Mil Milhas – Full Report
Saturday was a rainy day at Interlagos but the rain stopped before the start, and the track was dry from the green lights – writes Sergio Fonseca.

ZF's Riley & Scott, driven by Felipe Giaffone, unsurprisingly led from the midnight start, and pulled out a modest gap over Negrão's family Audi TT-R and Ingo Hoffman's Porsche 911 GT3-RS. The Italian Racing Box Viper lost three positions in the opening laps – but that would be of no consequence 1000 miles later.

Felipe Giaffone was the fastest in the 64 car field throughout the first hour, but after the first pit stop, Flávio de Andrade and Ruyter Pacheco failed to show such pace, and the Audi TT took the lead. Xandy Negrão then dropped behind Ingo Hoffmann, and a Porsche led for the first time.

The ex-PK Sport was under pressure from Michael Vergers in the Radical Turbo, with the Racing Box Viper a solid fifth: these five were on the same lap after two hours.

Then the troubles began for the R&S: it pitted for a long inspection and to repair a gearbox problem. The prototype returned to the track, but then had a small accident with the Eduardo Souza Ramos driven (the Ingo Hoffman car) Porsche, the driver of the 911 being the President of Mitsubishi Motors Brazil. The R&S pitted again for bodywork repairs, lost positions aplenty, and then retired soon afterwards with an electrical problem.

The next of the front-runners to retire was the Audi. The car had been suffering with brake problems, and after a long pitstop, the car came out of the pits and Xandinho Negrão, the son of the car’s owner, had a big crash. The driver was fine, the car wasn’t.

The Racing Box Chrysler Viper, FIA GT driver Fabrizio Gollin at the wheel, was the fastest car on the track. But before the lead changed, Ronaldo Ferreira - now at the wheel of the ‘Ingo Hoffman car’ - pitted the Porsche with an engine problem, which turned out to be a race-ending misfire.

The Radical Turbo was struggling with its turbo, and the official MCR entry was in gearbox bother: there were mechanical woes affecting a good number of the starters, including the ‘strange’ Porsche 914, which was a non-finisher.

The only problem for the Viper at the front – with an ever increasing lead – was a stop and go penalty for making contact with a slow Aldee Spyder. Into second place came the ex-PK Porsche, the car running “faultlessly” according to Mike Pickup (calling from Sao Paulo Airport). He pointed out that this car had qualified on pole last year, but only just made the top ten this time. “The machinery this year was significantly quicker, but we came through in the end – although we couldn’t match the Viper’s pace.”

The Austrian Red Bull sponsored BMW M3 of Duller Motorsport was an excellent third at the finish, driven by Peter / Quester / Wolff / Engelhorn. Three of them will be at Daytona on Wednesday, ready to drive the BE Ferrari 360.

Result
1 Stefano Zonca / Angelo Lancellotti / Fabrizio Gollin - Chrysler Viper GTS-R 374 Laps
2 Paulo Bonifácio / Ricardo Etchenique / Nonô Figueiredo / Maurizio Sala - Porsche 911 GT3-R + 7 laps
3 Dieter Quester / Philipp Peter / Toto Wolff / Klaus Engelhorn - BMW M3 + 15 laps
4 Otavio Mesquita / Marcos Barros / Luiz Zattar / Sérgio Magalhães - Porsche 911 GT3-R + 18 laps
5 Amaury Pires / Marcio Sciola / Mauricio Monte Aldee Spyder VW AP + 28 laps
6 Valmir Benavides / Duda Pamplona / Michael Vergers - Radical Susuki + 29 laps
7 Richard Canny / Alam Hellmeister / Jason Oliveira - Aldee Spyder VW AP + 35 laps
8 Guilherme Spinelli / Maurício das Neves / Beto Giorgi / Michael Vergers - Radical Suzuki + 39 laps
9 Moises Severo / Marcos Fantinati / Fred Fungaro - Aldee Spyder VW AP + 39 laps
10 Heinz Jurgen Halle / Eurico Sodré / Luciano Rocco - Aldee Spyder VW AP + 57 laps.

 

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