EU3: Adria: Eric De Doncker weekend summary

Implacable victory of Matech Racing's Ford GT with Eric De Doncker and Dino Lunardi ! Scheduled on the small Italian circuit of Adria, within easy reach of Venice, the second meeting of the European FIA GT3 championship kicked off in...

Implacable victory of Matech Racing's Ford GT with Eric De Doncker and Dino Lunardi !

Scheduled on the small Italian circuit of Adria, within easy reach of Venice, the second meeting of the European FIA GT3 championship kicked off in the best possible way for the Belgian Eric De Doncker, whose Ford GT Matech Racing shared with the Frenchman Dino Lunardi was the star of the first 60 minutes race, held on Saturday afternoon.

"In consultation with Martin Bartek,we decided to change our strategy when taking on this weekend ", the Thermosulit driver told us. "Dino Lunardi was in fact appointed to take on the qualifying session for the so-called slower drivers, in order to slot the car in up front. This he succeeded to perform perfectly, clinching the pole position! "

The Frenchman had an excellent start, building up a 15 to 20 seconds lead ahead of his nearest rival when handing over the relay to Eric De Doncker. "Unfortunately, when leaving the pitlane the Safety Car put in an appearance on the track. My first thought was that our excellent lead would melt like snow under the Italian sun, and I was relieved to see that the 2nd car in the race was none other than Thomas Mutsch, at the wheel of the other Ford Matech! I held him off during several laps prior to him receiving two successive Stop & Go penalties! But in Adria, this type of penalty doesn't involve a great loss in time, and Mutsch managed to retain his 2nd place, whilst we took our first victory of the season! Something that satisfies me fully is the fact that the Aston Martin of Makowiecki wasn't any faster than myself by the end of the race ... "

And all that Eric De Doncker and Dino Lunardi were left to do was to celebrate this victory on the top tread of the podium ... and wait for the second race scheduled as a night event, starting at 22.00hrs sharp! "I still have a slight problem getting the best of the car over one qualifying lap, which explains being slotted in rather further on the starting grid, but let's not forget that I was in a qualifying session up against the faster drivers ", De Doncker continued. "During my stint I managed to climb back up from 23rd into 15th place, and Dino continued the hard work in a spectacular way, positioning himself in 4th place just before the finish! The podium was in sight. Unfortunately an Audi lost its bonnet, and instead of picking it up the marshalls decided to wave the yellow flag! And what was to happen happened, with a competitor driving over the bonnet ... which then took off and landed on our Ford GT! Outcome: a damaged radiator! Quite frankly a pity ... "

Having experienced bad luck at the end of the day, but by scoring 10 points in one fell swoop, the De Doncker-Lunardi duo have done a good deal in this championship. "A really good weekend and excellent work put in by the team. On this track the lack of power is hardly felt, whereas the excellence of braking power was definitely to our advantage here. Oschersleben, venue for the third round of the championship is equally a winding track, and I reckon we should pull it off there also. A good omen for the future ..."

-credit: edd

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Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Dino Lunardi , Martin Bartek , Thomas Mutsch