BMS SCUDERIA ITALIA FERRARI ON POLE Jean-Marc Gounon took pole position for the ninth round of the FIA GT Championship at Donington Park this weekend, at the wheel of the nr 22 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello. The Frenchman set a...
BMS SCUDERIA ITALIA FERRARI ON POLE
Jean-Marc Gounon took pole position for the ninth round of the FIA GT Championship at Donington Park this weekend, at the wheel of the nr 22 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello. The Frenchman set a time of 1:28.982, the first lap this weekend under 1:29, in only his second Super Pole session in the Ferrari. The Frenchman beat the nr 14 Lister Storm of Jamie Campbell-Walter by four-tenths of a second, with the second BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello of Jean-Denis Deletraz an excellent third with a time of 1:29.661.
The two Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R cars finished fourth and fifth, unable to equal the times set by the Ferrari cars and the Lister Storm. Fabrizio Gollin was fourth fastest in the nr 4 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper, just four hundredths of a second faster than his team-mate Mike Hezemans in the nr 3 Viper. Bobby Verdon-Roe was sixth fastest in the second Lister Storm that he will share with Ian McKellar and David Warnock this weekend.
GARCIA HEADS EXTREMELY CLOSE N-GT SUPER POLE SESSION
Antonio Garcia set the N-GT pole position in the nr 76 RWS Porsche 996 GT3-R after one of the closest Super Pole sessions in GT Championship history. The top five cars were separated by little more than a tenth of a second and grid positions were separated by thousandths of a second! Garcia set a time of 1m34.674s, eight-hundredths of a second faster than Robin Liddell in the nr 56 EMKA Porsche 996 GT3-R. Liddell, driving with Steve O'Rourke for the first time, was a thousandth of a second quicker than third-placed Stephane Ortelli who himself was just two-hundredths of a second faster than Scotland 's Andrew Kirkaldy in the nr 83 Veloqx Motorsport Ferrari 360 Modena.
Kirkaldy's team-mate Jamie Davies trailed a hundredth of a second behind, ahead of Johnny Mowlem's nr 60 JvG Racing Porsche 996 GT3-R which qualified sixth in class on old tyres with a time of 1:35.285.
SECOND QUALIFYING SESSION - BMS FASTEST AGAIN
Andrea Piccini set the fastest time in the nr 23 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello, half a second faster than Anthony Kumpen in the nr 3 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R. Enzo Calderari was third fastest in the nr 22 Ferrari 550 Maranello, a dominant show from the BMS Ferrari team that headed the earlier Super Pole qualifying session.
Luca Riccitelli set fourth fastest time in the nr 32 Dart Team Ferrari 550 Maranello, three seconds faster than the time set in the morning session, after losing its fastest time due to failing a ride-height test. This means that the Ferrari improved to 12th position on the grid, while Marc Duez and Claude-Yves Gosselin, in the nr 11 Paul Belmondo Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R, were demoted from 13th on the grid to 20th, behind the N-GT Super Pole qualifying sessions.
Andrea Montermini and Iradj Alexander, in the nr 51 JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena, headed the N-GT classification in the second session but could not better their time of the morning session and so could not improve their grid position. Tim Sugden was second fastest in the nr 83 Veloqx Motorsport Ferrari 360 Modena, while Philipp Peter and Toto Wolff were third in the nr 58 Autorlando Porsche 996 GT3-R. Adam Jones and Stephen Stokoe were fourth fastest in the nr 62 Cirtek Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R, ahead of N-GT championship contender Christian Pescatori, who again shares with Andrea Bertolini this weekend. Romain Dumas and Bert Longin were sixth and seventh in their Freisinger Motorsport Porsches.
Fabrizio Gollin, nr 4 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R: "I am happy with the time, because it was a good lap, and my time was very close to that of Mike Hezemans. Mike has a lot of experience on this track, but this is my first time here. I made a mistake in the chicane, but Mike made the same mistake, so our times were almost exactly the same!"
Ni Amorim, nr 12 Paul Belmondo Racing, Chrysler Viper GTS-R: "I am hoping to do this race, and the final round in Portugal, and I want to do the championship next year with Belmondo. My manager contacted Belmondo who asked me to come this weekend. I know the car and the circuit, and I know Estoril, of course! This car is very different to the last Chrysler Viper car that I drove. The Pirelli tyres are different, but the sequential gearbox is very good and the team is very professional."
Jamie Campbell-Walter, nr 14 Lister Storm Racing, Lister Storm: "I had a clean lap, no problem, but I think I was too cautious at the end of the lap in the loop, braking a little bit too early. However, I can't complain because we are still on the front row and ahead of those we are fighting for the Championship. The car is running really well, so I am looking forward to it. My team-mate is coming on in leaps and bounds, so it is quite pleasing for me and we'll just see what happens in the race. It is exciting we will just try to win the race. It all hinges on Nick, and on reliability, a thousand and one things could go wrong."
Jean-Marc Gounon, nr 22 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello: "I must thank BMS Scuderia Italia. It is very special to be on pole position, because this is a very nice track and a very nice car. I had a look at the lap time of Jean-Denis this morning, and he was quicker than me at one place, he explained what he had done and I did it this afternoon."
Jean-Denis Deletraz, nr 23 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello: "Jean Marc did a very good job. Normally Andrea does the Super Pole but this time I did it. I am very confident for the race because Andrea and I are very close in lap times so I think we will be fast in the race. If you make the calculation, it is still possible to win the championship, we only have to win the last two races!
Stephane Ortelli - nr 54 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-R : "That was a really good qualifying session and Antonio did a very good job ! I know how fast he is because he was chasing me for about an hour during the last round at Pergusa, and I just couldn't get away from him. It is very good to have three Porsche cars in front of the Ferrari cars. However, I am not thinking about the Championship yet. There is a long way to go yet. First of all, I have to finish tomorrow's race."
Robin Liddell - nr 56 EMKA Racing Porsche 996 GT3-R : "This was my first time in the EMKA Porsche, and I must say that I was very impressed. The team has done a fantastic job and it is one of the best chassis I've driven. The sequential gear-box definitely helps - especially with the driver comfort, and it's working well. I like the Superpole system, it gives you a real opportunity to be on the track by yourself. I last did it at Anderstorp. I was rather surprised to be second, I must have made less mistakes than the rest of them. Tomorrow, I will start the race, and run as long as possible. But Steve O'Rourke has done a good job all weekend, and if we make no mistakes, there is every possibility for us to finish on the podium."