Rounds 5 & 6, Navarra, Spain
Round 6 Race Report
3rd July 2011
Last Lap Pass Gives Team WRT Audi Win Number Two
For the second time this weekend the race win has been decided on the final lap in an FIA GT3 race at Navarra. For Round 6 the battle was between Harrie Kolen in the nr36 Faster Racing by DB Motorsport BMW Z4 and the nr33 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 of Enzo Ide.
Kolen had been handed a 10 second lead by pole position holder Nick Catsburg at the pitstop and looked on course to take the victory. Ide had emerged from the pits in 3rd place and spent a few laps trying to pass the Sainteloc Racing Audi of Jerome Demay.
As soon as Ide was clear he caught the leading BMW with two laps of the race remaining. After several attempts he finally moved ahead of Kolen at T8 on the last lap to take the chequered flag and claim the second win of the season for himself and Greg Franchi. Mike Parisy and Philippe Giauque and Mike Parisy were 3rd after starting 9th on the grid, with Giauque overtaking Demay's Audi three laps from home to claim the final podium place.
Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2011 FIA GT3 European Championship will take place at Paul Ricard in France on 16/17 July 2011.
CLICK HERE for the Race Facts
CLICK HERE for the FINAL RESULT (Result after FIA Steward Decisions 19, 20, 21)
CLICK HERE for Championship Positions
Nr33 Belgian Audi Club Audi R8 LMS
Greg Franchi:“It was a good start. After 3 laps, the Aston passed me, and after I tried to lose more time, to give the car over to Enzo in a good position. I had some good fights. After the safety car in win in Portimao, this time we won on the track. It’s a good result. It’s a good result for Audi and the team, and thanks for the mechanics, Enzo and all the staff who did a good job.”
Enzo Ide: “I didn’t know I could catch Harrie when I took over, but the team manager kept saying I could do it over the radio. I pushed the car really hard. It was very hard, but I managed to overtake the leader in the last lap. It was very nice, but it was really tight. I had to make the move at that corner, or it would not have been possible. I was behind him for a few laps, and tried to see where his weak points were, and I think this was one of them, so I had to do it there, it was the last lap. I just went for it, and passed. The Audi is better after the new BOP, but if you see the qualification times, the car is still slower than the BMW and Ferrari, but the balance is quite good to the Mercedes. Now we’re on the same level, but at the beginning of the season, we were struggling behind the new gt3 cars, which was a bit frustrating for us. Now it went a bit better, but still, we can’t catch up with the BMWs and the Ferraris.”
Nr 36 Faster Racing by DB Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3
Nicky Catsburg: “It was quite a good race. I was quite disappointed about the safety cars, because I was trying to make a gap, and the safety car didn’t make that possible. The car was fine, some brake problems, but then the pitstop was nice. We had a fast pitstop, and then Harrie went out. He did a really good job, and compared to Silverstone, he is improving. I know he’s disappointed about the last lap, but he shouldn’t be. He did an amazing job. I’m looking forward to the next race and going for a win there. I think we could do well at Paul Ricard; BMWs aren’t the fastest cars, but they are basic and good everywhere.”
Harrie Kolen: “I was not quick enough for the victory and I hope that next time I will do a bit better and take the victory. The car was good, the tyres were good. I was just not quick enough. I went a little bit wide, and then I saw the Audi behind me, and he was too quick for me. But it’s great to be on the podium, it’s a boy’s dream.”
Nr3 Graff Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
Mike Parisy: “We had a fantastic start to the race. The team gave me a very good car. At the beginning of the race there was a fantastic battle with the 2nd drivers, it was a lot of fun. Yesterday we were unlucky with a puncture, which destroyed our race. Today, after my stint, I gave the car to Philippe who finished the job. He had a little problem in the pit lane, but finished the race.”
Philippe Giauque: “The car is getting better. I had a good race, but I had a bit of a problem in the pits, where I put the car in 2nd gear to start it instead of 1st, the same thing I did in Portimao which then cost me the race. This time I tried to recuperate on my team mate’s good job in the first stint. After Silverstone where we were stuck behind the nr15 for a while, I decided to get it over and done with here and pass him as quickly as possible. But it’s not easy to overtake an Audi..”