LMES - Istanbul - Hour 6
Follow the money in racing and you’ll find
a spinning car. So it is with the No. 99 Ferrari as Gabrio Rosa
pirouettes and the GT2 class lead eventually passes back to the
Scuderia Ecosse Modena.
Guy Smith is back in the third place No. 39 Lola.
Were he to regain second spot then Gareth Evans would capture the
class title and a kiss from race beauty Malcolm Cracknell. First
he (Smith, not Cracknell) has to get past Thed Bjork—suddenly
2nd in class in the unheralded Horag Lista Lola. Effectively, he’s
now driving for RML.
In the overall contest the No. 17 Pescarolo is clearly
command again. Ortelli is simply no match for Boullion. Henri expained
that his team changed tyres at every stop, and it was the right
Pescatori (No. 51) still had to contend with the
Menx Ferrari for GT1 honors. However, this ended later in the hour
when Kox went off at Turn 11. The No. 67 Maranello took several
minutes before it was able to continue and dropped to third in the
big production class, behind the “B” BMS Ferrari, No.
52 of Fabio Babini. That left four BMS drivers on 35 points.
No. 99 still had a fleeting shot at GT2, but as
the minutes slipped past it was increasingly clear that Kirkaldy
would hang on to the win except to Kirkaldy, who had no wiper blade.
Others continued to have problems…. The No. 89 Sebah Porsche
had another lurid spin. It limped back, but Seikel would now take
third. Bodywork was beginning to hang down from the No. 13 Courage.
The rain increased to perhaps its highest intensity
over the last 20 minutes. It was much darker in reality than it
appeared on TV. Visibility was almost nil. One star shone through.
Jason Tachincioglu, aboard the No. 9 Zytek was the fastest car on
the course bar the Audi. Fast was a relative term as lap times were
lengthening to 30-40 seconds off of everyone’s best.
With 5 minutes to go Boullion was circulating very,
very slowly, completing one tour at nearly three minutes. The gap
to the Audi came down to about a minute, but the conditions would
not really allow Ortelli to respond. Boullion only needed to finish—something
that became a greater challenge with each lap. Indeed, the goal
now was simply to time ones’ crossing of the finish line so
as to minimize how many more times it would take to get around.
Amidst all this, Bjork spun twice and Smith was
able to retake second in LM P2 – and that gave Gareth Evans
the title – and the kiss. There was a last bit of drama when
the No. 7 DBA spun and then recovered.
The two leaders final laps were completed in the
2:35 range, clearly just trying to finish. All managed to do so.
Despite the dominance of the Pescarolo, it was a race of endless
drama with numerous championships decided in the closing hours.
We’ll wrap it all up before we leave here
1 17 Pescarolo Sport COLLARD EmmanuelBOULLION Jean-Christ Pescarolo
C60 LM1 ==173== 1:51.813 5
4 Audi Playstation Oreca ORTELLI StephaneMcNISH Allan Audi R8 LM1
==172== 1:54.281 5
3 7 Creation Autosportif MINASSIAN NicolasDELETRAZ Jean-DenisCAMPBELL
WALTER J DBA 03S Judd LM1 ==171== 1:53.438 5
4 15 Zytek Motorsport SHIMODA HayanariCHILTON TomELGAARD Casper
Zytek 04S LM1 ==170== 1:54.437 6
5 9 Team Jota FISKEN GregorHANCOCK SamTAHINCIOGLU Jason Zytek 04S
LM1 ==168== 1:56.063 5
6 25 RML NEWTON MikeERDOS Tommy MG Lola EX 264 LM2 ==164==
7 39 Chamberlain Synergy Motor EVANS GarethOWEN PeterSMITH Guy Lola
AER LM2 ==163== 1:55.906 5
8 8 Rollcentre Racing BARBOSA JoaoSHORT MartinICKX Vanina Dallara
Judd LM1 1:13.625 1:54.563 6
9 27 Horag Lista Racing THEYS DidierBJORK Thed Lola B05/40 LM2 ==162==
10 51 BMS Scuderia Italia BARTYAN MichelePESCATORI CristianSEILER
Toni Ferrari 550Maranello GT1 ==161== 2:01.563 5
11 52 BMS Scuderia Italia CRESSONI MatteoBABINI FabioRAMOS Miguel
Ferrari 550Maranello GT1 ==159== 2:04.375 4
12 32 Team Barazi BARAZI JuanVERGERS Michael Courage C65 AER LM2
12.250 1:56.875 6
13 67 Menx PERGL RobertKOX PeterLAMY Pedro Ferrari 550Maranello
GT1 ==157== 2:03.563 5
14 61 Convers Team BOUCHUT ChristopheTURNER DarrenVASILIEV Alexey
Ferrari 550Maranello GT1 17.282 2:02.687 5
15 18 Rollcentre Racing PRIMAT HaroldJOUANNY Bruce Dallara Judd
LM1 ==155== 1:57.594 6
16 93 Scuderia Ecosse KIRKALDY AndrewKINCH Nathan Ferrari
360 Modena GT2 19.094 2:07.813 4
17 99 GPC Sport ROSA GabrioDRUDI LucaMELO Jaime Ferrari 360 Modena
GT2 20.656 2:05.750 4
18 83 Seikel Motorsport COLLIN PhilipFELBERMAYR SeniorFELBERMAYR
Junior Porsche 996 GT3 RS GT2 ==152== 2:11.437 3
19 89 Sebah Automotive NIELSEN Lars-ErikTHYRRING ThorkildEHRET Pierre
Porsche 996 GT3 RSR GT2 ==151== 2:11.625 3
20 36 Paul Belmondo Racing GOSSELIN Claude-YvesVOSSE VincentOJJEH
Karim Courage C65 Ford LM2 ==150== 1:57.844 4
21 13 Courage Competition FREI AlexanderGOUNON Jean-Marc Courage
C60 Judd LM1 ==148== 1:59.937 6
22 28 Ranieri Randaccio RANDACCIO RanieriMANCINI Fabio Tampolli
McLaren LM2 1:34.844 2:01.937 9
23 95 RaceSport Peninsula TVR HARTSHORNE JohnSTANTON RichardPEARSON
Rick TVR Tuscan T400R GT2 ==146== 2:12.969 4
24 68 JMB Racing KUTEMANN PeterGOSSE AntoineDAOUDI Stephane Ferrari
575 GTC GT1 33.187 2:06.063 6
25 73 Ice Pol Racing Team LAMBERT YvesLEFORT ChristianPALLTALA Markus
Porsche 996 GT3 RSR GT2 ==142== 2:09.969 4
26 57 Paul Belmondo Racing SOMMEREAU DidierPAPOLLA Jean-MichelWASOVER
Stephan Chrysler Viper GTSR GT1 ==134== 2:14.718 7