Spanish GTs – Jerez
A 13 point lead for the Balfe Mosler pairing of Shaun Balfe and Nigel Taylor - before the two Jerez races at the weekend (October 9-10) - was reduced to just nine before the final event next month, after the leaders went away with a win and a fourth, while Miguel Ángel de Castro and Ángel Burgueño took two second places.

The Mosler was victorious in race one, with Sunday’s second race going to Luis Monzón and Javi Díaz, in a Ferrari 360.

Balfe and Taylor beat Burgueño and de Castro by half a second in the first event, a late safety car period having wiped out a lead of almost ten seconds over the Meycom Marcos Mantara.

The lights went green well before Shaun Balfe expected them to, to start the race, which dropped him to third, but he passed the quick Ferrari and the first safety car spell allowed him to close right up to the Marcos. After the pit stops, Taylor was well ahead, and a second Spanish GT win looked safe, until the SC came out again – but Taylor hung on, and increased the championship lead to 17 points.

“After last year we are just taking every race as it comes and we’ll see how it finishes at the end of the year,” commented Shaun Balfe – referring to the bad luck he suffered at the final British GT race of 2003.

Notice that Alessandro Nannini didn’t race the Maserati, his place being taken by Nicola Larini (fifth overall).

Race 1 Result
1º. Nigel Taylor – Shaun Balfe (Mosler MT900R), 48'31.879 (24v)
2º. Miguel Ángel de Castro – Ángel Burgueño (Marcos LM 600), 48'32.416 (24v)
3º. Francesc Gutiérrez – Luis Villalba (Porsche GT3 RS), 48'39.216 (24v)
4º. Manuel Mello Breyner – Pedro Mello Breyner (Porsche 911 GT2), 48'44.452 (24v)
5º. Gianni Giudici – Nicola Larini (Maserati Trofeo), 49'13.292 (24v)
6º. Pedro Bastos – Armando Paes (Porsche 996 GT3 Cup), 49'22.923 (24v)
7º. Vicente Saez Merino (Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge), 49'23.919 (24v)
8º. Joao Terenas – Carlos Peres (Porsche 996 GT3 Cup), 49'24.597 (24v)
9º. Jean L. Maury-Larribere – Patrick Cartenet (Porsche GT3 RS), 49'32.767 (24v)
10º. Santiago Puig – Joan Vinyes (Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge), 48'41.823 (23v)

Sunday’s race was held in front of 25,000 spectators, victory going to the Ferrari of Luis Monzón / Javi Díaz (following the Mosler, below).

They’d taken the lead during the pit stops, with the Marcos second and a Porsche third – that of Miguel Amaral / Pedro Couceiro. Balfe was on a charge, ultimately just failing to catch the 911, but it couldn’t have been closer. As the pair exited the final hairpin onto the start/finish straight, the Mosler was inching closer: as they crossed the line, it looked like a dead heat, their race times being identical to a thousandth of a second – but the final podium position went to the Porsche.

The last round is a two hour race, at Barcelona.

Race 2 Result
1º. Luis Monzón – Javi Díaz (Ferrari 360 Modena N/GT), 45’16.547 (24v.).
2º. Miguel Ángel de Castro – Ángel Burgueño (Marcos LM 600), 45’34.295 (24v.)
3º. Miguel Amaral – Pedro Couceiro (Porsche GT3 RS), 45’42.237 (24v.)
4º. Shaun Balfe – Nigel Taylor (Mosler MT900R), 45’42.237 (24v.)
5º. Pedro Nevoa – G. Ermolli (Ferrari 360 N GT), 46’11.834 (24v.)
6º. Manuel Mello Breyner – Pedro Mello Breyner (Porsche 911 GT3), 46’17.569 (24v.)
7º. Ginés Vivancos – Ignacio Bultó (Seat Cupra GT), 46’18.319. (24v).
8º. Luis Villalba – Francesc Gutiérrez (Porsche GT3 RS), 46’18.537 (24v.)
9º. Jordi Serra (Seat Toledo GT), 45’24.848 (23v.)
10º. Lluis Llobet – Víctor Fernández Roca (Seat Toledo GT), 45’31.664 (23v).

Championship Standings
1º. Shaun Balfe, 212 puntos.
2º. Nigel Taylor, 212 puntos.
3º. Miguel A. De Castro, 203 puntos.
4º. Ángel Burgueño, 203 puntos.
5º. Miguel Amaral, 129 puntos.
6º. Pedro Couceiro, 129 puntos.
7º. Manuel Mello Breyner, 121 puntos.
8º. Pedro Mello Breyner, 121 puntos.
9º. Luis Villalba, 120 puntos.
10º. Francesc Gutiérrez, 120 puntos.


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