Spanish GT Report – Barcelona, November 14
Balfe & Taylor By A Point
As briefly reported yesterday, Shaun Balfe and Nigel Taylor were
crowned the new Spanish GT Champions, after the final round of the
season at Barcelona. Miguel Angél de Castro and Angel Burgueño
won the two hour race, but second place for the British team was
enough for them to clinch the title – with a one point of
were present to see the action...
Miguel Angél de Castro beat everybody in the Meycom Marcos
LM600. He lapped in 1:45.748 against the 1:46.469 of Matheiu Zangarelli
's Chrysler Viper GTS-R. The British Mosler was just sixth quickest,
two seconds slower than the Marcos stars, but the Balfe Motorsport
crew knew that they would have an endurance race on their hands
on Sunday, not a sprint race.
de Castro made a flying start (Ah, no he didn't - Burgueño
pitted as the rest began racing, to hand over to de Castro). It
was an interesting race for the Spanish GT runners up team. Behind
the X-Box sponsored Marcos, the public had the opportunity to see
a lot of small battles, until the first of two pit-stops.
the middle of the race, the positions were already defined: the
Marcos was fastest and the Spaniards had only to manage the advantage
after their fabulous start. The Balfe Mosler MT900R was ten seconds
behind, but secure in second, and far enough ahead of the French
Viper and the two Porsche 911 GT3-Rs from ASM Team and Motor Competition.
The second part
of the race didn’t really come alive: it was static as far
as the significant positions, and the Meycom Marcos finished up
ahead - but it wasn't an easy
victory for the Marcos. Shaun Balfe was all over it, but had to
back off after being brake tested on the back straight for five
laps: de Castro seemed desperate to put the Mosler back in third,
even though the third placed car wasn't scoring points. Balfe almost
followed the LM600 across the line, but the British team could return
to United Kingdom with a wonderful trophy or two.
really starting to worry when he began weaving as everything had
gone according to plan up to that point,” explained Balfe.
“I told the team over the radio as soon as he started and
it went on for about five laps before we went to the Clerk of the
Course who then gave them a warning. After that, he decided to keep
a constant pace and it was a case of following him home."
The first of
four MTO Chrysler Viper GTS-Rs was third in the end but in terms
of championship points, the third podium position belonged to the
ASM Team. The Portuguese team claimed third position in the championship
Manel Cerqueda and Luiz
Perez de Sala took the GTB title. The Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge
squad leaders were too strong for everybody and at the same time
they benefited from their opponents’ misfortunes.
Finally, in GTC, Francesc
Robert won the race and the crown with his reliable old Porsche
1st De Castro / Burgueño (Meycom) Marcos LM 600 60Laps
2nd Balfe / Taylor (Balfe) Mosler MT900R +2.469
3rd Zangarelli / Hernández (MTO Mirabeau) Chrysler Viper
4th Amaral / Couceiro (ASM) Porsche 996 GT3-RS +1:22.841
5th Monzón / Case (CANARIAS SPORT) Ferrari 360 Modena N-GT
6th Makowicki / Dedoors (MTO Mirabeau) Chrysler Viper GTS-R +1L
7th Villarroel / Saldaña (Villarroel) Porsche 996 GT3-RSR
8th Nevoa / Ermolli (MASTERCAR) Ferrari 360 Modena N-GT +1L