BALFE HOPES FOR MONZA MAGIC IN SEASON OPENER The Balfe Motor Sport team heads to the Italian Grand Prix venue of Monza next weekend to compete in its first major international event, the first round of the FIA GT Championship. The Newark...
BALFE HOPES FOR MONZA MAGIC IN SEASON OPENER
The Balfe Motor Sport team heads to the Italian Grand Prix venue of Monza next weekend to compete in its first major international event, the first round of the FIA GT Championship.
The Newark Glass Group backed squad recently took part in the test and media days at the venue and -- as expected - found the level of competition incredibly tough. The team's Mosler MT900R has a horsepower disadvantage compared to the Porsches and Ferrari's that they will be up against means that it will certainly be a baptism of fire for them.
However, both of the drivers and all the team know that they have what it takes to perform at that level and can't wait to go wheel to wheel at the ultra high speed circuit and show what they are capable of over the three hour race.
"Monza is an incredibly fast track and we are certainly down on power compared to the rest of the field," said Shaun Balfe. "We know that the Mosler is great through the corners as we stayed with and caught some of the fastest guys through the turns at the test day."
"But, anyone that has seen the circuit on television will know that there are some incredibly long straight and we will struggle to make that sort of difference up on this type of track. But we will go out and try the best we can and know that we are good on our strategy and that the car is very, very reliable. Which might just play into our hands over such a long distance," he added.
Balfe prepared for the start of what will be his most challenging season to date with an outing in the British GT Championship at Donington Park at the weekend. Once again at the wheel of a Mosler, this time, with the Eclipse Motor sport team.
A frustrating weekend ended with a seventh place finish after the car developed a clutch fault just at it was about to go out onto the grid at the beginning of the race. A superb drive by Balfe and his driving partner Piers Johnson meant that they managed to claw back two laps on the rest of the field over the two-hour event.
"We've raced against the Eclipse team before and we get on well with them. I was pleased to be asked to help them get to grips with the Mosler. We had a couple of small niggles during the weekend and the problem with the clutch was just so unexpected. We know the car is very good, but it's not good enough to start a whole lap behind the rest of the grid!" he joked afterwards.
"The team did a really good job with the car and it was good for me to have some serious seat time before the opening FIA race this weekend. My team will be up against them at the second round as the British teams will be racing at Magny-Cours in France with the FIA Championship. It will certainly be good to have another Mosler up against the Porsche with us too," he added.
The team will take to the circuit for the opening free practice session on Friday morning.