Saturday Race 1
Estre-Terting (Attempto Porsche) storm Race1By taking 2nd in Race-1, the Italian pair secures maiden title for LamborghiniYacamán-Monje (T.Martín BMW) lose title battle after finishing 13th in a difficult race and will fight for runner-up honours with Shaun Balfe, today 3rdEstre and Terting (Attempto Porsche) take superb win after faultless raceSuccessful GT-Am return for Kessel Racing, as Earle-Patel take class win
Thomas Biagi and Fabrizio Crestani are the 2016 International GT Open Champions, giving Lamborghini and Orange1 Team Lazarus their maiden title in the series. By taking second behind Kévin Estre-Peter Terting (Attempto Racing Porsche) in Saturday’s Race 1, the Italian pair reached the title certainty, as their main rivals Yacamán-Monje (Teo Martín BMW) finished only 13th after a difficult race.
In the emotional moments after the race, Thomas Biagi, who reached at 40 another big international title, after his FIA-GT successes in 2003 and 2007, declared: “It’s unbelievable to win another great title and I feel very, very happy. I can’t realize yet.”His younger (28) team mate, Fabrizio Crestani, was not less elated: “It’s a great relief at this very moment and it has been an incredible season. We worked well, raising our game race after race, and I wish to congratulate everybody in the team, all our sponsors and Lamborghini for their support.”
The race saw a great win of the Attempto Racing Porsche 911 R of Kévin Estre and Peter Terting, one of the exceptional entries in this event. The French GT star and the German driver, on his return to the forefront of the international scene, put on a faultless performance. By taking third, Shaun Balfe and Phil Keen (Balfe Motorsport McLaren) will keep open the fight for the runner-up position in the championship, as Balfe is now tied (at 123 points) with Yacamán-Monje ahead of tomorrow’s Race2.
It was a triumphant return for Kessel Racing in GT-Am as Stephen Earle-Daniel Patel won ahead of the AKKA ASP Mercedes of Mauro and Benjamin Ricci, with Armin Aka-Jürgen Häring (Attemto Porsche) third.
THE RACE - At the start, poleman Crestani is fastest and leads ahead of Estre and Tappy,then Yacaman in full fight with Hankey, Balfe and Gini. There is some rubbing in the group,with Coimbra stopping in the track and Moiseev back into the pits with a broken rear wingafter a contact with West, also forced to the pits. Yacamán manages to pass Hankey forfourth but his gap on Crestani is already 8 seconds after 4 laps. The close duel between theBMW and the Aston is catching everybody’s attention and allows Balfe to catch up the duo.At the beginning of lap 7, at the braking of first corner, Hankey eventually manages to passthe BMW.
In the lead, Crestani is faultless and only Estre can keep the pace, 2.5 seconds behind.After 13 laps, Tappy is third 14 seconds behind, followed by Hankey, Yacamán, Balfe, Gini,Lindholm, Ramos and Fannin. Mauro Ricci leads on Häring and Earle in GT-Am.In lap 16, Moiseev spins into the gravel, while Lindholm suffers a puncture, at the samemoment the pit stop window opens, with Balfe stopping first. It’s bad luck for the BMW ofMonje, as the car needs to be pushed at the restart (he will later receive a 10-secondpenalty). One of Gini’s tires blows in the straight in lap 21, leaving a lot of debris on thetrack.
After all stops, Terting leads with 7 seconds on Benham, soon passed by Biagi. Yoluc is 4th12 seconds behind, followed by Keen, Schothorst, Policand, Zampieri and Sini. Monje is14th , 37 seconds behind the leader. With Terting in the lead keeping a safe advantage onBiagi, and Benham a lone third, the show is put by Yoluc and Keen fighting for 4th. The Britwill pass and overtake also Benham soon after to take third. Big fight at the top of GT-Amas Perel catches Ricci and takes the lead in lap 33. In the closing laps, Balfe and Zampieripass Benham for third, with Policand finishing 6th.STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 13 OF 14Overall: 1. Crestani-Biagi, 167 points; 2. Monje-Yacamán, Balfe, 123; 4. Yoluc-Hankey, Ramos, 102; 6. Keen,99; etc…Pro-Am: 1. Crestani-Biagi, 70 points; 2. Monje-Yacamán, 49; 3. Balfe, 48; 4. West, Keen, 38; 6. Ramos, YolucHankey,37; etc…GT-Am: 1. Sardinha Silva-Da Costa Coimbra, 50 points; 2. Barreiros, 36; 3. Lémeret, 23; 4. Sdanewitsch, 16; 5.Braams; 6. Galbiati, 13; etc…Teams: 1. BMW Teo Martín, 85; 2. Orange1 Team Lazarus, 70; 3. Garage59, 69; 4. Balfe Motorsport, 48; 5. TFSport, 37; 6. AF Corse, 27; etc…