REID & DUQUEINE ROBBED AT OSCHERSLEBEN GT3 After the promise of a pole position, Anthony Reid and Gilles Duqueine were seemingly robbed of a very hard fought win by timing issues at the Oschersleben circuit this afternoon. Gilles Duqueine ...
REID & DUQUEINE ROBBED AT OSCHERSLEBEN GT3
After the promise of a pole position, Anthony Reid and Gilles Duqueine were seemingly robbed of a very hard fought win by timing issues at the Oschersleben circuit this afternoon.
Gilles Duqueine started on the pole position won by Reid in the morning qualifying session and made a superb start, romping away from pursuer Hector Lester in the Silverstone-winning Ferrari. After 9 laps, Duqueine was out of sight of the pack, more than 9 seconds ahead. With Reid set to take the car at half way, a walkover looked to be on the cards.
At the end of the 14th lap, oil on the track led to a Safety Car period and Duqueine held the lead, pitting next lap with a normal handover to Reid. Anthony then immediately stamped in a fast out lap and according to the timing screens led from James Ruffier in the Corvette. The battle between Reid and Ruffier then enthralled the crowd and held the entire attention of the TV cameras for the remainder, both cars being less than 10 metres apart the whole time. Ruffier pushed and lunged many times and often the two were alongside but every time Reid emerged from the corner ahead. Reid took the chequered flag by just 0.4s from Ruffier and the team exploded in celebration at winning only their 2nd ever race in FIA GT3.
Podium celebrations were scrapped though as the timekeepers checked manual lap scoring charts. It appears that the Viper of Ceccato/Livio had a failure of their transponder as they pitted and manual charts showed them ahead of the Reid/Duqueine car. Inexplicably, at no time did the Italian car overtake the French one on the track and yet official results showed Ceccato/Livio as winners.
Gilles Duqueine was distraught at the outcome "We led from the start, we were never overtaken and yet we are second - I just can't believe it". Anthony Reid was equally unhappy "What do we have to do to win?" he shrugged. No-one was able to explain the result but neither was it possible to find a basis for protest from the published timesheets. Alex Pouchelon was frustrated at the outcome "we must accept the official timing but equally, we cannot understand it".
In the other Pouchelon Vipers, David Hallyday had a great start from 12th on the grid, making 8th after only 5 laps and 4th by the end of 13 laps. Wido Roessler was expecting to capitalise on this good start but suffered a misfire shortly after the stop and eventually stuttered to a halt. Whilst disappointed, both drivers see tomorrow's race as a great opportunity to get the result they deserved.
After a lightning start, Maxime Dubrulle clashed in the early lap traffic and broke the bodywork on the Viper, the problem getting worse as the airflow lifted the bonnet. He was forced to retire after only 7 laps.
As evening fell, the team tried to draw consolation from their 2nd place result and to work towards the win they richly deserved in the Sunday race.