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Moore romps to maiden FPA victory

Saturday, July 24 2010

Nigel Moore translated his dominant practice form into an assured victory in the opening race at Oulton Park.

Starting from pole, the 22-year-old enjoyed a good getaway from the line as fellow front-row starter and current championship leader Maxime Jousse bogged down slightly from second. Jousse was forced to defend his position on the opening lap, allowing Moore to build a two second gap which then stayed fairly consistent for the rest of the race.

Having warded off the early attacks from Ramon Pineiro, Jousse did his best to put pressure on Moore in the closing stages, setting the three fastest laps of the race on his final four tours. Moore kept his composure, however, guiding his Ginetta-backed car to his first win of 2010 - closing the gap to Jousse in the overall championship in the process.

"I got a good start, and built an early gap to (Maxime) Jousse," an elated Nigel Moore explained. "From there it was a case of being consistent, staying on the tarmac and bringing it home. I just tried to keep the gap and I couldn't really have asked for more - although one more win would be perfect!"

Having attacked Jousse through the opening series of corners, Pineiro was in turn attacked by fellow Spaniard Jose Alonso Liste through the back section of the circuit. In their scrap the pair bogged down, allowing an opportunistic Vincent Beltoise to move up into third on the opening lap.

Beltoise came under heavy pressure from Pineiro, with the Spaniard eventually finding a way past on lap six. It proved to be short-lived, however, as Pineiro pulled to the side of the road with damage to his front-right tyre on lap 11 - his heartbreak gifting third back to Beltoise, who duly held on to take his first podium of the 2010 season.

Alonso Liste had been the man most likely to wrest third from Beltoise, but he fell to fifth after the impressive Kieron Vernon found a way through at Shell Oils Corner on lap 12.

Vernon then set about hounding Beltoise, setting his personal best on his penultimate tour of the circuit, but he too could not find a way past the impressive Frenchman - Vernon eventually finishing just over half a second behind Beltoise, with Alonso Liste a further seven tenths of a second behind in fifth.

Melroy Heemskerk was forced to settle for sixth, having closed on Alonso Liste by almost two seconds in the second half of the race. Heemskerk had dropped behind the fast-starting Giuseppe Cipriani on the opening lap, but fought back on lap four and will have been encouraged by his pace in the closing stages of the contest.

Howard Fuller and Ash Davies followed Heemskerk through when he made his move on Cipriani, and the duo remained lock in battle for the remainder of the race - Fuller eventually just over one second clear of Davies.

That left Cipriani in a relatively quiet ninth, with James Thorp rounding out the top ten - just two seconds ahead of a determined drive by Callum Holland, who was forced to miss the second practice session yesterday as he continues to suffer from a recent bout of gastric flu.

Luca Orlandi and Mark Powell completed the finishers in 12th and 13th respectively, with Ramon Pineiro suffering only his first DNF of the season, retiring from third on circuit.

Elated with his first victory of the season, Moore will be hoping to capitalise even further in the second race when he will again start from pole - this time Maxime Jousse lining up from fourth.

Formula Palmer Audi Championship - Rounds 9 & 10 - Oulton Park - Race One Provisional Classification:

1. Nigel Moore, 14 laps
2. Maxime Jousse, +1.728s
3. Vincent Beltoise, +14.776s
4. Kieron Vernon, +15.289s
5. Jose Alonso Liste, +16.037s
6. Melroy Heemskerk, +17.109s
7. Howard Fuller, +17.817s
8. Ash Davies, +19.180s
9. Giuseppe Cipriani, +28.756s
10. James Thorp, +36.537s