli and Rafaelle Giammaria were second and third and reigning British F3 champion Alan van der Merwe challenged Giammaria strongly for third until a collision with Jeffrey van Hooydonk damaged his front wing and obliged him to stop for a replacement nose near the end.