BALFE TEAM DENIED FINISH IN FRANCE The Balfe Motorsport Team suffered from mechanical failure at the weekend in the latest round of the FIA GT Championship at Magny-Cours in the France. The Fulbeck based squad started the weekend well,...
BALFE TEAM DENIED FINISH IN FRANCE
The Balfe Motorsport Team suffered from mechanical failure at the weekend in the latest round of the FIA GT Championship at Magny-Cours in the France.
The Fulbeck based squad started the weekend well, lining up third on the grid behind the works Porsches and ahead of the visiting British GT Championship Ferrari's and TVR's. A problem for one of the Porches meant that its times were disallowed and moved the Mosler MT900R up to second place before the race had even got underway on Sunday morning.
Shaun Balfe started the race and had to concede his second place as the Porsche worked its way past on the opening lap. However, a hard charging Balfe managed to stay with the leading pair for the opening handful of laps, before the hot track made it difficult to stay in contention.
A great drive kept him almost 10-seconds clear of the chasing Ferrari before he handed over the Jamie Derbyshire for the second stint as the safety car was called out.
Some slick pit-work by the team meant that Jamie resumed in third place, holding the Ferrari's at bay for another 30-minutes of the three-hour race. Mechanical problems were to intervene on the teams' -- so far -- perfect run. A gear selection cable suffered under the intense heat and melted, leaving Derbyshire with no gears.
He dived into the pits and the team decided to change the cable, sending Balfe back into the fray after losing almost 12 laps.
A great effort allowed him to gain over a lap on the G2 class leader until the same problem happened again, this time forcing Balfe out of the race.
"It's disappointing to not make it to the end of the race," said Balfe. "The weekend started so well and we were looking good for a podium result behind the Porsches once again. But unfortunately the heat got too much for the cable and it meant that we couldn't select gears when we needed to."
"We can still take plenty of positives away from the weekend though," he added. "We were still the best privateer team against the factory cars and we think we have narrowed the gap a little bit more to them since Monza too. We just have to keep chipping away at it and see what happens over the course of the year."
Balfe will next be in action at his 'home' race of the season, at Silverstone in just over two weeks time.