CLOSE RACING TO NURBURGRING 4th PLACE FOR SUGDEN & EAGLING Qualifying for the Le Mans Series 1000km race on Saturday saw the top 7 cars in GT2 covered by less than one second with 4 different makes of car in the mix, Ferrari, Porsche Panoz and...
CLOSE RACING TO NURBURGRING 4th PLACE FOR SUGDEN & EAGLING
Qualifying for the Le Mans Series 1000km race on Saturday saw the top 7 cars in GT2 covered by less than one second with 4 different makes of car in the mix, Ferrari, Porsche Panoz and Spyker. Tim Sugden qualified only 4th after he had led the open practice session on Saturday morning. Asked why he did not translate the position to that of pole for the 6 hour race he explained that the set-up changes tried for the second free practice had caused problems and so the qualifying set up was a compromise but the team were confident a of a good race pace.
In the race the first 4 places were close as shown in the picture and Tim ran for most of the first period in 3rd place before handing over the Virgo F430 Ferrari to Dan Eagling. Heat was a major factor as had been the case in Oscherslaben two weeks ago and after 28 laps Tim took over again with the car running 5th at that point. There were close battles throughout the18 car GT2 field and the #99 Ferrari ran in the top bunch for much of the race but dropped to 7th after the final pit stop as Tim took over for the run to the end.
During this final 70 minutes Tim was able to climb to 4th place and was closing on the third placed Spyker at the rate of 1.5/2.0 seconds per lap but was still some 18 seconds behind at the flag. Tim's best lap of 2:01.587 was only beaten in the podium places by the second placed works backed Porsche of Mark Lieb who did a 2:01.370. The fastest race lap was put up by the GPC Ferrari at 2:01.275 as that car finished in 8th place. Overall in the race 8 cars put up fastest laps within a second of each other in the GT2 class. Consistent results over the first three rounds of this series have moved the Virgo Motorsport team to joint 3rd in the championship where a top 2 finish at the end of the five race series gains the team a guaranteed entry to the always over subscribed Le Mans 24 hour race in 2007
The next event in Tim's schedule is the Spa Francorchamps 24 hour race in the FIA series driving the JMB - GruppeM F430 Ferrari #55, currently 4th in that championship. This race takes place over Saturday and Sunday the 29th and 30th July and will see the usual GT1 and GT2 cars joined by many of the top runners in the European GT3 championship to make up a 46 car field.