DODGE VICTORIOUS AFTER BUSY SECOND FIA GT3 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE Just like in the first race, everything changed during the last lap of the second round of the new FIA GT3 European Championship ! In wet conditions, Danish driver Allan ...
DODGE VICTORIOUS AFTER BUSY SECOND FIA GT3 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE
Just like in the first race, everything changed during the last lap of the second round of the new FIA GT3 European Championship ! In wet conditions, Danish driver Allan Simonsen and Northern Irish driver Hector Lester, whose nr34 JMB Racing Ferrari 430 Challenge GT3 had dominated since the beginning of the race, was overtaken by the nr 26 and nr 27 Racing Box Dodge Viper Competition Coupe cars. However, the the nr 26 car was awarded a drive-through penalty for an avoidable collision, meaning that Stefano Livio and Andrea Ceccato, in the nr 27 Racing Box Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, became the second winners this season. With second place, however, Simonsen and Lester have taken an early Championship lead.
RACING BOX VIPER WINS ON THE LAST LAP
The Vipers were fast during the first race, but they all lost a lot of time when they were not able to change tyres, because they are equipped with five wheel nuts whereas the other cars had only one. But with the victorious nr 27 Racing Box Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, Dodge took its revenge during the second race. Stefano Livio made a careful start, staying around the 5th position, and thinking about his tyres. This proved to be a good strategy, as after the driver change, his team mate, Andrea Ceccato, had a perfect car in spite of the drying track. Ceccato caught up with the leader and pushed really hard during the last lap. Although he crossed the line in second position, Ceccato and Livio won the second race of the year when the other Racing Box Viper was penalised for a rough overtaking manoeuvre on Olivier Dupard's Dodge Viper. "The car was efficient at the end of the race, so I did the maximum on the last lap! It is my first time in Silverstone, so it is fantastic to win so early in the season" commented Andrea Ceccato.
PERFECT WEEK-END FOR N34 JMB RACING FERRARI 430 CHALLENGE
Winner of the first race, second on Sunday, Allan Simonsen and Hector Lester got off to a great start in the FIA GT3 European Championship. Starting from the eighth row, Simonsen put in an incredible first lap, gaining around 10 positions in one lap. Ten minutes into the race, the nr 34 JMB Racing Ferrari was back into the lead. After the driver change, Hector Lester tried to keep onto his first position, but stuck in the traffic, he could not do anything when the Dodge Vipers were coming back at the end of the race. However, for the Dane and British driver, the most important thing was to score maximum points for the Championship, which they are now leading after two races. "It has been a very good week-end. We were the fastest under these conditions, but the car is also very good in the dry, so the season is going to be very interesting" explained Allan Simonsen.
DAMAX ASCARI STAY WITH THE LEADERS
The Damax Ascari KZ1R has been the good surprise of this Championship. Even if nr 45 and nr 46 cars underwent problems at the beginning of the race, today it was the turn of the nr 47 Damax Ascari KZ1R, driven by Luca Pirri and Stuart Turvey, to shine. On the manufacturers podium for the second time, behind the Dodge Viper and the Ferrari, the Damax Ascari put in a great week-end, always fighting with the leaders. "We are very happy with our performance, the potential of the car is great, and we will be able to have better results in the future" said Luca Pirri. So look out for the Ascari, there are here and ready to fight for the victory.
In the rain, 43 cars took part to the second race of the season, the nr 3 Larbre Competition Porsche 993 GT3 Cup having withdrawn after a gearbox problem. Poleman Morgan Moullin-Traffort, in the nr 6 Auto Sport Promotion Porsche 997 Cup, unfortunately came late to the grid, so he was forced to start from the pits.
Fred Makowiecki (Dodge Viper nr12) took the best start, but he was passed by the nr 26 Racing Box Dodge Viper Competition Coupe driven by Marco Cioci. Starting from the eighth row, Allan Simonsen, in the nr34 JMB Racing Ferrari 430 Challenge GT made an incredible start and was in fifth position after one lap. Simonsen pushed very hard and took the lead after ten minutes, ahead of two Vipers driven by Cioci and Makowiecki. Behind them, the nr 23 BMS Scuderia Italia Aston Martin was threatened by the nr 11 Racing Logistic Viper, and little bit further back, Stefano Livio (Racing Box Viper) was under pressure from Patrick Bornhauser (Racing Logisitic Viper). Another driver was pushing very hard: Anthony Reid. In the nr29 Pouchelon Racing Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, the former BTCC driver was back in 9th position, and was one of the fastest driver on the track.
After 20 minutes, Simonsen had an easy lead, while Makowiecki passed Cioci for the second position. At the same time, the nr 23 BMS Aston Martin DBRS9 went off, but was able to come back onto the track. The gap between nr 34 JMB Ferrari 430 Challenge and the nr 12 Racing Logistic Dodge Viper Competition Coupe settled down to around 10 seconds. The next battle was between Zacchia, Reid, now 5th, and Borhnauser Viper's. After an exciting first part of the race, the pressure eased slightly before the drivers change. Cioci was the first leader to come into the pits, whereas Makowiecki, Zacchia and Bornhauser waited until the last minute to change driver.
Now behind the wheel of the nr 34 JMB Racing Ferrari 430 Challenge, Hector Lester was leading the race ahead of the nr 11 Racing Logistic Dodge Viper driven by Olivier Dupard, who was in turn under threat from the nr 26 Racing Box Dodge Viper of Stefano Zonca. During several laps these two cars were fighting very hard, and caught up with the leader. Four minutes before the end of the race, Zonca tried to pass but unfortunately he touched Dupard. The nr 27 Racing Box Dodge Viper took advantage of the situation and moved up to second position. But Zonca was quickly able to pass him. Stuck in the traffic, Lester was being caught by both Racing Box Dodge Viper Competition Coupe-- and then everything changed during a crazy last lap! Zonca was pushing very hard and overtook Lester, then Ceccato was also able to pass over the Ferrari. However, after the race, Zonca was penalized for his action on Dupard.
In the end, nr27 Racing Box Dodge Viper Competition Coupe was declared the winner of this second exciting race, ahead of nr34 JMB Racing Ferrari, nr11 Racing Logistic Dodge Viper Competition Coupe and nr47 Damax Ascari KZ1R. The first Porsche, driven by Paul Van Splunteren and James Murphy, was 7th just in front of the first Lamborghini, driven by Dennis Retera and Jaromik Jirik. The nr 23 BMS Aston Martin DBRS9 driven by Marcelo Zani and Massimiliano Mugeli finished first of the Aston Martin DBRS9 cars, while the nr17 Team Carsport Callaway won the Corvette class, and the nr38 GPC Sport Maserati Gran Sport Light won its category for the second time.