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 advantage!

58,000 spectators were present to see the action...

In qualifying, 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.

Miguel Angél 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.

dailysportscar.comIn 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.

“I was 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 too.

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 996 Cup.
Sergio Fonseca

1st De Castro / Burgueño (Meycom) Marcos LM 600 60Laps
2nd Balfe / Taylor (Balfe) Mosler MT900R +2.469
3rd Zangarelli / Hernández (MTO Mirabeau) Chrysler Viper GTS-R +1:10.825
4th Amaral / Couceiro (ASM) Porsche 996 GT3-RS +1:22.841
5th Monzón / Case (CANARIAS SPORT) Ferrari 360 Modena N-GT +1:30.745
6th Makowicki / Dedoors (MTO Mirabeau) Chrysler Viper GTS-R +1L
7th Villarroel / Saldaña (Villarroel) Porsche 996 GT3-RSR +1L
8th Nevoa / Ermolli (MASTERCAR) Ferrari 360 Modena N-GT +1L


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