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EU3: GT3: Mugello race two notes, champion crowned

And so the exciting first season of the FIA GT3 European Championship has come to an end, with a second wet race in Mugello, won by Tech 9 Motorsport's Sean Edwards and Phil Keen, in the nr 9 Porsche 997 GT3. With 30 points from the last three ...

And so the exciting first season of the FIA GT3 European Championship has come to an end, with a second wet race in Mugello, won by Tech 9 Motorsport's Sean Edwards and Phil Keen, in the nr 9 Porsche 997 GT3. With 30 points from the last three races, Sean has therefore taken a commanding lead in the Drivers Classification to win the inaugural Drivers Championship, while his team, Tech9, followed up their 2005 class win in the British GT Championship with the Teams title in the FIA GT3 European Championship. The points remain provisional, pending the Dijon appeal.

QUALIFYING RACE 2 : EDWARDS ON POLE

The second qualifying session was fast, furious and extremely interesting, with a fine battle between Andrew Thompson in the nr 46 Damax Ascari and Sean Edwards in the nr 9 Tech 9 Motorsport Porsche. However, it was Edwards who won out, with a fine lap of 2:04.947. A final rush of improvements at the very end of the session saw Klaus Ludwig claim second place on the grid in the nr 16 Corvette, ahead of Adam Lacko in the nr 17 Callaway Corvette. Hommerson was fourth in the nr 15 Lamborghini, just ahead of the nr 14 Lamborghini. Edwards' team-mate Paul van Splunteren took sixth for the nr 8 Tech9 Porsche, with Thompson finally qualifying seventh in the Ascari, just ahead of Ian Khan in the nr 32 JMB Racing Ferrari 430 GT3. "The team made a great decision to put slicks on, and I got perfect times," Edwards said. "The times kept on going down and down every lap. I didn't have any traffic out there, so I couldn't complain. At the end I was having a battle with Klaus Ludwig from JMB in the corvette; I just managed to get my two tenths in at the end. It's a great time to get pole for a Porsche. With my nearest rival, Bornhauser starting back in tenth in the second race and fifth in the first race, hopefully I can pull something out of the bag."

RACE REPORT : THREE IN A ROW FOR EDWARDS AND KEEN

Once again, it was raining in Mugello when the second FIA GT3 European Championship race got underway, although the conditions were not as bad as they had been in Saturday's round. And once again, Mugello saw a great battle between the nr 9 Tech9 Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 and the nr 46 Damax Ascari KZ1R. The nr 9 Porsche of Sean Edwards and Phil Keen emerged victorious to take their third win in a row, and to secure the title for Edwards. Thompson and Allison finished second, crossing the line 8.4 seconds behind the nr 9 Porsche, to give Damax its best weekend of the season. Third place went to the nr 14 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo, the best performance from the Lamborghini this season. Fourth went to the nr 10 Racing Logistic Dodge Competition Coupe of Patrick Bornhauser and Frederic Makowiecki, but this was not enough for Bornhauser to regain his Championship lead. Racing Box duo Zonca and Cioci crossed the line in fifth, just ahead of BMS Scuderia Italia's Zani and Mugelli. The leading Corvette finished 9th, the Riverside car of Charriol and Campbell, which had been running in third position for much of the race. Championship contenders Livio and Ceccato, who had to start from the back of the grid after engine problems in qualifying, recovered to an excellent eleventh, but this was not enough to catch up with Edwards, who claimed the inauguaral title.

HE'S THE CHAMPION : EDWARDS WINS THE DAY -- AND THE TITLE

Although the results and points remain provisional pending the appeal lodged by Racing Logistics after their Dijon exclusion, no-one can catch Sean Edwards in the 2006 classifications. The young British driver was delighted with the result : ""It's unbelievable, it still hasn't sunk in yet that I'm GT3 champion. It really doesn't feel like it, we came into this weekend 8 points behind and we were just looking to get a good result. We thought it would be difficult but with two wins out of two, the team did a mega job. Phil (Keen) did an awesome job for me, we did four races together and won three of them." Edwards started off the season with Demitris Deverikos of Greece, and the duo claimed a second-place finish and Silverstone and two at Spa. However, joining up with Phil Keen for the last two rounds, they proved an unbeatable partnership and have propelled Edwards to the top of the table. Tech9 Motorsport have also taken the lead in the Teams Championship, provisionally two points ahead of Racing Logistic, with Racing Box provisionally third. However, the results are still pending the appeal to be heard at the end of the month concerning Racing Logistic in Dijon.

Bornhauser is provisionally second overall, ahead of Cecatto and Livio of Racing Box, followed by Phil Keen and the leading BMS Scuderia Italia drivers, Franco Groppi and Toni Seiler.

-credit: www.fiagt3.com

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