First points for Derbyshire on international stage
Jamie Derbyshire and Jamie Campbell-Walter raced to a top five finish in the second round of the 2004 FIA GT Championship at Valencia, Spain, at the weekend. The pair, driving the Spirit Volkswagen-backed Creation Autosportif Lister Storm, enjoyed a steady race on their way to fifth overall at the chequer flag, behind two Ferrari 550 Maranellos, a Lamborghini Murcielago and a Ferrari 575.
Campbell-Walter started the race and kept the car in the top ten for the opening hour, handing to Derbyshire in seventh position at one-third distance. Derbyshire, mindful of his crash at the first round at Monza two weeks ago, concentrated on bringing the 500bhp car home at the end of the second hour. Campbell-Walter took the car back for the final hour and battled with the Saleen S7R of Brazilian Tommy Erdos, claiming fifth at the flag after the Brazilian ran out of fuel on the final lap.
"I got the car in seventh, and handed it back in ninth position," said Derbyshire, who now has four championship points to his name. "It wasn't as good as I had hoped, but I needed to get some more miles under my belt and I did the job that I was supposed to do. We had a lot of understeer and that meant we could not drive as hard as we wanted to. I had never seen this circuit before Thursday, so I will take this as the start of a very steep learning curve.
"The standard of driving here is much higher than the British GT Championship with former Grand Prix drivers such as Karl Wendlinger out there in a Ferrari, but with a little more practice, I think we can genuinely challenge them.
"The British championship races are 40 minutes long so this three-hour race is a different experience. It was hard to know who the opposition were, though obviously if there was a Ferrari around I would have to race it! I really enjoyed myself out there and I cannot wait to drive again in Magny Cours in two weeks."
The race was won by the Ferrari 550 Maranello of Italian drivers Fabrizio Gollin and Luca Cappellari, with Matteo Bobbi and Gabriel Gardel second in their BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari. Britain's Oliver Gavin and Dutchman Peter Kox were third in the Lamborghini, which was making its international race debut.