Saturday 22 September 2012

FIA GT1: Reiter Lamborghini gate-crashes the party at the ‘Ring

Nurburgring, Germany:
Qualifying Race

Reiter Lamborghini gate-crashes the party at the ‘Ring

Stefan Rosina (SVK) and Peter Kox (NLD) brought Reiter Lamborghini their maiden victory of the season in an incident-filled Qualifying Race at Nürburgring.

The Reiter team did an excellent job at the pit stop to propel the No.24 Lamborghini from fourth to the lead when Kox took over the controls from Rosina.

“Actually we didn’t have a huge amount of time to race before the pit stop due to the Safety Car, but we had a pretty good stop and my first few laps were pretty good and from there on I just continued to be consistent,” Kox said.

“Luckily we didn’t run into any problems in my stint, we were problem free, the car felt good. When I saw the Audi leave the pits I really pushed hard at first and then settled down to win the race.”

It was a bitter-sweet afternoon for Reiter Lamborghini. The Safety Car was summoned after the No.24 car of Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen made heavy contact with the tyre barriers at the Schumacher S on the opening lap.

The car suffered major damage resulting in an early retirement for Bleekemolen, making his debut in the 2012 championship and co-driver Mike Parisy (FRA), who began the season at the wheel of a Porsche.

Second was the No.32 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi of Laurens Vanthoor (BEL) and Stephane Ortelli (MON).

“I had a quiet first stint because of the Safety Car unfortunately but the laps I did manage were really nice, they felt a bit like normal Qualifying time,” Ortelli said.

“We were leading the race for a while but unfortunately we weren’t quick enough in the pit stop and the Lamborghini squeezed past.

“Our guys worked really hard in the race, they were quick and efficient but the Lamborghini guys were just quicker so congratulations to them.”

Nürburgring specialist Marc Basseng in the No.38 Münnich Motorsport Mercedes, held off a spirited challenge from Dutchman Yelmer Buurman in the Vita4One Racing BMW No.18 in the closing laps to secure third place in the battle of the title contenders.

The final podium position enabled Basseng and partner Markus Winkelhock to close the gap to five points to Buurman and co-driver Michael Bartels (DEU) in the drivers’ classification.

“Marc also had a good stint, there was a great battle with the BMW [No.18] and him which was good to watch. Then he brought the car home third which is great and it also brings the gap in the championship down to five points.”

The BMW pair have 130 points to the Mercedes’ duo’s 125.

It was not such a good day for the other title contenders Fred Makowiecki (FRA) and Stef Dusseldorp (NLD) in the Hexis McLaren No.1 car.

Their hopes were dealt a significant blow when Dusseldorp, starting from pole, was forced to retire the McLaren with right front suspension damage 15 minutes into the race.

The McLaren pair are third in the standings on 110 after emerging pointless from this afternoon’s race.

Gregoire Demoustier (FRA) and Alvaro Parente (PRT), in the second Hexis McLaren finished fifth while Nicky Pastorelli (NLD) and Thomas Jaeger (DEU) added to Münnich Motorsport teams’ tally by taking the final point for sixth.

In the teams’ standings, Münnich Motorsport lead on 212 with Vita4One BMW on 176 and Belgian Audi Club Team WRT on 171.

Tomorrow’s Championship Race starts at 12:45.

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Cameron Kelleher

Head of Communications
SRO Motorsports Group
Photos: Markus Berns/SRO.

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