GiÃ£o and Couceiro - Championship leaders! This weekend, in the Spanish track of Jerez de la Frontera, Manuel GiÃ£o and Pedro Couceiro scored two 2nd places and took the lead of the Spanish GT Championship. One of the main factors during ...
Gião and Couceiro - Championship leaders!
This weekend, in the Spanish track of Jerez de la Frontera, Manuel Gião and Pedro Couceiro scored two 2nd places and took the lead of the Spanish GT Championship.
One of the main factors during qualifying was the large amount of cars on track, which made it very difficult to get a clear lap during both sessions. Besides this, the Portuguese duo's Ferrari had an engine problem which put them outside the Top 20 in terms of top speed. Still, they managed to qualify 5th and 3rd, which opened some good perspectives for the two races.
With nearly 40 cars on track, and Gião holding 4th place for most of the first stint, it became clear early on that a good result was possible. After the mandatory driver change, Couceiro took over the car leading the race and under attack from former Midland F1 test driver Giorgio Mondini. However, gearbox problems forced him to back off and settle for a very positive 2nd place.
Speaking at the end of the first race, Coureiro commented that "It was really a shame that we had those gearbox problems in our Ferrari, as it cost us our first win of the year. In any case this 2nd place is very important for us, as it gives us a chance to fight for the championship lead in the 2nd race."
Couceiro started the second race of the weekend from 3rd place, and fought hard to hand the car to his team mate in 2nd place. In a very aggressive 2nd stint, Gião took the lead of the race but was forced to back off once again in the closing stages of the race, this time due to clutch and engine problems. He still finished the race in 2nd place, less than 1 second from the winner. This result puts Gião and Couceiro at the top of the Spanish GT Championship, with a 6 point lead.
"We came very close to winning both races. This a long season, in which all results counts towards the final classification. Considering this, we are very pleased with the double podium finish this weekend and really happy for leaving Jerez leading such a competitive championship" commented Manuel Gião.
The drivers supported by CAIXA GERAL DE DEPOSITOS and VODAFONE will defend their lead of the Spanish GT Championship on home ground, in the Estoril race track in Portugal on May 26th and 27th.