The Balfe Motorsport team maintained second place in the Spanish GT Championship at the weekend after taking third and fourth place finishes in the two races at Estoril in Portugal. The BTE Plant Sales backed squad of Shaun Balfe and Nigel ...
The Balfe Motorsport team maintained second place in the Spanish GT Championship at the weekend after taking third and fourth place finishes in the two races at Estoril in Portugal.
The BTE Plant Sales backed squad of Shaun Balfe and Nigel Taylor had secured second place on the grid for both races, with Balfe leading the teams charge in the opening race of the day.
After the pit-stop Taylor was running second before a spin dropped the Mosler MT900R down to fourth. A great drive meant that he regained third place before the flag. However, race winner Cor Euser was given a 20-second penalty which dropped him down to second place, the Balfe pair missing out on taking second place by just 4-tenths of a second.
Taylor was caught out at the start of the second race and had dropped back to seventh by the end of the opening lap. A good recovery meant that he handed the car over to Balfe in fifth place. Shaun drove a blisteringly fast pace and was within sight of the third placed GT2 Porsche in the closing stages.
With just two laps left to go Balfe went for a move on the Porsche but was forced onto the grass as his rival pushed him off the circuit. A brief spin was the result and a fired-up Balfe swiftly rejoined and tried to catch up again. However, a brake problem over the course of the race finally caught up with him and another small spin followed at the next corner.
Another quick recovery and Balfe was back up to speed, lapping almost a second faster than everyone else in an effort to get back on terms with the third place car before the chequered flag.
"We maybe should have taken second place in the first race, which might have been a win with the penalty that Euser received," said Balfe. "If we had been closer to him at the end it would have made a difference. Nigel was definitely caught out at the start of race two and it made life a bit harder than we would have liked"
"The driver of the Porsche certainly didn't want to let us take the final podium spot in race two either," said he added. "I had the speed to get past but it was just a case of finding the right place and he didn't want to make it easy for me. The whole team has been surprised at our pace this weekend though."
"We certainly never thought that we would be in contention for the podium before we came out to Estoril and it has pleased us that we can come to a new track like this and be right on the pace straight away. It means that we can head to the next two rounds at Valencia and Jerez confident that we can compete with the more experienced teams," he added.
The team now has a two month break before heading to Valencia in mid-September.