Final positions after 123 laps (544.644 km) of the International GT Endurance sportscar race at Jerez Spain (Feb 26)
1. R. Bellm/M. Sala McLaren GTR (average speed 135.85 km/h) 4:00:14.83secs 2. R.Wollek/J-P. Jarier/Christophe Bouchut Porsche 993 4:00:30.75 3. Lilian Bryner/Enzo Calderari Porsche (GT2 Class) 120 laps 4. O.Altenbach/F.Leinemann Porsche 119 laps 5. B.Ploeg/G.Rebai Porsche 119 laps 6. J.Leconte/P.Yver/P.Chereau Porsche 116 laps 7. D.Hubner/S.Oberndorfer/E.Palmberger Porsche 116 laps 8. J-L Laribiere/P.Fabre/L.Lecuyer Venturi 113 laps 9. T.Saldana/Prince Alfonso d'Orleans-Bourbon Porsche 113 laps 10. Franz Konrad/F.de Lesseps Porsche 109 laps
Ray Bellm and Mauricio Salla fought a close-fought battle throughout the race with the lead Porsche driven by Wollek, Jarier and Bourchut, the lead changing some 8 times. Despite being at a horsepower disadvantage of some 200 bhp, it was the Porsche of Bouchut that took the lead earlier on. The Porsche lost the lead whilst pitting during a caution period, allowing the field to make up a lap. "It was one of our hardest races ever. We were able to make up some time on the pit-stops, but the McLaren was quicker," said Jarier.
McLaren's event was notable for the number of wheel problems they encountered, with the Gulf McLaren of Raphanel and L'Oreal president Lindsay Owen-Jones losing front and rear wheels. The third McLaren dropped out of the leading group on the second-last lap with transmission failure after previously also losing a wheel.
The next race in the series is on March 12 at Circuit Paul Ricard in France. Peter