Saturday, 22 September 2012

FIA GT3: Baumann and Buhk crowned 2012 drivers’ champions (Nurburgring).

Nurburgring, Germany: Race 1

Baumann and Buhk crowned 2012 drivers’ champions

Dominik Baumann (AUT) and Maximilian Buhk (DEU) clinched the 2012 FIA GT3 European Championship drivers’ title with a commanding performance in Race One of round six at Nürburgring.

Buhk led the charge in the Heico Gravity-Charouz No.101 Mercedes from pole and handed over to Baumann to complete the job.

It was their fifth win of the season and the 25 points for today’s efforts moved them to 189 points and out of reach of their challengers.

“It’s an absolutely great feeling to be champions,” Baumann said. “During the whole season everyone in the team did a great job. The cars were always perfect.

“We had just two or three minor problems in the season and we didn’t have a particularly good second race in Portimao and Moscow, but we came back strongly today.

“We were always quite confident in ourselves that we could win the championship. To win the title in Max’s home country is great.”

Buhk added: “It was a difficult race today and it has been a tough season but we just kept up the momentum all season and the championship is the reward. I am very happy to be sat here as champion.”

Second today was the AF Corse Ferrari pair of Michael Lyons (GBR) and Stefano Gai (ITA) as they look to secure the vice-champions position.

The pair are on 146 points while Rhino’s Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini’s Hari Proczyk (AUT) and David Mengesdorf (DEU) are on 135 following sixth place in Race One.

Meanwhile, the AF Corse No.150 of Gaetano Ardagna Perez (VEN) crawled to a halt at T11 ending the drivers’ championship aspirations of Ardagna Perez and Giuseppe Ciro (ITA) on the opening lap of the race.

In the teams’ battle, Heico Gravity-Charouz (326) leapfrogged AF Corse (313) courtesy of third place for Max Nilsson (SWE) and Mika Vahamaki (FIN).

“We will be making a big push tomorrow for sure," Lyons said. "Unfortunately we start a bit back on the grid but the pace that we showed today was really good in the race so that augurs well. It was unfortunate that our team-mate had contact with another car after the start.

“We’ve been so close all season to a win. We will try hard again tomorrow – our last chance to win a race.”

The teams’ championship will be settled in Race Two which starts at 12:45 tomorrow.

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