LAMBORGHINI CONTINUES STRONG GT1 CAMPAIGN Peter Kox and Christopher Haase raced the ...
LAMBORGHINI CONTINUES STRONG GT1 CAMPAIGN
Peter Kox and Christopher Haase raced the #24 Lamborghini Murcielago 670-4 R-SV to a second-place finish in round six of the FIA GT1 World Championship at the Nuerburgring, Germany, on 29 August 2010. Coming off the back of their Spa victory, another strong Reiter Engineering showing means that the Lamborghini-equipped team has moved up to second place in the Teams' Standings.
Former 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner Kox and 2009 FIA GT3 European Champion Haase set the second fastest lap time of 1:57.596 in Saturday's qualifying, while the All-Inkl.com Muennich Motorsport duo of Nicky Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager recorded the third fastest lap time of 1:57.858 in the #38 Lamborghini Murcielago 670-4 R-SV. Round five race winners Ricardo Zonta and Frank Kechele qualified the #25 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini on the fourth row of the grid.
In the Qualifying Race, German driver Haase started behind the wheel of the #24 before handing over to Dutch pilot Kox in fourth. As rain started falling in the second half of the race, Kox pitted again for wet tyres and improved one place after the pit-stop re-shuffle to complete the hour-long Qualifying Race in third. Kechele in the #25 Lamborghini moved up to sixth on the first lap and held his position until it was former Formula One driver Zonta's time to attack. The Brazilian pilot charged to a strong fourth-place finish, crossing the line behind the #24 Lamborghini entry.
Kox started Sunday's Championship Race from third on the grid and spent most of his stint battling for second place with the #13 Corvette of Marc Hennerici. The Dutch driver stayed out longer than the Corvette and a quick final lap from Kox, combined with a flawless pit-stop from the Reiter Engineering team, meant that the Lamborghini returned to the track in second with Haase at the wheel. Hennerici's team-mate Alexander Margaritis kept pressuring Haase but the German Lamborghini driver defended well all the way to the chequered flag, finishing second and collecting 18 championship points.
"Second place is a good achievement: the Lamborghini is getting stronger and stronger with each race," said Kox. "We had a good starting position. The first corner is always tricky at the Nuerburgring but we managed it well and stayed behind the leaders. The team did an excellent job in the pits which gave us the second place and then Christopher took over and had a fantastic stint."
Following their superb victory at Spa, Zonta and Kechele had 40 kg of success ballast added to their #25 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini for Sunday's Championship Race. The extra weight meant a significant disadvantage in the up-and-downs of the Nuerburgring but the Reiter Engineering duo tried their best to battle in the highly competitive field, eventually crossing the line in 14th place.
In the FIA GT1 World Teams' Championship, Reiter Engineering has moved up to second place with 95 points, while Lamborghini has stepped up to third in the SRO Trophy for Manufacturers with 97 points.
Round 11 and 12 of the ADAC GT Masters also took place at the Nuerburgring, where Kox and team-mate Albert von Thurn und Taxis competed in the #24 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4. Fresh from their double victory at the Lausitzring two weeks ago, Kox dominated qualifying by setting three fastest laps in a row to record the best lap time of 2:01.433, allowing the Dutch driver to start round 12 from pole. Meanwhile, German driver von Thurn und Taxis qualified the #24 on the fourth row for round 11.
The championship-leading Reiter Engineering duo faced an uphill struggle in the races as they had the maximum success ballast of 50 kg. In round 11, bad luck caught up with Kox, who was forced to retire early after a collision with the Audi of Bernd Herndlhofer, leaving the Reiter Engineering pair without any points for the first time this season. In round 12, Kox started from fifth following a five-place grid demotion handed out after the crash in the first race. Despite the success ballast, the Lamborghini pair defended well to maintain their position until the chequered flag.
Kox and von Thurn und Taxis continue to lead in the Drivers' Championship with 67 points, nine points ahead of their closest challengers. In the Teams' Championship, Reiter Engineering is second on 69 points, seven points behind Abt Sportline. With 20 points still up for grabs at the final two rounds, both titles will be decided at the season finale in five weeks time.
Round seven of the FIA GT1 World Championship will take place at Autodromo Internacional Algarve, Portugal, on 17-19 September 2010, while the final rounds of the ADAC GT Masters season will be held at Oschersleben, Germany, on 2-3 October 2010.