Navarra: Series champonship race report

Reiter Lamborghini completes the double Lamborghini completed a double at Navarra with victory in the Championship Race to add to the Qualifying Race success earlier in the day. Ricardo Zonta and Frank Kechele in the Reiter Engineering ...

Reiter Lamborghini completes the double

Lamborghini completed a double at Navarra with victory in the Championship Race to add to the Qualifying Race success earlier in the day.

Ricardo Zonta and Frank Kechele in the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini No.25 recorded a lights to flag win to collect 33 points for their weekend's work. Their victory margin at the end of a pulsating hour's racing was over 11 seconds.

Second was the Hexis Aston Martin No.9 of Fred Makowiecki and Yann Clairay with the Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22 of Jamie Campbell-Walter and Warren Hughes third.

The Young Driver Aston Martin No.7 of Darren Turner and Tomas Enge finished fourth after a stunning drive from 19th place on the grid.

The All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Maserati No.38 of Nicky Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager scored an impressive fifth place from a lowly starting position of 18th. The Marc VDS Ford GT No.40 of Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin was sixth.

Thomas Mutsch in the Matech Competition Ford GT No.5, severely damaged the car in a collision with the Phoenix Corvette No.13 of Alex Margaritas soon after taking over from Richard Westbrook 40 minutes into the race.

The car was eventually retired causing considerable harm to Mutsch's drivers' title hopes.

Seventh place and six points for the championship leaders Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini in the Vitaphone Maserati No.1 enabled them to stretch their advantage to 33 points. Meanwhile, Kechele moved from seventh to third in the drivers' table.

The victory in both the Qualfying Race and Championship Race for Reiter consolidated their second position in the teams' standings.

It was the third time this year that the FIA GT1 World Championship has featured a double win for one of the six brands. The Vitaphone Maserati achieved the feat at Brno and the Young Driver Aston Martin No.7 doubled up in Nurburgring.

Navarra Championship Race: What the drivers say ...

Frank Kechele, Reiter Lamborghini No.25

"It's a great feeling to win our second race of the year. At the begining of the year I almost had nothing to drive and Hans Reiter gave me the opportunity. He said 'Yeah boy, you are fast enough', and I've proved that I am.

"I'm not just happy for myself but for the team that I can pay a bit back with victories. Reiter Engineering want to go right to the top in motorsport."

Frederic Makowiecki, Hexis Aston Martin Racing No.9

"It was a very good day for us. It was especially good on this track, which is not a great circuit for the Aston Martin. It feels fantastic. We really need faster corners to get the best out of the Aston but we found a great balance on the car. All of the team did a great job."

Jamie Campbell-Walter, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22

"We've had a fantastic weekend, we've been quick all the way through. We seem to have had a really bad run of luck over the last three races, with a bit of carnage at the first corner in Portimao and things like that.

"The key for us was Qualifying. I had a great start and got up to second place. I handed the car over to Warren (Hughes) in third after that bit of rain, and he did a fantastic job. I think it's what we deserve and we are pushing hard for Sumo Power to score as many points as we can."

Warren Hughes, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22

"It was a maximum result on a circuit we didn't think would suit the car."

Tomas Enge, Young Driver Aston Martin No.7

"It was an amazing weekend. Before we came we didn't expect to be as on the pace as we were. The weather helped us quite a bit and we also had luck with a fast car and made no mistakes - after this morning's gearbox issue.

"Darren (Turner) had an amazing start I think that was 90% of our result. Then we had a great pit stop. To start P19 and finish P4 is amazing. We finish ahead of the guys who are in front of us, the fight for second will go to the last race and we are looking forward to it."

Hardy Fischer, Young Driver AMR team owner

"It looked like it was going to be a bad weekend, especially at the beginning, but at the end it was fine. To go from 19th to 4th is special. Now we go to Brazil and Argentina and we hope to score good points and to enjoy the experience."

Andrea Bertolini, Vitaphone Maserati No.1

"We are a bit disappointed, as you know our aim is to always score points, points points. The car was good the balance was good but unfortunately the stop-start, stop-start track didn't suit our engine, we didn't have the level of performance of the Lamborghini or Ford but in the end it was a really good weekend.

"I'm disappointed and sorry for our competitor with Thomas (Mutsch) and Richard (Westbrook) because of their crash. In 20 days we go to Brazil and I hope that the weather is better there."

Thomas Mutsch, Matech Competition Ford GT No.5

"A very bad weekend. Theoretically we still have a chance of the championship but realistically it will be very difficult. The thing in the pit-lane with (Miguel) Ramos, I was a little bit behind him but usually the one who is on the fast lane has the priority and he was just coming out, the team released him and he was pushing me then, slowly but constantly.

"Afterwards as well, he was very, very slow for the first quarter of his lap, I could have overtaken him but then the Phoenix Corvette came past us both, I was honestly not expecting it. In the end it was maybe my fault as I crashed into him and I should have tried to slow right down, I thought that he was on the outside as in the braking zone he was even a little bit in front of me.

"So we didn't finish today, we lost some very important points. Seeing the result we could have made it to P6 and scored at least some points."

Duncan Huisman, Mad-Croc Corvette No.12

"It wasn't a good weekend for us. Our car got hit this morning and again this afternoon by a Maserati, just after the sixth corner. I think that conditions were dangerous today, with only 12 cars finishing the race.

"The track was also difficult for us, it reminds me a bit of a karting track with only a few high speed corners, which didn't play in our favour. We're are already looking forward to Brazil, as I believe the car will be much more competitive there."

Jonathan Hirschi, Hexis Aston Martin No.10

"We weren't expecting such a good result on this very narrow and slow track, which usually doesn't suit the Aston Martin. Today's result for the team is our best so far after our second place finish in Silverstone.

"The manner in we clinched second spot (for the No.9 car) really impressed me, especially Frederic Makowiecki who is for me one of the top drivers of the GT1 series. We're still a young team but I definitely think we can aim for the podium in Brazil."

-source: gt1world

Reiter Lamborghini completes the double

Lamborghini completed a double at Navarra with victory in the Championship Race to add to the Qualifying Race success earlier in the day.

Ricardo Zonta and Frank Kechele in the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini No.25 recorded a lights to flag win to collect 33 points for their weekend's work. Their victory margin at the end of a pulsating hour's racing was over 11 seconds.

Second was the Hexis Aston Martin No.9 of Fred Makowiecki and Yann Clairay with the Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22 of Jamie Campbell-Walter and Warren Hughes third.

The Young Driver Aston Martin No.7 of Darren Turner and Tomas Enge finished fourth after a stunning drive from 19th place on the grid.

The All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Maserati No.38 of Nicky Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager scored an impressive fifth place from a lowly starting position of 18th. The Marc VDS Ford GT No.40 of Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin was sixth.

Thomas Mutsch in the Matech Competition Ford GT No.5, severely damaged the car in a collision with the Phoenix Corvette No.13 of Alex Margaritas soon after taking over from Richard Westbrook 40 minutes into the race.

The car was eventually retired causing considerable harm to Mutsch's drivers' title hopes.

Seventh place and six points for the championship leaders Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini in the Vitaphone Maserati No.1 enabled them to stretch their advantage to 33 points. Meanwhile, Kechele moved from seventh to third in the drivers' table.

The victory in both the Qualfying Race and Championship Race for Reiter consolidated their second position in the teams' standings.

It was the third time this year that the FIA GT1 World Championship has featured a double win for one of the six brands. The Vitaphone Maserati achieved the feat at Brno and the Young Driver Aston Martin No.7 doubled up in Nurburgring.

Navarra Championship Race: What the drivers say ...

Frank Kechele, Reiter Lamborghini No.25

"It's a great feeling to win our second race of the year. At the begining of the year I almost had nothing to drive and Hans Reiter gave me the opportunity. He said 'Yeah boy, you are fast enough', and I've proved that I am.

"I'm not just happy for myself but for the team that I can pay a bit back with victories. Reiter Engineering want to go right to the top in motorsport."

Frederic Makowiecki, Hexis Aston Martin Racing No.9

"It was a very good day for us. It was especially good on this track, which is not a great circuit for the Aston Martin. It feels fantastic. We really need faster corners to get the best out of the Aston but we found a great balance on the car. All of the team did a great job."

Jamie Campbell-Walter, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22

"We've had a fantastic weekend, we've been quick all the way through. We seem to have had a really bad run of luck over the last three races, with a bit of carnage at the first corner in Portimao and things like that.

"The key for us was Qualifying. I had a great start and got up to second place. I handed the car over to Warren (Hughes) in third after that bit of rain, and he did a fantastic job. I think it's what we deserve and we are pushing hard for Sumo Power to score as many points as we can."

Warren Hughes, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22

"It was a maximum result on a circuit we didn't think would suit the car."

Tomas Enge, Young Driver Aston Martin No.7

"It was an amazing weekend. Before we came we didn't expect to be as on the pace as we were. The weather helped us quite a bit and we also had luck with a fast car and made no mistakes - after this morning's gearbox issue.

"Darren (Turner) had an amazing start I think that was 90% of our result. Then we had a great pit stop. To start P19 and finish P4 is amazing. We finish ahead of the guys who are in front of us, the fight for second will go to the last race and we are looking forward to it."

Hardy Fischer, Young Driver AMR team owner

"It looked like it was going to be a bad weekend, especially at the beginning, but at the end it was fine. To go from 19th to 4th is special. Now we go to Brazil and Argentina and we hope to score good points and to enjoy the experience."

Andrea Bertolini, Vitaphone Maserati No.1

"We are a bit disappointed, as you know our aim is to always score points, points points. The car was good the balance was good but unfortunately the stop-start, stop-start track didn't suit our engine, we didn't have the level of performance of the Lamborghini or Ford but in the end it was a really good weekend.

"I'm disappointed and sorry for our competitor with Thomas (Mutsch) and Richard (Westbrook) because of their crash. In 20 days we go to Brazil and I hope that the weather is better there."

Thomas Mutsch, Matech Competition Ford GT No.5

"A very bad weekend. Theoretically we still have a chance of the championship but realistically it will be very difficult. The thing in the pit-lane with (Miguel) Ramos, I was a little bit behind him but usually the one who is on the fast lane has the priority and he was just coming out, the team released him and he was pushing me then, slowly but constantly.

"Afterwards as well, he was very, very slow for the first quarter of his lap, I could have overtaken him but then the Phoenix Corvette came past us both, I was honestly not expecting it. In the end it was maybe my fault as I crashed into him and I should have tried to slow right down, I thought that he was on the outside as in the braking zone he was even a little bit in front of me.

"So we didn't finish today, we lost some very important points. Seeing the result we could have made it to P6 and scored at least some points."

Duncan Huisman, Mad-Croc Corvette No.12

"It wasn't a good weekend for us. Our car got hit this morning and again this afternoon by a Maserati, just after the sixth corner. I think that conditions were dangerous today, with only 12 cars finishing the race.

"The track was also difficult for us, it reminds me a bit of a karting track with only a few high speed corners, which didn't play in our favour. We're are already looking forward to Brazil, as I believe the car will be much more competitive there."

Jonathan Hirschi, Hexis Aston Martin No.10

"We weren't expecting such a good result on this very narrow and slow track, which usually doesn't suit the Aston Martin. Today's result for the team is our best so far after our second place finish in Silverstone.

"The manner in we clinched second spot (for the No.9 car) really impressed me, especially Frederic Makowiecki who is for me one of the top drivers of the GT1 series. We're still a young team but I definitely think we can aim for the podium in Brazil."

-source: gt1world

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Tomas Enge , Darren Turner , Michael Bartels , Jamie Campbell-Walter , Warren Hughes , Dominik Schwager , Andrea Bertolini , Duncan Huisman , Bas Leinders , Nicky Pastorelli , Yann Clairay , Frédéric Makowiecki , Richard Westbrook , Thomas Mutsch , Jonathan Hirschi , Frank Kechele
Teams Nissan Motorsports , Aston Martin Racing , Münnich Motorsport , Reiter Engineering , Marc VDS Racing