Fischer Racing scores podium finish at Zolder

Christoffer Nygaard/Florian Gruber finished third in race one

Paderborn / Zolder (B), 22.10.09 [FIA GT3 EC] Fischer Racing concluded a successful first season in the FIA GT3 European Championship with a podium finish at this weekend's last round at Zolder (Belgium). In Sunday's first race, Christoffer Nygaard (Danmark) and Florian Gruber (Germany) finished third, scoring their third podium finish of the season. In a chaotic last race on Sunday evening, Nygaard/Gruber were eventually classified ninth.

With a brilliant start phase, Christoffer Nygaard laid the cornerstone to a podium success in the first race. Starting ninth on grid, the young Dane went on a tricky wet track up to fourth position within the first three laps. "The first laps on the wet track felt like a drift challenge", Nygaard said after the race. "The track was very slippery, but I could find good line and was able to attack. I was really surprised how good the car handled in the wet."Nygaard drove faultless in the difficult conditions and handed over the Ford GT in forth position to teammate Florian Gruber. As the track dried up halfway trough the race, Fischer Racing also changed tyres on the #28 Ford GT and Gruber rejoined the race fifth on slick tyres. In the first lap on slick tyres, Gruber lost on position to a Ferrari, but could finally overtake the fourth placed Rosberg-Audi and gained one position shortly before the end, when the second placed BMW-Alpina retired, finished finally third. "At the beginning of my stint, the track was still very slippery", Gruber said. "I had to let the Ferrari go through, as he changed one lap earlier to slick tyres and could take advantage of that."

In the second race, started in the dusk on late Sunday, Florian Gruber started third and lost two places in the first laps. He handed over the Ford GT halfway through the race to Nygaard in fifth, when a rain shower and Safety-Car-intervention as well as problems with the official timekeeping caused a lot of confusion until the end of the race. Nygaard drove trouble free in complete darkness in the second half of the race, but was eventually classified ninth. <

"After a lot of bad luck in our last races, the podium finish in the penultimate race was a really nice way to finish the season", team principal Hardy Fischer was happy. "Christoffer and Florian finished sixth in the championship in our first year in the FIA GT3 European championship and are the best placed team racing a Ford GT, which is a great success. Also our own "Young Driver"-program, in which we promote this year the very talented Christoffer Nygaard, was a big success. Christoffer increased constantly and drove a excellent first season in sportscar racing."

-credit: fischer