Beat that! Two MINI Challenge titles in two South American countries within two months. Respect, Patrick Goncalves! Having won the MINI Challenge Brazil in October, Goncalves has now also pocketed the title in neighbouring Argentina as a guest driver.
Goncalves finished 39 points ahead of his closest rival, Matías Gasparich, to win the inaugural season of the MINI Challenge Argentina. The title may already have been destined for Goncalves before the race at the Autodromo Rio Cuarto in Cordoba, but Gasparich put on a fine show to win the final race of the premiere season.
Gasparich had narrowly missed out on victory at several races over the course of the season. The young Argentine was a regular on the podium, but had to wait until the very last race of the season to climb onto the very top step.
What a finish for then for Gasparich, who held off wave after wave of attacks from Richard Stuart Milne and Patricio Morelli, who eventually had to settle for second and third places in the Cordoba heat. Overcome with emotion after the successful conclusion to his season, "I am very happy," was all the winner had to say.
Just a few hours later, however, the drivers showed no signs of the pressure they had been under during the seven races that made up the first MINI Challenge season in Argentina. The MINI Challenge would not be the MINI Challenge without a big after-race party, at which the drivers and teams joined their fans in bidding farewell to the 2011 season in the usual stylish atmosphere and to sound of the DJ's hot beats.
And so an extremely successful first season of the MINI Challenge Argentina draws to a close. All that remains now is for everyone to start looking forward to the 2012 season.
Congratulations to all the drivers, teams, partners and, last but not least, the MINI Challenge fans in Argentina.
The MINI Challenge series in Argentina and Brazil have thrilled their fans this season with exciting races and new champions.
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The final rounds of the MINI Challenge series in Brazil and Argentina are fast approaching. The champions are yet to be decided. One thing is certain, however: who will be giving up his current titles.
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