GT Open: Double Podiums for V8 Racing
The GT Open travelled to Germany for Round 3 at the Nurburgring. The track situated in the Eifel Forest region began with wet and foggy conditions both during free practise and Race 1. Corvette team V8 Racing brought a different lineup for this round, opting with 3 C6Rs and their GT3 Z06R over their newly acquired GT2/GTE chassis. This change was however temporary, until a few tweaks can be made to fully flesh out this cars great strengths on the track for the next round.
Nevertheless, the team started out the weekend well. Fog continued to play into the timetable, resulting in a shortened qualifying. V8 Racing managed to get their C6Rs as high as 2nd (Ramos) and 5th (Sijthoff) for race 1 as well as pole (Pastorelli) and 9th (Longin) for race 2. The shortened qualifying sessions also meant a shortened race 1 from 70 minutes down to 50.
At the start, it was Van der Drift taking the advantage from row 2 while there is contact in first corner between Talkanitsa jr, who braked late, and Seefried, but luckily without consequences. The McLaren led first lap but Van der Drift was passed by Montermini, and later by Ramos and Sijthoff, in lap 2. Montermini swiftly increased his lead up to 15 seconds, while in lap 9, Sijthoff passed team mate Ramos for second, with the Portuguese, Toril and Di Guida opening the driver change. Maleev and Toril were then fighting hardly for 10th, with Cordoni and Cameron doing the same for 11th.
After the pit stop, Bert Longin went into the lead with 5” advantage on Filippi, who caught up to the Belgian. At the beginning of lap 19, Filippi managed to pass Longin, making good use of the lapping of Talkanitsa, but the Belgian retook immediately the lead. After a close fight, the Italian passed for good a lap later. In the meantime, the BhaiTech McLarens of Razia and Pantano were 3rd and 5th ,sandwiching Pastorelli, and leading among GTS cars.
While Filippi cruised to victory ahead Longin, Pastorelli passed Razia in lap 23, with the two McLaren winning the GTS class and Bleekemolen piping De Marco for third in the last lap.
Though an excellent drive to second, the Belgian driver had mixed feelings after the race, "Everything was perfect," said Longin. "I could push when I took over after the pit stop even as the leader on the track, but the Ferrari of Luca Filippi was shortly on my heels. I got everything out of the Corvette, but in the end I still had to let him go. Anyway, even with that second, I am more than satisfied."
At the start of race 2 on Sunday, poleman Pastorelli kept the advantage despite the furious attacks of Filippi, while Camathias was touched and spun in the middle of the group luckily without contact.
In first lap, Pastorelli passed first ahead of Filippi, Bleekemolen, Griffin, Pantano, Ladygin, then De Marco, who had to battle to keep behind him Razia, Deverikos, and Longin, then Beretta, Hamilton and Rugolo, while Seyffarth had to stop in the pits. Longin spun his C6R during lap 6, then Costantini and Beretta collided in lap 9. After the round of pit stops (which saw the Villorba Ferrari and the V8 Corvette serving heavy handicaps, 45” and 30” respectively), Cameron is in the lead with 13 seconds over Di Guida, soon passed by Ramos. Fourth is Maleev, also passed by Montermini and Suzuki, then Tutumlu, Bontempelli, Schirò and Van der Drift.
While Cameron remained in the lead from Ramos and Montermini, the gap between them was then reduced to within 11 seconds. "Both Diederik and I had the same problem with the rear brakes locking up a lot," explains Bert Longin. "But he had the bad luck with becoming stuck, which we managed to make up ground by the end. I suspect the problem is a result of the duel with the GT3's. In addition, you need to put the brakes so hard to test them, they eventually no longer work properly. What we have to remember this weekend is that we have the pace to the race at the front. We will prove in the next race in Jerez again."
In the end, the Corvette of Ramos and Pastorelli took home second place, which sees the pair currently in second place in the championship hunt. The duo of Longin and Sijithoff crossed the line in 15th.