Brno: Russian Age Racing race report

COMPETITIVE RUN FOR RUSSIAN AGE RACING, BUT TOP RESULT ELUDES TEAM The Russian Age Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello finished eighth overall at the fifth round of the FIA GT Championship at Brno after a competitive opening two hours. The Cirtek ...

COMPETITIVE RUN FOR RUSSIAN AGE RACING, BUT TOP RESULT ELUDES TEAM

The Russian Age Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello finished eighth overall at the fifth round of the FIA GT Championship at Brno after a competitive opening two hours. The Cirtek Motorsport-run Ferrari led during the opening hour in the hands of Christophe Bouchut, and ran in the top three with Alexey Vasiliev and Nikolay Fomenko until the final third of the race.

Bouchut drove an outstanding first stint from ninth place on the grid, catching and passing Timo Scheider's Maserati for second position after 10 laps, then serving the same treatment to race leader Philipp Peter's Maserati on the 14th.

The Care Racing-owned Russian Age Racing Ferrari 550 remained in the lead until the first round of pit stops, Bouchut managing to extend his lead to seven seconds before pitting for fuel and a driver change. Rain was sweeping across the circuit, calling for Michelin intermediates, and it was a tricky baptism for Alexey Vasiliev who rose to the occasion, in second place, and matched the lap times of race leader Gabriele Gardel throughout his stint.

"The Michelin tyres were Number One" grinned Vasiliev when he climbed out. "It was like in Russia, we drive in the winter with small teeth in the tyres. It was like that in the rain today, fantastic grip." The competitiveness of the Cirtek Motorsport-prepared Ferrari was in contrast to qualifying, when the team struggled after missing most of Friday morning's setting-up session. Overnight the team changed the suspension settings for the second time and changed the gear ratios. "It is much nicer to drive now" commented Bouchut after his opening stint.

Unlike all its rivals, the Russian Age Racing Ferrari had completed the full 24-Hours of Le Mans with a good result, fifth in GT1, and was still the best on the track at Brno. Nikolay Fomenko, still on intermediate tyres for the third stint, was unable to come to terms with the conditions and dropped back steadily, losing two laps. Bouchut took the Ferrari for the final dash to the finish, but was unable to make up any positions.

The next round of the championship is the Spa 24-hours, on July 30/31.

-rar

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Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Timo Scheider , Christophe Bouchut , Alexey Vasiliev , Gabriele Gardel