Cold and grey with occasional showers. With rain falling while the cars were on the grid, it was declared a wet race.
Lister takes their third 2001 win
Jamie Campbell-Walter and Mike Jordan gave Lister Storm Racing its third win of the season at the Nürburgring today, after a hard-fought battle with the Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper and the Prodrive Ferrari. Tyre choice in the changeable weather was a major factor in the 3-hour race, during which the nr 1 Lister Storm completed 97 laps of the 4.556 Nürburgring circuit. Jamie Campbell-Walter took the chequered flag 16.6 seconds ahead of Mike Hezemans in the Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper, with Rickard Rydell over a minute behind in the nr 15 Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello. Fourth and fifth places went to the Paul Belmondo Racing Chrysler Vipers, with the nr 2 Lister Storm taking the final point for sixth place. The Larbre Competition Chrysler Viper finished seventh after struggling with their rain tyres on a drying track.
Redolfi Orlando wins the N-GT category
Philipp Peter and Marco Werner dominated the N-GT category today, giving Redolfi Orlando their second win of the season in the nr 69 Porsche 996 GT3-R. Starting on intermediate tyres despite a wet track, Werner moved into the lead when the track started to dry, and built up an impressive lead. Peter remained on intermediates when he took over the car, which meant an extra stop for slicks when the track dried completely. But the team put in an otherwise faultless performance to take the win, finishing three laps behind the winning GT car. The nr 57 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche of Ortelli and Liddell finished second, with the Perspective Racing Porsche of Perrier and Neugarten third. Despite suffering from tyre problems, Dumez and Arhle recovered from near the back of the field mid-race to finish fourth in the nr 50 Larbre Porsche, ahead of the nr 70 JVG Racing car of Jürgen von Gartzen and Bruno Eichmann. Luca Riccitelli and Dieter Quester took the final point in the nr 77 RWS Motorsport Porsche, to extend their Championship lead over the JMB Competition drivers David Terrien and Christian Pescatori to five points, the Ferrari 360 Modena failing to score.
GT Teams Title for Larbre Competition Chereau
Despite finishing out of the points for the first time this season, Larbre Competition Chéreau took an unassailable lead in the GT Teams Classification at the Nürburgring today. Carsport Holland had to finish in first and second places in all three remaining races to catch the French team, and their second place today put them out of contention. "I am very pleased," team manager Jack Leconte said. "We suffered today, but we’ve got the Championship– and we’ll be a bit lighter for the next race !"
Despite the rain, Mike Hezemans, in the nr 3 Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper GTS-R, made an excellent start from third on the grid, to lead the field round the first corner. The nr 4 Carsport Viper was less lucky, Sebastiaan Bleekemolen spinning on the final corner of the warm-up lap and hitting the barriers. The car, which had qualified second, retired. Hezemans began to build up a lead, chased by Christophe Bouchut in the Larbre Viper, and Rydell in the Prodrive Ferrari. Rydell eventually passed Bouchut on lap 8 and proceeded to chase Hezemans, taking the lead on lap 19. The track was drying, and Jean-Pierre Jarier, in the nr 9 ART Viper, was the first to stop for slick tyres, rapidly followed by the Larbre Viper and the nr 2 Lister Storm. However, no sooner had they changed than the rain started again, and the cars were forced to pit once more for rain tyres.
By lap 30, the Carsport Viper and the Prodrive Ferrari were in a heated battle for the lead in the rain, Rydell finally overtaking and pulling away. In the meantime, the Listers had been making steady progress up the field after a cautious start, and Jamie Campbell-Walter overtook Mike Hezemans for the lead as the first round of pit stops and driver changeovers started. Anthony Kumpen briefly led the race before his own pit stop put Lister new-comer Mike Jordan in the lead. A dry line developing, Peter Kox overtook Jordan for the lead half way through the race. It looked as if another Prodrive win was on the cards, until Rydell took the car back over. Making the mistake of crossing the white line at the end of the pit straight, he was awarded a ten-second stop and go penalty that effectively put the car out of contention. This left the nr 3 Carsport Viper and the nr 1 Lister Storm to battle for the win, on a track that was completely dry. As Jamie Campbell-Walter closed up on Jeroen Bleekemolen on lap 59, he had to take a route over the gravel to avoid the spinning nr 24 Racing Box Viper and the nr 19 Lamborghini Diablo, which was also trying to avoid the Viper. He lost 18 seconds in the process. Catching the Viper at a rate of around a second a lap, the nr 1 Lister finally moved into the lead on lap 78, retaining the first place until the end. Bleekemolen handed the Viper back over to Hezemans, rejoining in third place, but regained second when the Ferrari came in for a final fuel stop.
N-GT Race Story
Luca Riccitelli took an early lead in the N-GT category, making an excellent start in the wet conditions and maintaining sixth position overall for the first three laps, followed by Stephane Ortelli in the nr 57 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche. As the track dried, Marco Werner, who had started in the nr 69 Porsche on intermediate tyres, was significantly faster than the other N-GT drivers. Riccitelli was losing nearly five seconds a lap to Werner when he came into the pits, handing the car over to Dieter Quester and putting slicks on their nr 77 RWS Porsche 996 GT3-R. The nr 69 Porsche moved into the lead as the rain started again and Quester had to pit once more for rain tyres. The JMB Ferrari 360 Modena, which had dropped back at the start, also lost time by stopping for slicks at the wrong time.
Werner had a commanding lead in the category, followed by the nr 55 Perspective Porsche, the nr 53 Art Engineering car and Tim Sugden in the nr 52 EMKA Racing Porsche. As a dry line began to appear, Stephane Ortelli made steady progress up the field, taking the lead when Werner finally pitted to hand over to Phillip Peter. The intermediate tyre choice that had been so profitable to the Redolfi Orlando team at the start of the race was the wrong one at the midway point, and Peter had to come back to the pits eight laps later to change to slick tyres. With Ortelli handing over to Liddell, however, Peter regained the lead. Robin Liddell put in an excellent performance for his first appearance in the FIA GT Championship, closing the gap between the nr 57 Freisinger Porsche and the leading Redolfi Orlando car. However, the nr 69 managed to keep its lead and took the win, ahead of the nr 57 Freisinger and the nr 55 Perspective Porsche 996 GT3-R cars. Riccitelli and Quester made steady progress after losing so much time early on, the nr 77 RWS Porsche taking sixth place. His main Championship rivals, Pescatori and Terrien in the nr 62 JMB Competition Ferrari 360 Modena, finished eighth, after making five pits stops due to the wrong tyres choices and a stop and go penalty for crossing the pit exit line.