BALFFE TEAM ENDS FIA GT SEASON WITH PODIUM RESULT The Balfe Motorsport team rounded off its 2005 FIA GT campaign with third place in the GT2/G2 class at round seven of the series at Oschersleben in Germany at the weekend. The Spirit Kia...
BALFFE TEAM ENDS FIA GT SEASON WITH PODIUM RESULT
The Balfe Motorsport team rounded off its 2005 FIA GT campaign with third place in the GT2/G2 class at round seven of the series at Oschersleben in Germany at the weekend.
The Spirit Kia backed team continued where it left off at Brno in the Czech Republic, being the closest to challenge the factory backed GruppeM Porsche team.
Shaun Balfe managed to take third place on the grid for the three-hour race and got a great start, passing Mike Rockenfeller in one of the factory Porsche's into the first corner, before having to give up second place later on the opening lap.
A solid stint over the first hour gave the team a lap in hand over their nearest rival as Balfe handed over to team-mate Jamie Derbyshire. Jamie managed to maintain the cushion over the cars behind, despite struggling with an intermittent throttle problem causing him to take a trip across the gravel at one point as the car under steered wide.
After Balfe took over at the controls once again for the final short stint to the chequered flag he settled in to a series of steady laps to make sure the Mosler MT900R made it to the cheqeuered flag in the last round for the team in 2005.
"We certainly had our share of small problems in this race," said Balfe afterwards. "When I got back in after Jamie's stint I could tell the throttle was definitely sticking, it wasn't too difficult to drive around, but it certainly made life hard work over the second half of the race for us. We got the car home, which is what it is all about in this type of racing and picked up the result too," he added.
The team is now preparing for its first 24 hour race in just two weeks time, the Britcar 24 Hours, at Silverstone in Northamptonshire. Balfe feels that the FIA GT series has certainly played its part in moving the team forward and is looking forward to returning next year.
"The whole team has enjoyed racing in the FIA GT Championship this year. It's what the team and me as a driver needed to prove ourselves at the highest level and we've certainly achieved that. Everyone has been really helpful and supportive and we are certainly looking forward to returning in 2006,"
"Right now though we have to get ready for the Silverstone race, which is definitely going to be one of the toughest challenged for me in my career so far. But, I'm really looking forward to it," he added.