Magny-Cours: Balfe Motorsport preview

BALFE AND DERBYSHIRE ALL SET FOR MAGNY-COURS MAGIC The Balfe Motorsport Team heads to the French Grand Prix venue of Magny-Cours next weekend for the second round of the FIA GT Championship. The Newark Glass Group backed squad will be looking...

BALFE AND DERBYSHIRE ALL SET FOR MAGNY-COURS MAGIC

The Balfe Motorsport Team heads to the French Grand Prix venue of Magny-Cours next weekend for the second round of the FIA GT Championship. The Newark Glass Group backed squad will be looking to take the fight to the factory backed Porsches after a stunning qualifying performance at the opening round at Monza.

Shaun Balfe opened his FIA campaign by setting the third fastest time in the Mosler MT900R during qualifying in Italy, beaten only by the works Porsche team. After heading the rest of the privateer GT2 class cars the team obviously showed they meant business in what is regarded as the best GT series in the world.

The Magny-Cours circuit in the middle of France is one of the few this year that Balfe has prior racing experience of. He and team-mate Jamie Derbyshire took victories at the track when racing each other in the Radical Enduro Championship in 2002. A small layout change since then does not worry Balfe as he heads to his next challenge.

"Our aim at the start of the season was to be competitive against the factory Porsches and we were the closest to them after qualifying at Monza," said Balfe. "We were the best of the rest and with more development and hard work we will aim to keep narrowing the gap to them over the course of the year. I think we certainly surprised a few people by being as quick as we were.

"We were unfortunate in the race and lost time after the contact with one of the Saleen GT1 cars, but we believe that we had the pace and the strategy to have come home in third place on the road without that problem," added Balfe. "We'll certainly be looking to be closer to them this weekend as I won't have to spend some of the testing time learning the track."

Team-mate Jamie Derbyshire is also keen to get back on track and take the battle to the rest of the GT2 grid.

"I certainly think that we should be at the sharp end of the results at the end of the race on Sunday. It should be another step forward for the team, it is certainly going from strength to strength in the FIA GT series. Shaun and I both know the circuit so we'll be up to speed straight away, although the layout has changed a little since we both won races in the Radical Championship in 2002." He said.

The team will take to the circuit for the first time on Friday morning for the first of two free-practice sessions, before Qualifying on Saturday. The three-hour race is live on Eurosport Television on Sunday between 11:20 and 14:20.

-bms-

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Shaun Balfe , Jamie Derbyshire