Paddock Postcard from Valencia 24 Aug 2008
Sir Jackie Stewart, Patrick Tambay and four-time world champion touring car racer Andy Priaulx were among the racing celebrities. Valencia is Americas Cup country, so it was appropriate that one of Hondas guests was New Zealander Mike Sanderson.
A sailor since the age of five, Sanderson's successes include victory in the 1993-94 Whitbread Race and the transatlantic speed record onboard Mari Cha IV. The 34 year-old is also an experienced Americas Cup competitor.
There was drama and heartache in the first GP2 race on Saturday. Polesitter and race-long leader Giorgio Pantano lost out literally within sight of the chequered flag after running out of fuel.
That left victory to Vitoly Petrov over Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean. Pantano did have one stroke of luck when fellow title contender Bruno Senna also fell victim, his iSport car rolling to a halt without fuel on the last lap, too.
The Formula BMW round was also a humdinger, with Tiago Geronimi fighting tooth and nail with series yardstick Esteban Guitterrez. The young Mexican snatched the lead going into the final lap only to make a mistake which put the Brazilian back in front.
Despite a fearsome counterattack from Guiterrez, Geronimi held on for the win. Marco Wittman was third. Title contenders Adrian Tambay and Daniel Juncadella both failed to finish.