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Brno: Jos Menten Racing race report

On 22nd and 23rd September the FIA GT caravan journeyed on down to the south eastern part of the Czech Republic for the eighth round. The Automotodrom Brno - Masarykis is located in the second largest town of the Republic. Simulation tests...

On 22nd and 23rd September the FIA GT caravan journeyed on down to the south eastern part of the Czech Republic for the eighth round. The Automotodrom Brno - Masarykis is located in the second largest town of the Republic. Simulation tests carried out in the Reiter Engineering workshops left the German team with high hopes, as the undulating and bumpy track would be ideal terrain for the Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT It soon became clear during the free practice that Jos Menten and Peter Kox were ready for their East European adventure. An adventure that was to end in a great disappointment .

Similar to other teams Jos Menten and Peter Kox were running the used Adria tyres for the first free practice. The result is positive for the Lamborghini-duo, with a sixth time (1:57,833) at the end of the 80 minutes long session: "We're pretty confident. The balance is good, and next time out we're on new tyres", Menten commented after the first session. The second session is also taken up with tuning the set-up on old tyres: "Brno really taxes the tyres. This is why it is important the set-up also works well on used tyres. Because otherwise you can lose a fair amount of ground after ten laps", the 26-year old from Haelen added. His team mate Peter Kox goes out just before the end of the session on new tyres, and promptly clocks up the best time out of the 30 competitors (1:55,472).

Between the second free practice and the qualifying session the team find a defect in the differential. This results in the Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT not being fully set-up in qualifying trim, as the team had to work hard to get the car ready for the qualifying sessions. The outcome for Jos Menten and Peter Kox was a place on the third row of the grid. Peter Kox clocked up a strong lap at the beginning of the 15 minutes long session (1:55,119), good for a provisional pole. But in the end the HD GIGAWAVE Reiter Engineering troops have to be contented with a fifth place: "If the boys had been given sufficient time to build the car up into the full qualifying trim the result might have been different. But we're on the third row, and the difference with the front runners is minimal", Menten told us.

In the warm-up on the Sunday morning the Dutch duo show positive signs. The Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT #28 is back in the top of the tables after fifteen minutes. Jos Menten and Peter Kox are fully ready and prepared! At 13.15hrs it is Peter Kox who takes the start at Brno. The orange-black Lamborghini gains a few battle scars in the first quarter. When Hezemans (Carsport Holland) and Bartels (Vitaphone Racing) come into contact with each other, Peter Kox also spins. A half hour into the race and everything is still very close. Kox is in fourth place and at HD GIGAWAVE Reiter Engineering the pitcrew are getting ready for the first pitstop. Jos Menten takes over, and works out a perfect stint. The young driver from Limburg is at times one of the fastest on the track. But Andria Piccini holds matters back. The Italian Maserati-driver goes wide and it takes time before Menten is able to get passed him. Once passed Piccini Jos Menten puts in full power to catch the leaders. At that moment the Lamborghini with number 28 is virtually in third place in the rankings. With some 25 minutes to go Jos Menten comes in to the pits for the second stop. Peter Kox once again takes over and leaves the pitlane in fourth place, just behind Andrea Bertolini (Scuderia Playteam Sarafree - Maserati MC12 #11). It only takes Kox a few laps to close in on Bertolini, and with twenty minutes to go he passes the blue Maserati. Menten and Kox are heading straight for a podium place, but then with a mere seven minutes from the end everything turns sour .

"It's as though we're just not being allowed to succeed. With only four laps to go the left front wheel nut loosens. The wheel flew off and Peter had to return to the pits on three tyres to fit a new wheel. We finally managed to claim one points with our eighth place, but this should have been our big race. Right from the start we were the fastest, confirmed by the best lap times we clocked up. The entire weekend the car was running perfectly. But once again it was not to be. Without that spin, which Peter couldn't avoid, we could have been battling it out for overall victory! A podium would have been the perfect plaster to patch matters up, but having to travel home with an eight place really hurts .", a highly disappointed Jos Menten told us.

-credit: jmr

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