Team Turkey produced a commanding drive to claim victory in an incident-packed Qualifying Race 2 of the FIA GT Nations Cup at Bahrain International Circuit.
In fact, the only consistent factor in the race was Team Turkey’s lead, which the impressive Ayhancan Guven had grabbed from the pole-sitting Team Belgium Audi off the line.
Team Belgium’s perfect Friday was almost immediately unravelled in Qualifying Race 2 when young gun Charles Weerts made a sluggish start. The Audi R8 LMS was swamped by a number of rivals on the run down to turn one and was then sent tumbling down the order after being tapped into a spin.
Team Turkey held off Team France in the first half of the contest as the Ferraris of Team Denmark and Team Italy looked on from behind.
The real drama of the race kicked off in the latter stages of the race, which began when the Team Belgium Audi suffered with a puncture. Having already had to fight back from the opening lap incident, Mike den Tandt was forced to pit for a tyre change and lost a lap in the process.
A safety car was deployed due to the debris of the Belgian tyre littering the track, and it was Team France and Team Italy who then seemingly threw their chances of FIA GT Nations Cup glory into doubt. Both cars spun in separate incidents immediately after the restart, which ended their hopes of a Qualifying Race 2 podium.
The main beneficiary of the incidents was Team UK, which had already improved to third behind Team Germany. Christopher Buncombe went one better in the final minutes with an aggressive move that pushed the UK Ferrari by Germany’s identical machine.
When the dust finally settled it was a commanding Team Turkey taking the chequered flag first – and with it pole position for the main race this evening – while Team UK’s second place ensured they will line-up on the front row also.
We await confirmation of the final classification and with it the all-important grid for tonight’s Main Race, which will determine the winners of the FIA GT Nations Cup.