South African David Perel enjoyed a stellar weekend for Kessel Ferrari in Barcelona's International GT Masters AM Cup races. The Cape Town driver came from 20 seconds behind to win Saturday's 70-minute opener, before handing the car over to teammate Steven Earle in a strong lead in Sunday's second race, only for the American to be tagged into a spin and drop to fourth on the last lap.
The first race was dreamy for the South African-American duo when Earle qualified the Ferrari fourth in class Saturday morning and drove a steady first stint to hand the Kessel machine over to Perel, who went on to turn his deficit around through his 40 minute stint and deliver a brilliant AM class victory.
"First place!" a delighted David beamed. "I came from behind to win and my lap times were good overall too. "The team is stoked, the sponsor is stoked and I am stoked - what a way to finish my first race in Barcelona!
Perel then qualified the Ferrari in second on a drying track on Sunday morning before driving a mega first stint to pit in fifth overall and a strong AM class lead. "That was awesome!" Perel, who runs a successful IT business in Cape Town when not racing, beamed after handing the Ferrari over to Earle. "I went from twelfth to fifth overall and we had a 24-second lead before the stop."
Steady gentleman racer Earle, who is an orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist in his day job, took the Kessel #111 Ferrari over to drive to the finish, well maintaining the gap to second until a late safety car diminished his advantage. Earle and then managed his lead into the dying minutes, only to be nudged into a spin on the last lap and tumble down to finish fourth in class.
"That was a most intense final two laps!" Perel conceded. "It's a pity, but that's racing - overall it was a great weekend though - thanks so much to Kessel Racing, my teammate the Doc and all who made Barcelona and the rest of my year happen - we were right on the button all weekend and I''ll take that win with both hands. "Bring on 2017!"