LAMBORGHINI DOMINATES SPANISH GT1 WEEKEND Lamborghini drivers Ricardo Zonta and Frank Kechele have completed a much-coveted perfect weekend in the FIA GT1 World Championship: the duo claimed pole position, won the Qualifying Race and finished...
LAMBORGHINI DOMINATES SPANISH GT1 WEEKEND
Lamborghini drivers Ricardo Zonta and Frank Kechele have completed a much-coveted perfect weekend in the FIA GT1 World Championship: the duo claimed pole position, won the Qualifying Race and finished with a dominant victory in the Championship Race at Navarra, Spain, on 24 October 2010. Their success has resulted in Kechele moving up to fourth in the Drivers' Championship, while Lamborghini-equipped Reiter Engineering is running second in the Teams' Championship, having closed the gap to the leaders to just 18 points.
Lamborghini drivers proved to be the ones to beat on the first day of the Spanish GT1 event at the recently-opened Navarra circuit, with ADAC GT Masters Champion Peter Kox setting the fastest lap time in free practice behind the wheel of the #24 Lamborghini Murcielago 670-4 R-SV. The Reiter Engineering boys then took the fight to Maserati, Aston Martin and Nissan in qualifying, claiming pole position with Zonta's fastest lap time of 1:36.118 in the #25 Lamborghini.
On-track action continued on Sunday with the Qualifying Race. Kechele started from pole in the #25 Lamborghini Murcielago 670-4 R-SV and immediately pulled out a gap. He handed over to team-mate Zonta in the lead, who remained unchallenged for the rest of the race, taking the chequered flag a comfortable 4.5 seconds ahead of the second-placed Maserati.
In the afternoon's Championship Race, Zonta started on pole and his unstoppable pace was apparent: the ex-Formula One driver set the fastest lap of the race on lap six, recording a 1:37.027 in the #25 Lamborghini. After 12 laps, the Brazilian pilot handed over to German team-mate Kechele, who re-joined in the lead and built a substantial gap of almost 12 seconds from the pursuing #9 Aston Martin. Dominik Schwager and Nicky Pastorelli in the #38 All-Inkl.com Muennich Motorsport Lamborghini charged through the field from 18th on the grid to finish an impressive fifth, claiming their best finish of the season to date, but due to a post-race penalty were eventually classified ninth.
Following Zonta and Kechele's dominant weekend in Spain, Reiter Engineering has strengthened its position in the Teams' World Championship, narrowing the gap to the leader from 38 points to only 18, with 66 still on the table in the remaining two rounds of the season. The German outfit has scored more points than any other team in the last four race weekends. Kechele has moved up to fourth in the Drivers' Championship, despite missing two race weekends, while Zonta is now sixth in the standings as the FIA GT1 World Championship heads to the Brazilian's home country in November.
"To be back in the car after missing one race and to win again is very nice," said Zonta. "I've enjoyed this weekend; the first time I drove here I felt the car was very quick and easy to drive. The team have done a great job and so has Frank. We didn't make any mistakes all weekend and that is very important for us. The trophy for this race is very nice and very heavy and certainly worth winning."
"We were sure of our pace, so we were focused on making sure we didn't make any mistakes," said Kechele. "The whole team didn't make any mistakes the whole weekend and that's why I think we deserve this trophy. It is one thing to be fast but to win you need to make no mistakes and we were 100 per cent this weekend and that makes me really, really happy. It's a shame I missed the first two races because we could be further up in the Drivers' Championship and we are also trying to win the Teams' Championship. Hans [Reiter] gave me the opportunity to drive in this championship, he put his trust in me and I'm happy to give this back to him."
Round nine of the FIA GT1 World Championship will take place at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, in Interlagos, Brazil, on 26-28 November 2010.