Balfe Aims For International Competition in Fia GT Campaign The Balfe Motorsport team will enter the international GT arena in 2005 with an assault on the new Group 2 category of the FIA GT Championship. Shaun Balfe will team up with 2003 ...
Balfe Aims For International Competition in Fia GT Campaign
The Balfe Motorsport team will enter the international GT arena in 2005 with an assault on the new Group 2 category of the FIA GT Championship. Shaun Balfe will team up with 2003 driving partner Jamie Derbyshire to take part in all the European rounds of the global series in the teams Mosler MT900R.
The Lincolnshire team took the Spanish GT title in 2004, giving Balfe and the rest of the team further experience of European competition after a successful season in the British GT series the year before.
A successful assault with a Mosler at the GT Festival in Bahrain at the end of last year, beating some of factory backed 2004 FIA runners, proved that both the car and team is capable of competing at the sharp end of the GT2 class. A move to the FIA series is the next step up the racing ladder for the Balfe team and Mosler Automotive and they are set to prove they can take the fight to the front runners, in what is regarded as the most prestigious GT championship in the world.
"It is certainly going to be a tough challenge for us this year," said Balfe. "We have been working towards racing at this level for two seasons, now it is finally time to show that we can compete at the top. The whole team can't wait to get out there and compete against the established FIA teams. I'm really relishing the challenge this season,"
"The team is pleased to have Jamie back in the car this year too. He did well in the FIA series last season and will certainly have more knowledge of some of the circuits than I will. He knows the car and we know we make a good pairing so we're hoping it will be another great season for us, but I think victories will be harder to find," said Balfe.
With new circuits to learn, a different organisation and championship regulations to deal with, a reshuffle in the team will also take place, with team supremo David Balfe taking over the running of the squad during the season. The move will mean Shaun is able to fully concentrate on his driving throughout the season.
Derbyshire is keen to take the battle to the GT2 class and is pleased to be stepping back into the team that brought him into GT racing. He will once again be backed by Spirit Volkswagen and Spirit Kia throughout the 2005 season.
"I'm really pleased to be getting back into the car with Shaun again," he said. "I know him and the rest of the guys very well and it means I can settle straight into going quickly rather than having to learn from scratch again.
"The year with the Lister was an important part of the GT learning curve for me. I think we will raise a few eyebrows during the course of the season with a car that none of the other teams have raced against," he added.
It will be the first time that the Mosler has gone head to head with such top class opposition in a regular championship. However, the team aim is to spring some surprises on the factory backed Porsches and Ferrari's during the course of the year and show that the Mosler will be a race winning car again in 2005.
"The car should certainly suit the circuits we will be visiting and the length of the races means that the team has even more of an input into the outcome of the race, which is another one of our strengths," said Shaun.
The team is currently in the process of completing the winter rebuild of its Spanish title winning Mosler, before a series of shakedown and test before the opening round of the series at the Italian Grand Prix venue of Monza in April.