GT Open: Ramos/Pastorelli Win in Portimao
After a wet opening round to the 2013 International GT Open at Paul Ricard, sunny skies contrasted the 2nd event in Portimão, Portugal. C6R team V8 Racing began the weekend well, topping both private testing, which took place on Thursday and the two free sessions on Friday. Local hero Miguel Ramos and Nicky Pastorelli set the fastest time of the day in session 1 (1.44.662) and Diederik Sijthoff coming first in session 2, which was slower.
Round 2 of the calendar saw a total of 29 cars present in Portugal. The V8 Racing Corvette of Miguel Ramos and Nicky Pastorelli switched to the 7-liter version of the C6R (over the teams recently acquired GTE chassis) for this race and the choice revealed to be the right one. After a hard fought race with the Luca Filippi-Andrea Montermini Ferrari, the American C6R took home a brilliant home win for Ramos.
At the start, Talkanitsa jr pipped poleman Filippi and keeps the lead for a couple of corners. Campaniço is third ahead of Ramos, Pier Guidi, Zampieri and Sijthoff but in the hairpin behind the straight Seefried, with a brakes problem, strikes into Castellacci and Bontempelli, prompting the safety car in, while Ladygin runs on debris and has to pit. The race had started without the Drivex Porsche (broken suspension in formation lap) and the AF Corse of Cameron, mechanical trouble in Q2.
At the restart, Filippi again led the race ahead of Talkanitsa, Campaniço, Ramos, Pier Guidi, Zampieri and Sijthoff (in the corvette), while there is big battle for 8th, with Razia being passed by Deverikos, Beretta and Rosell. Lap 7 sees again the safety-car to allowed the removal of the stranded Mosler of Unzurrunzaga. The battle heated up in lap 15 when Beretta attempted to pass Sijthoff 9in the Corvette) at the end of the straight spinning in the middle of the group and being forced to the pits.
Ramos opened the pit stops, after which Nicky Pastorelli bcame the leader with 20 seconds over Basov, Talkanitsa, Montermini (who took third in lap 23) and Vieira, all within 5 seconds, then Tutumlu, van der Drift, Laursen (who goes off-track in lap 26), Sijthoff and Barba. The last laps saw the Novadriver Audi climbing to third behind Ramos and Montermini, then Basov, Talkanitsa, Seyffarth, Tutumlu and Barba, while there are penalties for van der Drift, Camp and Sijthoff for pit stop infringements.
During Race 2 of the event, Nicky Pastorelli and Miguel Ramos took second place in their V8 Racing Corvette, ahead of a lone Andrea Montermini (Villorba Ferrari), who retains the championship lead.
The race was quite quiet because of a lot of the safety cars. However, we knew we had an advantage according to the pit wall, so the safety cars actually played out quite good for us. At the start of the race, we lost a few places, but I was able to recover to third and managed gap well until the pit stops. The Corvette this year is the same as last year. It is still not the new (chassis the team recently acquired) for this year. We tried the new car in the first race at Paul Ricard, and there were some small issues with the engine. The team is currently working on new developments with the engine in order to see if we can utilize this car for the next event.
The race looked very easy but in the end it was not so easy for us. There was a lot of traffic during my stint.The Ferrari was catching me towards the end of the race, which made it a close finish for us. We were lucky in a way, because the ferrari behind us had an additional 15 seconds in the pits. For Round 3 we need to continue the hard work the team have done so far.
The next event for V8 Racing is the Nurburgring on the 1st-2nd of June.