FFSA GT – Albi – Race 1 Report
The first race was held late on Saturday afternoon, in stifling heat, and resulted in another Viper win, this one for the Lease Plan Autovitesse car of Stephane Lacroix-Wasover and Anthony Beltoise.

Gaël Lesoudier, from pole in the Red River Viper, lost out to David Hallyday (Force One Viper) on lap 2, and Lesoudier was overtaken successively by Fiat (DDO Saleen), Bornhauser (VBM Viper), Moureu (Mirabeau Viper), Vannelet (PSI Porsche) and then Lebon (SRT Corvette). Bruno Hernandez and Gérard Bleynie soon retired after a big accident, Bleynie’s Viper briefly catching fire.

David Hallyday escaped in the lead, Patrick Bornhauser built on his second place, but the Saleen stopped on track with a fuel pump problem: François Fiat turned on his spare pump and the Saleen started up again, resuming in 21st place, a lap behind the leaders.

It was the start of the problems for the leaders, for now Yvan Lebon, who was third, stopped his SRT Corvette, his V8’s oil pressure too high.

By the 23rd minute, Hallyday had a 20 seconds lead ahead of Bornhauser, then Vannelet and Lesoudier, and nearly all leaders then pitted. The pitlane was so congested that some drivers lost some time. Bruno Besson took over from Hallyday and was now in the lead, ahead of William David. Unfortunately, Olivier Thévenin’s substitute then made a mistake, losing considerable time.

Alone at the head of the field, Bruno Besson had only to save his 30 seconds lead, from Sébastien Dumez (Larbre Viper), Romain Bera (PSI Porsche), Anthony Beltoise (Lease Plan AutoVitesse Viper), Jean-Philippe Belloc and a lively field comprising Cayrolle, Porta and Clérico. Beltoise then chased furiously after Bera and took third, which became second when Dumez stopped his Viper with a broken radiator.

The last stages of the race were eventful too. Dominique Dupuy was fastest man on the track, was moving up very quickly. Emmanuel Clérico shone, fighting with Jean-Philippe Belloc, after he had passed Cayrolle and Porta. The fight for fourth place between Belloc and Clérico then became third place when Bera had a front right puncture on the Porsche.

The last two laps were highly eventful: Bruno Besson had battery problems, and his Viper was dying, so Anthony Beltoise inherited the lead, ahead of Clérico, who had made a fine comeback, and Belloc who then ran out of petrol and was passed by Dominique Dupuy in the Saleen. The two sick Vipers driven by Besson and Belloc still managed to finish fourth and sixth, split by Olivier Porta. In the championship
standings, Dumez / Blanchemain saved their lead, 12 pts ahead of Bornhauser, but the Lease Plan Autovitesse team was very pleased with its first FFSA GT win. .

Moullin-Traffort / Rabineau claimed an easy win in the N-GT Trophy, ahead of Mouez / Prunet. In the French Cup, after a strong fight, the Lopez / Charriol Lamborghini took the win, ahead of Rumpler / Peyroles and Makowiecki / Dedours, who are now leaders in the Cup standings.
Claude Foubert / Fred Espinos

Race 1 Result
1 11 Lease Plan Autovitesse LACROIX WASOVER Stéphane BELTOISE Anthony Chrysler Viper GTS--R 1 GT 44 1:00:45.948 155.230 1:17.470 27 166.035
2 6 MTO Mirabeau Compétition HERBERT Patrick CLERICO Emmanuel Chrysler Viper GTS-R 2 GT 44 1:00:57.185 11.237 154.753 1:18.146 31 164.599
3 7 D D O FIAT François DUPUY Dominique Saleen 3 GT 44 1:01:03.931 17.983 154.468 1:16.901 31 167.264
4 10 Force One HALLYDAY David BESSON Bruno Chrysler Viper GTS-R 4 GT 44 1:01:32.316 46.368 153.281 1:17.950 6 165.013
5 30 Tarrès Team HAUCHARD Frédéric PORTA Olivier Porsche 996 Bi-Turbo 5 GT 44 1:01:34.848 48.900 153.176 1:19.654 21 161.483
6 12 Red Racing LESOUDIER Gaël BELLOC Jean Philippe Chrysler Viper GTS-R 6 GT 44 1:01:44.874 58.926 152.761 1:18.829 24 163.173
7 8 V B M BORNHAUSER Patrick DAVID William Chrysler Viper GTS-R 7 GT 44 1:01:54.343 1:08.395 152.372 1:18.275 25 164.328
8 3 MTO Mirabeau Compétition MOUREU Didier CAYROLLE Eric Chrysler Viper GTS-R 8 GT 43 1:00:51.731 1 Trs 151.462 1:19.157 4 162.497
9 32 Nourry Compétition RABINEAU Thierry MOULLIN TRAFFORT Morgan Porsche 911 GT3 RS 1 NGT 43 1:01:33.026 1 Trs 149.768 1:21.176 30 158.455
10 21 Wieth Racing STEPEC Thierry BALANDRAS Richard Ferrari 550 Maranello 9 GT 43 1:02:10.974 1 Trs 148.245 1:19.985 24 160.815

 

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