Navarra: Series qualifying race report

Lamborghini dominates Qualifying Race Frank Kechele and Ricardo Zonta took the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini No.25 to a dominant victory in the Qualifying Race in Navarra. Starting from pole, the German/Brazilian pair combined to drive a ...

Lamborghini dominates Qualifying Race

Frank Kechele and Ricardo Zonta took the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini No.25 to a dominant victory in the Qualifying Race in Navarra.

Starting from pole, the German/Brazilian pair combined to drive a superb race around the twists and turns of the Circuit Los Arcos in northern Spain to collect maximum points on GT1's Super Sunday which also features the Championship Race at 16:00 local time.

It was the No.25's second Championship Race victory following the win at Spa in round five.

Second was the No.34 Triple H Hegersport Maserati of Alessandro Pier Guidi and Nico Verdonck.

The Marc VDS Ford GT No.40 won the private battle with the Matech Competition Ford GT No.6 to take third place.

Navarra Qualifying Race: What the drivers say ...

Frank Kechele, Reiter Lamborghini No.25

"It was really, really good. I had a good start, the Lamborghini has good acceleration so it was quite easy for me and the straight is not that long so I could defend until the first corner. I tried to make solid, fast laps in the beginning and then settled down to save the car and not take too many risks.

"My stint was not that exciting but it is always very difficult when you are at the front and you have to keep your concentration. It all worked pretty well and my thanks go to the team, they did a great job."

Ricardo Zonta, Reiter Lamborghini No.25

"Frank (Kechele) had a car in front on his in-lap and our pit stop wasn't fantastic, we lost about two seconds compared to the others. I was very careful on my out-lap, I didn't want to lock my wheels or make any other mistake, so we lost some of the gap.

"But the car was really nice to drive, very consistent, and I was able to open up another five seconds again and it was very easy. It is very important to have pole for the Championship Race and the points from this race are very nice and good for the championship."

Nico Verdonck, Triple H Team Hegersport Maserati No.34

"It was a great race and as I said yesterday after Qualifying that we needed to get a good start, which we managed, and afterwards it was just keeping the car on the track.

"From the beginning the gap was getting bigger and bigger but the purpose was to get the car in a good position for the Championship Race and Alessandro finished the job perfectly. It was great racing and I enjoyed myself a lot."

Alessandro Pier Guidi, Triple H Team Hegersport Maserati No.34

"The pit stop was very good and I pushed on my out-lap to close the gap. My race pace was not as good and it was impossible for me to catch the 25 after the first few laps. There was a big gap between me and the third car, so it was OK. We are starting on the front row again, this is very good for us and I hope will have another good race this afternoon."

Bas Leinders, Marc VDS Ford GT No.40

"The car was competitive but maybe just not quite quick enough. We struggled a little bit at the end of my stint and we struggled also at the end of the second stint with Maxime (Martin), who had to hold off the Matech car for the last 15 minutes which was a struggle. We hope to improve the car just that little bit for the second race."

Neel Jani, Matech Competition Ford GT No.6

"It was a very tough race for third place today. Very hard to overtake without taking too much risk .We tried to keep pressure on car 40 hoping it would make a mistake which it didn't.

"I guess we could have been five or six tenths quicker per lap if overtaking wasn't that difficult here, but we we would have risked banging our doors a bit more and they are needed this afternoon! I'm really looking forward to the Championship Race and I'm really confident as my new team-mate Nicolas Armindo is doing really well."

Peter Kox, Reiter Lamborghini No.24

"It was very eventful out there. Both Reiter Lamborghinis have been quick all weekend. As you saw yesterday my Qualifying lap was not good enough, I drove too aggressively, so we ended up P6 and you can run into all sorts of trouble.

"We had a really strange drive-through penalty, Christopher as far as I can see was in the middle and he was squeezed so what can he do, brake and let everyone pass?

"We then had a problem with the engine, we lost power, it was not running on all 12 cylinders, I thought that we could fix it so we went out just to see if the the car was OK, but everybody can see that it was quite competitive. Shame we could have more in it for us I think."

Tomas Enge, Young Driver Aston Martin No.7

"We had some technical issue inside of the gearbox, we won't know exactly until we open it. Between turn four and five I lost the drive and a big bang in the gearbox, I knew that there was no way to continue, so I just found an escape road and stopped it.

"It's really unfortunate because we were on the way to scoring some great points this weekend, we would probably have put ourselves into contention again but unfortunately that's racing and we have to face these problems sometimes."

Michael Bartels Vitaphone Maserati No.1

"It was a demolition derby."

Warren Hughes Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.22

"The car had a strong start, I had a good run, I'm watching the replay now, I didn't know where the hit came from, I thought that it was a Maserati, but as the Aston spun, it looks like he's hit me. So I lost a place with that.

"We had an old set of tyres for the beginning of that race. The car was a little difficult at the end but handing it over in P6, I'm not unhappy with that looking at the main race. We wanted a good starting position and Jamie (Campbell-Walter) did a good job to get to fifth."

Richard Westbrook, Matech Ford GT No.5

"It's pretty disappointing what happened to Thomas (Mutsch) he got hit by an Aston Martin right at the beginning and his door was hanging off. It did some damage to the tyres so Thomas couldn't really do anything, just bring it home after 25 minutes.

"When I got in we changed the tyres, it was fine after that, the pace was very good but it means nothing when you're a minute behind. We gained some positions, but it's disappointing when we feel like we've go the best car out there and we shouldn't be coming in in 10th position."

Marc Hennerici, Phoenix Carsport Corvette No.13

"We stuggled a little bit with the drive-through penalty, so we finished in 11th position, one place better than Qualifying. Our aim is to make top 10, P8 would be perfect, and get rid of the weight for South America and to be competitive at Interlagos."

-source: gt1world

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Ricardo Zonta , Tomas Enge , Michael Bartels , Peter Kox , Warren Hughes , Neel Jani , Marc Hennerici , Bas Leinders , Nico Verdonck , Alessandro Pier Guidi , Richard Westbrook , Frank Kechele
Teams Nissan Motorsports , Reiter Engineering , Marc VDS Racing