Spanish GT Championship - Valencia - September
There were no big surprises during the qualifying sessions in Spain.
The Ángel Burgueño and Miguel Ángel de Castro
Marcos LM 600 was very strong and no one could catch the Meycom
Sport team. In the first qualifying session, Cor Euser’s Marcos
LM 600 was close, but not close enough. Third quickest was a surprise,
a brand new SEAT Supra GT from Darro Motor Sport. The car had been
developed during the summer. For SEAT it was important to show that
the car was still competitive after a bad season so far.
In the second qualifying,
the Motor Competicion Porsche 911 GT3-RS driven by Francesc Gutiérrez
was second fastest, but much slower than the leading Marcos.
The GTB class was, as
usual a Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge kingdom. Former Formula One
driver Luis Perez de Sala and Vicente Sáez Merinos Ferrari's
were the fastest cars.
1 – Saturday Evening / Sunday Morning
There was a very bad start to the evening’s proceedings as,
just a few minutes after the start of the Saturday evening race,
a tremendous storm hit the Valencia circuit.
"It was like a river," noted
one driver, the race was red flagged and a decision was reached
to restart the second part
of what would become an aggregate race on Sunday morning.
The Darro Motor Sport
SEAT Cupra GT was leading the field at the time of the red flag,
but some of the leading contenders were already out of the race,
including the Championship leading Meycom Marcos LM 600, ASM Porsche
911 GT3-Rs, Saturn SEAT Toledo GT, Aspar SEAT Cupra GT and GTC class
leader Jorge Enriquez Venturi 400 Trophy.
The championship challenging
Balfe Motorsport Mosler had pitted to change from intermediates
to wet tyres and had avoided the worst of the on-track carnage,
albeit at the cost of track position for the second part of the
race, the red flag’s timing costing the team dearly as the
Mosler had climbed five places on the lap when the race was stopped.
Countback would see them lie in tenth for the start of the second
From the restart the Darro Motor Sport SEAT Cupra GT led until the
pit-stop with Shaun Balfe picking up places fast, handing over the
Mosler to Nigel Taylor in second place overall. Taylor would rejoin
the fray and drive a storming race to win the second segment of
the race on the road, but the aggregate result was what would count.
Gines Vivancos, taking
over in the SEAT couldn't defend his position from the Canarias
Island Ferrari 360 Modena N-GT driven by former F3000 driver Massimiliano
Montin and Luis Monzón.
Third place was eventually
claimed by the Mello Breyners’ Porsche, just ahead of the
British Mosler MT900R and Portuguese driver António Nogueira,
driving solo in a Porsche 911 GT2.
“We have to be
happy with the fourth place in the opening race as the tyre choice
and extra stop could have cost us a lot more if the race had continued
to the end,” said Balfe. “It gave us the chance to get
a better result and we only just missed out on the podium. We could
have done with a win as our rivals failed to score and it would
have helped our championship ambitions.”
The Saturday evening rain helped the ASM Team Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
driven by the Portuguese Gentlemen Drivers Armando Paes and Pedro
Bastos to their second GTB win of the season as the Ferrari army
were lost in the rain. The little Marcos Mantis finished second
in the class.
Angel Banus’s Audi
TT won the GTC class. The Ingolstadt machine was the only one of
the GTC class to cross the finish line.
1. Monzón - Monti (Ferrari 360 Modena N/GT), 53'20.800.
2. Vivancos - Gené (Seat Cupra GT), 53'28.730.
3. Mello Breyner - Mello Breyner (Porsche 911 GT2), 53'42.750.
4. Balfe - Taylor (Mosler MT900R), 53'56.101.
5. Nogueira (Porsche 911 GT2), 54'30.571.
6. Bastos - Paes (Porsche 996 GT3 Cup), 54'51.897.
7. Saez Merino - Van de Kolk (Marcos Mantis), 55'24.337.
8. Cerqueda - Pérez Sala (Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge),
9. Terenas - Peres (Porsche 996 GT3 Cup), 56'03.759.
10. Névoa - Fernández (Ferrari 360 N GT), 56'09.493.
second race saw a relatively uncomplicated and unchallenged victory
for the Meycom Marcos LM 600. Miguel Angel de Castro and Angel Burgueño
led from start to finish and finished 13 seconds ahead of the Balfe
Motorsport Mosler MT 900R. The British team may not have won either
of the weekend’s races but thanks to two strong finishes and
a DNF from the Meycom Marcos, they are the new leaders of the championship
with two points more than LM600 team. The Darro Motor Sport SEAT
Cupra GT was third and SEAT Sport may well consider their GT program
again in the light of the car’s improved form.
The Portuguese Porsche
army had little chance to battle for the overall lead but the ASM
team and Mello Breyners were very satisfied with the final result.
Neither the Porsche 911 GT3-RS nor the old warhorse Porsche 911
GT2 had the horsepower to keep on the Marcos, SEAT or Mosler pace.
Both teams are looking for new cars in 2005.
Santigo Puig and Javi
Díaz’s Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge won the GTB class
after a big fight with the similar car of Antonio Cutillas and Ricardo
García Galiano. Francesco Robert’s Porsche 996 Cup
achieved his first victory in the GTC class.
1. De Castro - Burgueño (Marcos LM 600) 46'48.452.
2. Balfe -Taylor (Mosler MT900R), 47'01.104.
3. Vivancos - Gené (Seat Cupra GT), 47'37.538.
4. Amaral - Couceiro (Porsche GT3 RS),
5. Mello Breyner - Mello Breyner (Porsche 911 GT2), 47'40.174.
6.Monzón - Monti (Ferrari 360 Modena N GT), 47'46.867.
7. Nogueira (Porsche 911 GT2), 48'03.101.
8. Névoa - Fernández (Ferrari 360 N GT), 48'19.397.
9. Puig -Díaz (Ferrari 360 Modena Challege), 48'46.160.
10. Cutillas - García (Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge), 48'56.160.
1. Nigel Taylor, Shaun Balfe, 164 points.
3. Ángel Burgueño, Miguel A. De Castro, 151.
5. Ginés Vivancos, Jordi Gené, 107.
7. Pedro Couceiro, Miguel Amaral, 107.
9.Luis Pérez Sala, Manel Cerqueda, 105.