Second place for Christoffer Nygaard and Florian Gruber Fischer Racing started with a podium finish at Portimao into the second half of the 2009 FIA GT3 European championship. In first of two races on Sunday at the "Autodromo Internacional ...
Second place for Christoffer Nygaard and Florian Gruber
Fischer Racing started with a podium finish at Portimao into the second half of the 2009 FIA GT3 European championship. In first of two races on Sunday at the "Autodromo Internacional Algarve", Fischer Racing "Young Driver" Christoffer Nygaard (Denmark) and Florian Gruber (Germany) continued their success in the Ford GT of Fischer Racing.
In the seventh race of the FIA GT3 European championship at Sunday, Christoffer Nygaard as well as Florian Gruber drove a very strong race. Nygaard started seventh on the Grid and overtook three competitors until the mandatory driver change, handing over of the Fischer Racing-Ford GT to Florian Gruber on fourth position. A lengthy pit stop for the driver change cost Nygaard and Gruber three positions, Gruber rejoined the race at seventh position.
In a strong chase, Gruber worked the way up again and could climb as high as second after overtaking six competitors in very strong end of the race.
"I had a bad start and lost two positions", Nygaard explained after the race. "But I was substantially quicker as the cars in front of me and could fight back my way forward."Florian Gruber was pleased with the second podium finish in a row after their victory in the last FIA GT3 race at Oschersleben back in June: "Today our car was nearly perfect. In the end of the race I saw how my competitors struggled with their cars, but our car was very strong and consistent from the first until the last lap."
But immediately after the champagne shower on the podium, a big disappointment followed for Fischer Racing. In the last laps of the first race, the V8-engine of the Ford GT suffered damage. An engine change in the short break of only three hours between the two races was unavoidable. A fight against the clock began in the pit-box of Fischer Racing. In the end, it was not possible to change the engine of the Ford in the short break, as parts in the engine compartment took damage, too.
"Our team did a really fantastic job, they have worked perfectly and fast. But the time played against us. The engine exchange was not easy and at the end, we would have needed maybe another thirty minutes", team principal Hardy Fischer said. "It is really disappointing that we couldn't start into the second race, but in the first race Christoffer and Florian were able the collect valuable points."
In the driver's ranking of the European championship, Christoffer Nygaard and Florian Gruber are now on fourth position after eight of twelve races. The next stop for the 2009 FIA GT3 championship is at the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet/France at the first weekend of October.