Matech GT Racing clinch two further podium places and close in on the title! The penultimate round of the FIA GT3 European Championship was held this weekend on the French circuit of Nogaro, where the Matech Racing Ford GTs were omnipresent ...
Matech GT Racing clinch two further podium places and close in on the title!
The penultimate round of the FIA GT3 European Championship was held this weekend on the French circuit of Nogaro, where the Matech Racing Ford GTs were omnipresent amongst the leading pack. Right from the qualifying sessions Luca Pirri (#19) and Bradley Ellis (#21) were up in the top 3 for the first race, a performance repeated by Thomas Mutsch (#20), but this time with a view to the second race.
The first 60 minutes race, held on Saturday saw that the Ford GT Matech Racing of Thomas Mutsch and Ian Khan could quite clearly put a claim to a place on the podium. Unfortunately the Monaco based driver found himself ousted by a Corvette, and even though the stewards of the course opted not to sanction the incident, it was quite obvious that the man?uvre carried out by the driver of the Corvette was incorrect. An incident as it happens which had little influence on the championship rankings, in as much that the Corvette of Ruffier, fighting for the title with the Ford Matech #20, also had to throw in the towel.
In the meanwhile the other GTs were showing their colours, with Jurgen Von Gartzen and Luca Pirri taking the chequered flag in an excellent 2nd place, some 6 seconds down on the winners, whilst the British duo Bradley Ellis and Alex Mortimer just missed the bottom tread of the podium, but still gaining valuable points with their 4th place. Even though bad luck had thrown a spanner in the works, the Swiss team was looking after its point's interest in the team rankings.
This Sunday, fate dogged the #20 of Mutsch and Khan, who were perhaps not up to getting the better of the Corvette of Ruffier and Peyroles, but who nevertheless crossed the line in 2nd spot, which represented a good deal for them in the drivers championship. Unfortunately 5 laps from the finish the car's gearbox jammed; "This is our first retirement of the season due to a technical problem ", Martin Bartek, the man in charge of Matech GT Racing commented."A pretty impressive score all the same. Unfortunately this failure comes about most probably at the worst moment of the season, because the Corvette drivers have now been able to create a break in the championship. With 8 points down it's going to be a complicated assignment in Dubai."
Slotted in 4th place a few lengths from the finish Luca Pirri attempted a rather optimistic attack in the last bend resulting in nudging a Porsche. The stewards of the course reckoned the man?uvre was avoidable and decided to inflict a 30 seconds penalty on the Ford #19, relegating it to 11th place overall.
Fortunately Matech GT Racing's honour was saved thanks to the British duo of Bradley Ellis and Alex Mortimer, who produced a remarkable comeback from a 20th place on the grid. A brilliant final rush ending with a 3rd place, and a tread on the podium! "A super result which we can be truly proud of ", Martin Bartek continued."By gathering all these places on the podium we are ever more harvesting points for the team championship. With the last rendezvous in sight we now have 90 points, as compared to 64 of our nearest rivals. We can therefore state that the laurels are definitely coming our way." However for Thomas Mutsch and Ian Khan the assignment will be more difficult in the final round at Dubai, but it is a well know fact in motorsport that nothing is decided until that final chequered flag has dropped. And so all teams are now heading off for the United Arab Emirates, where a final round comprised out of two races is to be held during the weekend of 5th and 6th of..December!