French pair Marc Sourd and Gregory Guilvert claimed victory in Race One of the Nogaro weekend in their Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS during an incident-filled wet race.
Stefano Gai (ITA) and Michael Lyons (GBR) were second in their AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia No. 51 having started third on the grid.
Pole sitters Maximilian Buhk (DEU) and Dominik Baumann (AUT) of the Heico Gravity-Charouz Team took the final place on the podium in car No.1 the second Audi R8 LMS in the top three.
What the drivers say …
Marc Sourd, Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS No.16 (1st)
“I really enjoyed my time on the track. Max (Buhk) was a little slow into the first corner, so I was able to take the advantage. The Mercedes was quick on the straight, but I stayed right on most of the straights to keep my tyres cool. With the experience I have, I knew how to stay in front.”
Gregory Guilvert, Sainteloc Racing Audi R8 LMS No. 16 (1st)
“I want to say thanks to Marc (Sourd), as he gave me a good lead. But it is not just our victory it is a team victory. After the stop I just needed to keep the pace and stay in the lead.”
Michael Lyons, AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia No. 51 (2nd)
“It is a good to start the season to be on the podium. I struggled a bit in the first stint, we were thinking that maybe the slick tyre would have been a big improvement. For the whole stint I had someone in my mirror, the Audi and the Mercedes, but eventually the conditions made us stick with the wet tyre, and it paid off for us.
“Maybe we weren’t fastest today but I think we look good for tomorrow, hopefully under better conditions.”
Stefano Gai, AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia No. 51 (2nd)
“It is a fantastic result as the car had a lot of understeer. From the first lap that I drove, to the last lap, we knew we could push more but it would be stupid to take that risk in the first race.
“We did a good job, as a team and tomorrow, for the second race, we start again in third, and we have a chance to push if the weather has improved.”
Maximilian Buhk, Hecio Gravity-Charouz Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 No.1 (3rd)
“It was very fun to drive with Marc (Sourd), to attack, to push him and to get him into a mistake, which eventually he made, so it was quite fun.
“The car was a little difficult at the beginning because of the rain, but the track got drier towards the end so I could push a little more and then the car was quite good.”
Dominik Baumann, Heico Gravity-Charouz Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 No.1 (3rd)
“I'm not sure it was the right decision to go onto the dry tyres, I think it was the wrong decision for us, our engineer asked Max (Buhk) if we should change or not, and he said 'we can try' but it was not really the right decision, I had to run the tyres for 10 minutes and really battle, before it became easier to drive.
“I start from the fifth position tomorrow, and I think it is a good position to fight for the front, and I hope we can be again on the podium tomorrow.”