FIA GT3 CHAMPIONSHIP DRAWS TO CLOSE
Pouchelon Racing's debut season in the FIA GT3 European Championship ended with the 2nd race at the scenic Mugello circuit in Northern Italy on Sunday. The team which has surprised competitors and delighted fans this year with its ability to compete at the highest level was proud to wrap up a year of enormous achievements with a solid performance. Weather conditions, although better than in Race one, were still very wet and the drivers had a tough job on their hands with low grip and blinding spray.
Anthony Reid started car 29 on the 12th row but had quickly blasted the Viper up to 13th position after 5 laps. Scraps with the Aston of Bentwood and the Ascari of Turvey halted his climb up the leaderboard and he brought the Viper in to hand over to Gilles Duqueine in 14th position "I was just happy to give the car to Gilles in one piece after that" he said with relief after getting out of the car. As in every stint he has driven this year, Gilles applied himself the task fully, immediately joining battle with the Ferrari of Stephen Earle, the American who has had some titanic scraps with Gilles this season. The Pouchelon driver was pleased to hang on and bring the car back in 14th, so completing a season that has brought both FIA GT3 and Spa 24h podiums for the quiet but popular Frenchman.
It was Richard Hay's turn to start in the 30 car and he took over where he left off yesterday, hauling the car up 10 places in the first 8 laps with an impressive and sustained attack. He brought the car back in good shape to hand over to Damax Ascari refugee Richard Stanton who seemed to be determined to match his partner's charge. In a ferociously competitive field, the English drivers, long time friends, pulled up to finish 21st. A remarkable achievement in their first weekend in the car, neither of them knowing the circuit. They were just a handful of seconds adrift of the talented and very well funded pairing of Jonny Cocker and Leo Machitski in the Aston Martin for example.
Alex Pouchelon was delighted to see all his drivers and cars home safe and everyone having enjoyed themselves "I'm pleased to say our drivers this weekend put a fight and drove so well in difficult conditions". What did he think of his team's first season in FIA GT3 "It's the hardest thing we've ever done but we got here, we competed at the highest level and we will be back next year to win it!"