Avon Tyres British GT Championship – Magny-Cours - Down To The Last Race
The Panoz Takes The Penultimate One – In The Wet

The penultimate day of the 2006 British GT Championship – and perhaps the penultimate drama involved the weather: the clouds opened just before the 43 car grid – with two British GT cars on it – formed up.

The Scuderia Ecosse is not ‘happy’ on the wet tyres, but the Panoz is – so that was the story of the race. Tom Kimber-Smith and Luke Hines took the win then, finishing sixth overall – and to rub it in, they lapped the Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari.

Chris Niarchos and Luke Hines started the respective cars, and Niarchos was “was visibly struggling" in the conditions:

Hines moved past the 430 on lap 4 – and pulled out over four seconds on that lap alone.
Lap 9 and Hines was 11th overall – and two laps later, Chris Niarchos pitted, for Tim Mullen to have a go.

"The conditions were pretty horrendous really, the car was aquaplaning everywhere,” said the irishman. “So we had to just bring the car home and not worry about catching these guys. So that's what we did, we drove to the finish: get the points and don't do anything silly."

The points now look like this:
1 Chris Niarchos 5 10 10 0 5 5 5 5 5 5 10 4 69
Tim Mullen 5 10 10 0 5 5 5 5 5 5 10 4 69
2 Luke Hines 4 8 8 5 5 4 4 3 4 4 4 8 5 66
Tom Kimber-Smith 4 8 8 5 5 4 4 3 4 4 4 8 5 66

Mullen and Niarchos just need to bring it home (in second place, obviously) tomorrow, to take the title 73-71.

Luke Hines stayed out five laps longer than his (starting) rival, and with all the pitstops over, Tom Kimber-Smith was eighth, nine places and 80 seconds ahead of the Ferrari. TK-S lapped TM on the last lap of a frustrating race for the Scottish team - but a very good one for LNT, sixth overall. The Avon wets performed very well on the Esperante.

"Really pleased,” said Le Mans winner Tom Kimber-Smith. “Luke did an excellent first stint, it was very tricky out there, all we had to do in the end was keep it on the circuit and we managed to do it. The car is really good in the wet, I didn't actually know where the Ferrari was because the team weren't telling me much about that, they knew I had to concentrate on what I was doing and bring it home in first place. It's going to make the championship a little bit more exciting going down to the last race, let's see what happens tomorrow. I quite like driving in the wet so I did enjoy the race, it was really good fun."

It wasn’t a satisfactory way to complete the penultimate race – except for Team LNT. They’ll be hoping for more rain on Sunday: Scuderia Ecosse will be hoping for some autumn sunshine… or a miraculous delivery of some grippier wets.

The race was won by Beltoise / Lesoudier in a Mirabeau Viper, from another Mirabeau Viper (Zangarelli / Lagniez) with Bouchut / Berville third for SRT.

Result
1 LESOUDIER G / BELTOISE A MTO Mirabeau Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h01:53.915 1:59.916 / 23
2 LAGNIEZ J C / ZANGARELLI M MTO Mirabeau Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h01:55.471 1.556 2:01.322 / 28
3 BERVILLE R / BOUCHUT C S R T Chevrolet Corvette C5-R GT1 1h01:55.666 1.751 2:00.798 / 28
4 GIROIX F / TUCHBANT D First Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h02:55.805 1:01.890 2:02.048 / 25
5 DUBREUIL B / GILBERT J CD Sport Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h02:58.405 1:04.490 2:02.834 / 28
6 KIMBER-SMITH T / HINES L Team LNT Panoz Esperante GTLM GT2. 1h02:29.900 1 Trs 2:09.903 / 22
7 SOAVE T / CAYROLLE E S R T Chevrolet Corvette C5-R GT1 1h03:00.574 1 Trs 2:02.715 / 26
8 BORNHAUSER P / THEVENIN O V B M Ferrari 550 Maranello GT1 1h03:19.665 1 Trs 1:59.831 / 26
9 BLANCHEMAIN J L / DUMEZ S Euroflash Autovitesse Chrysler Viper GTS--R GT1 1h03:32.448 1 Trs 2:00.333 / 21
10 COLAS F / GUIOD T Pilotage Passion Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h03:35.503 1 Trs 2:09.896 / 3
11 ADAM J Y / MAKOWIECKI F Racing Logistic Dodge Viper GT3 GT2 1h03:44.448 1 Trs 2:05.395 / 23
12 LELIEVRE F / POLETTE P IMSA Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h03:49.436 1 Trs 2:08.779 / 25
13 RODRIGUES M / RODRIGUES J Hexis Racing Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h03:50.193 1 Trs 2:09.065 / 27
14 RABINEAU T / PAILLARD L CD Sport Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h01:54.361 2 Trs 2:10.253 / 26
15 CLEMENT H / BACHELIER J M G C R Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h01:57.724 2 Trs 2:11.707 / 21
16 NARAC R / LECOURT M IMSA Performance - MATMUT Porsche 996 RSR GT2 1h01:59.373 2 Trs 2:08.209 / 19
17 TOMLINSON L / DEAN R Tema LNT Panoz Esperante GTLM GT2 1h02:06.601 2 Trs 2:08.889 / 26
18 CORMERECHE D / MERMET P Tarrès Team Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h02:16.693 2 Trs 2:10.844 / 25
19 MONTEIRO C / MONTEIRO M Estoril Racing Porsche 996 RSR GT2 1h02:17.501 2 Trs 2:10.384 / 26
20 MULLEN T / NIARCHOS C Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 GT2 GT2. 1h02:32.968 2 Trs 2:12.703 / 3
21 NOURRY A S / PASQUALI L Nourry Compétition Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h03:05.218 2 Trs 2:09.215 / 24
22 BRANDELA R / STEPEC T PSI Expérience Chevrolet Corvette C5-R GT1 1h03:20.208 2 Trs 2:07.825 / 26
23 DEPRESLE F / MELAN MOUTET M C P A Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h03:24.882 2 Trs 2:14.669 / 23
24 RUFFIER J C / RUFFIER J Ruffier Racing Dodge Vpier GT3 GT2 1h03:30.924 2 Trs 2:06.848 / 22
25 DEMIGNEUX C / VANSTRAATEN D Riverside Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3 C2 1h03:56.693 2 Trs 2:09.101 / 26
26 ROUSSEAU V / MITIEUS M Pilotage Passion Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h01:53.720 3 Trs 2:18.659 / 4
27 CLAIRAY G / LAURIN J G C R Dodge Viper GT3 C2 1h01:57.033 3 Trs 2:12.997 / 24
28 MILOE J / MILOE J L Red Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h02:04.956 3 Trs 2:10.280 / 25
29 NOURRY M / BAUDINIERE P Nourry Compétition Porsche 996 RS GT2 1h02:15.492 3 Trs 2:07.893 / 25
30 LEPREUX C / PAUL F First Racing Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h02:36.622 4 Trs 2:24.826 / 20
31 CHAMARAUD P / CHAMARAUD A Centre Porsche Lorient Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h02:45.840 4 Trs 2:19.758 / 24
32 CABANNE G / PEREIRA E Ruffier Racing Dodge Viper GT3 C2 1h02:38.571 5 Trs 2:17.858 / 20
33 BEAU C / DELAUNAY H Pilotage Passion Porsche 996 Cup C1 1h02:48.758 5 Trs 2:25.669 / 19
34 BAUDOIN M / LAFARGUE P Ruffier Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS GT2 1h02:57.517 5 Trs 2:27.469 / 23
35 MOUEZ E / PRUNET C Protek Porsche 911 GT3 RS GT2 1h02:48.723 6 Trs 2:06.056 / 21
36 PEYROLES A / HELIAS C First Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 39:48.931 11 Trs 2:03.665 / 4
37 GAVANT P / VANNELET G Sport Garage Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 1h02:10.685 11 Trs 2:05.594 / 17
38 AYARI S / HERNANDEZ B Oreca Saleen S7-R GT1 34:37.138 14 Trs 2:06.031 / 2
39 BROUARD R / NOZIERE P Pilotage Passion Dodge Viper GT3 C2 45:49.733 14 Trs 2:34.651 / 3
40 MOULIN TRAFFORT M / GHISLAIN T Pelsi Racing Toyota Bi-Turbo GT2 35:25.564 15 Trs 2:11.524 / 5
41 DEBARD E / LASSERRE L Tarrès Team Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 51:15.326 18 Trs 2:08.149 / 10
42 POLICAND J / BALTHAZARD G Larbre - SOFREV Ferrari 550 Maranello GT1 27:44.992 19 Trs 2:07.850 / 4
43 PALTTALA M / KUISMANEN P PSI Expérience Chevrolet Corvette C6-R GT1 16:11.987 22 Trs 2:06.768 / 4
Pilotes non-partants

CHEVALLARD P / MOULIN F Trajectoires Ferrari 550 Maranello GT2 /

 

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