HALLYDAY AND ROESSLER STAR FOR POUCHELON RACING IN RACE 2 With the crowd at Oschersleben having grown to some 29,000 people on Sunday, the atmosphere for FIA GT3 race 2 was building as the cars lined up. Wido Roessler started in the 12th grid...
HALLYDAY AND ROESSLER STAR FOR POUCHELON RACING IN RACE 2
With the crowd at Oschersleben having grown to some 29,000 people on Sunday, the atmosphere for FIA GT3 race 2 was building as the cars lined up.
Wido Roessler started in the 12th grid slot achieved by David Hallyday in Qualifying 1. The experienced German driver got a strong start and coped well with the traffic on the first lap, appearing 10th at the end of it. He soon became entangled in a close race with highly rated F3 refugee Andy Thompson and also with the leading Porsche of Morgan Moullin-Traffort. After overtaking moves by all three cars, Roessler pushed the Viper a bit too hard and spun. "We made some setup changes overnight and I think we went the wrong way" he said afterwards. Having dropped to 18th, Roessler fought back to 14th, ahead of the similar Viper of Steve Zacchia before handing over to David Hallyday on lap 20. The French singer was in the mood to charm the Viper and produced some superlative moves, in particular making a textbook pass on Marc Cattaneo in the Porsche for 13th position. Over the next 8 laps he gave a driving lesson to some of the most fancied drivers and cars in the field, passing British Champion Deverikos in the Porsche, Machitsky in the Aston, Dessange in the Corvette and the Vipers of Dupard and Blanchemain. By lap 33, Hallyday was 6th and with clear air in front of him, set about reeling in Race 1 winner and championship leader Ceccato. By the finish, Hallyday was within 20s but time ran out on his charge. Both drivers were pleased with the result and both are looking at future events with the team.
Reid and Duqueine had a torrid time of it, Reid starting from 8th and having to cope with a couple of very fast Corvettes ahead of him. By lap 3, Reid had dispatched the Corvette of American driver Chris Campbell and was in 5th place, closing down the similar cars of Sourd and Heinricy. Sourd however was not in any mood to let Reid by and a crowd-pleasing battle ensued until lap 9, during which Sourd left the track and crossed the gravel trap more than once. There was contact as Reid squeezed by exiting a tight left-hander on lap 9 but it became clear who was holding who up as Reid drew away by 2.2s on the next lap. "The race with Ruffier yesterday was hard but completely fair" Reid said afterwards "the contact today was unnecessary". Reid then pitted early in the window to allow Duqueine a shot at the action but frustratingly, Duqueine could not restart the 8.3 litre Viper engine and a push start was required. This meant a stop/go penalty for external assistance, on top of the time already lost in the driver change. Gilles just got on with it though and brought the car from more or less last through to 19th, ahead of the Ascari of Scott & Stanton. Thanks to yesterday's 2nd place, the Reid/Duqueine car is now 5th in the championship.
After yesterday's character-building experience, the Dubrulle/Morel car had been repaired overnight and despite a good start by Dubrulle and lapping in the top 20, the car stopped with a lack of motive power after a handful of laps.
"This weekend we took the first podium in an International race for Pouchelon Racing, and we leave here with Gilles and Anthony 5th in the championship" said Alex Pouchelon later, as the team packed away and headed for Spa and the official test for the 24h race later this month.