Balfe and Taylor Take Race One at Jerez
Shaun Balfe and Nigel Taylor took victory in race one at Jerez to extend their lead in the Spanish GT Championship this morning (October 10).
The Balfe Motorsport Mosler MT900R managed to overcome a safety car period on the penultimate lap, wiping out a lead of almost ten seconds over the Meycom Marcos Mantara of Angel Burgueno and Miguel De Castro, to cross the line for its second race win of the year.
Balfe dropped to third on the opening lap as a Ferrari 360 moved up the inside at the first corner. A handful of laps later, Balfe had moved back into second place just as a safety car period was called, allowing him to close right up to the rear of the Marcos.
At the re-start, Balfe was able to hold onto the back of the race leader and a longer first stint than their rivals gave them almost a lap's lead before he handed over to Taylor.
The Mosler had a good lead over its rivals with just 10 laps left to run and Nigel was forced to push hard to keep the distance to the rest of the field. The penultimate lap caution period allowed the Marcos to pull right behind him.
A superb drive by Nigel under immense pressure over the last lap allowed him to stay ahead of the Marcos, giving a hard-fought second race win of the season and moving them 17 points clear of Burgueno and De Castro in the overall championship.
"It was a very tight finish for us. The start was very interesting, as the lights had gone green as we came out of the final hairpin, which gave the Marcos a flying start. We had to push for every lap and it was a hard fought win," said Balfe.
"Everyone keeps talking about the championship, but after last year we are just taking every race as it comes and we'll see how it finishes at the end of the year," he added.