FFSA GT, Albi Report (1) – September 9-10
PSI From Pole

Race 1 Qualifying
Initially Gael Lesoudier (#29 Red Racing Lister Storm) set the quickest time, but we had to wait for a few minutes before seeing the lap imes really improving. With the weather being very hot, most of drivers chose not to run too many laps to save their tyres. Kuismanen (#25 PSI Corvette C6.R) then ran some flying laps and claimed the pole position. No one could improve on his lap time.

Yvan Lebon (#27 SRT Corvette C5-R) was then second quickest, ahead of Police, Bornhauser (#1 VBM Viper) and Debard (#14 Tarrès Team Viper). As usual, the last few minutes determined much of the grid. Bornhauser succeeded in improving and was eventually second quickest, ahead of Lebon. Hernandez (#9 Anaveo Oreca Saleen S7R) improved too in spite of 80 kg of ballast and was in fourth place, ahead of Soave (#26 SRT Corvette).

In the GT2 Trophy, Michel Lecourt (#36 IMSA-MATMUT Porsche 996 GT3 RSR) set the pole, with a large gap over Cabanne (#44 Ruffier Racing Dodge Viper GT3).

Race 1
From the pole position, Pertti Kuismanen was the best starter, ahead of Bornhauser (VBM Viper), Lebon (SRT Corvette) and Hernandez (ANAVEO Oreca Saleen).

Behind them, Soave (SRT Corvette) had some trouble containing Police (#22 CD Sport Viper), Dubreuil (#23 CD Sport Viper) and Blanchemain (#11 Euroflash Autovitesse Viper). Meanwhile, Balthazard (#2 SOFREV Larbre Ferrari 550 Maranello) had an off in the Parc corner. He managed to start again, but had to retire a few laps later.

After ten minutes, Bornhauser, the defending champion, passed Kuismanen who remained very close. There was a five seconds gap between Bornhauser, in first place, and Hernandez in fourth, while Soave was in fifth place, ahead of Police, Fiat (#3 Protek Saleen), Lagniez (#12 Mirabeau Viper) and Peyroles (#5 First Racing Viper).

On the 14th lap, Hernandez passed Lebon and for third place. Kuismanen was the new leader when he succeeded in passing Bornhauser at the end of the finish line, one lap before the driver changes. Most of the leading cars pitted, except for Patrick Bornhauser. In the pits, Bouchut who had taken over from Lebon, made heavy contact with Giroix's #4 First Racing Viper, both drivers having to retire.

So, after the driver changes, Palttala (#25 PSI Experience Corvette C6.R) was in the lead ahead of Thévenin (#1 VBM Viper) who was soon passed by Soheil Ayari (#9 ANAVEO Saleen). Four men were fighting for fourth place: Eric Cayrolle (#26 SRT Corvette), Mathieu Zangarelli (#12 Mirabeau Viper), Frédéric Makowiecki (#18 Mirabeau Viper) and Dominique Dupuy (#3 Protek Saleen).

Ayari used the traffic to close on Palttala. He tried to pass him, but the Finn resisted and Ayari chose to wait for the end of the race to attack him again. However, Dominique Dupuy had an off and crashed his Saleen in the exit of the Armand Brouzes curve, owing to a mechanical failure.

The race was red flagged ten minutes of the end, and Palttala / Kuismanen were winners ahead of Ayari / Hernandez and Bornhauser / Thévenin.

Raymond Narac and Michel Lecourt (IMSA Porsche) were winners once again in the GT2 Trophy. Their main contenders, the Monteiro brothers, had to withdraw their Porsche before the race owing to engine trouble during the practice session.

Markus Palttala: “We had some small troubles with the car and once we’ve solved them, I believe that we'll run faster tomorrow. I had an eight second lead on Ayari, but I lost so much time in the traffic. Soheil came close and could have passed me because he was a bit quicker. He tried to overtake once, we had a small contact, but this is racing. I am really disappointed for Dupuy's Saleen. We're going to fight race after race, because I think that it will be too difficult to claim the title."

With thanks to Frédéric Espinos and Olivier Loisy, with images by David Fontayne.

Race 1 Result
1 PALTTALA M / KUISMANEN P PSI Expérience Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1 46:36.112

2 AYARI S / HERNANDEZ B Oreca Saleen S7-R GT1 46:36.711 0.599
3 BORNHAUSER P / THEVENIN O V B M Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 47:00.724 24.612
4 DUPUY D / FIAT F Protek Saleen S7-R GT1 47:11.205 35.093
5 BLANCHEMAIN J L / DUMEZ S Euroflash Autovitesse Chrysler Viper GTS--R GT1 47:09.784 1 Trs
6 GAVANT P / VANNELET G Sport Garage Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 47:12.779 1 Trs
7 CORMERECHE D / PORTA O Tarrès Team Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 47:01.173 2 Trs
8 DEBARD E / LASSERRE L Tarrès Team Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 47:12.217 2 Trs
9 NARAC R / LECOURT M IMSA Performance - MATMUT Porsche 996 RSR GT2 47:31.921 2 Trs
10 SIMON L / DEMIGNEUX C Pouchelon Racing Dodge Viper GT3 C2 47:52.407 2 Trs
11 PEREIRA E / CABANNE G Ruffier Racing Dodge Viper GT3 GT2 46:58.556 3 Trs
12 LESOUDIER G / TINSEAU C Red Racing Lister Storm GT1 47:36.233 3 Trs
13 RODRIGUES M / RODRIGUES J Hexis Racing Porsche 996 Cup C1 47:46.157 3 Trs
14 BRANDELA R / STEPEC T Ruffiier Racing Porsche 996 Cup C1 46:30.276 4 Trs
15 BOURGOIN B / BRIGAN E G C R Porsche 996 Cup C1 46:39.534 4 Trs
16 DUBREUIL B / BERVILLE R CD Sport Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 46:54.510 4 Trs
17 WOSNIAK D / BAYSSIERE F Supercars Porsche 996 Cup C1 47:26.450 5 Trs
18 MAKOWIECKI F / POLICE J C MTO Mirabeau Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 39:28.832 6 Trs
19 SOAVE T / CAYROLLE E S R T Chevrolet Corvette C5-R GT1 40:00.000 6 Trs
20 HELIAS C / PEYROLES A First Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 47:30.068 6 Trs
21 LAGNIEZ J C / ZANGARELLI M MTO Mirabeau Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 34:24.508 10 Trs
22 NOURRY M / DESTEMBERT P CD Sport Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 36:49.278 11 Trs
23 GIROIX F / TUCHBANT D First Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 30:45.910 15 Trs
24 MOULIN TRAFFORT M / RABINEAU T Pelsi Racing Toyota Bi-Turbo GT2 36:32.310 16 Trs
25 DECULTO C / LEPREUX C First Racing Porsche 996 Cup C1 27:21.712 17 Trs
26 CHAMARAUD P / CHAMARAUD A Centre Porsche Lorient Porsche 996 Cup C1 30:59.831 18 Trs
27 LELIEVRE F / POLETTE P IMSA Porsche 996 Cup C1 21:54.450 20 Trs
28 LACOSTE Jean Pierre JPL Sport Moteur Mercedes CLK Silhouette C3 16:24.244 24 Trs
29 COLAS F / GUIOD T Pilotage Passion Dodge Viper C2 11:23.903 29 Trs
30 MILOE J / MILOE J L Red Racing Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 41:23.092 29 Trs
31 MOUEZ E / PRUNET C Protek Porsche 911 GT3 RS GT2 10:22.986 31 Trs
32 POLICAND J / BALTHAZARD G Larbre - SOFREV Ferrari 550 Maranello GT1 4:04.143 32 Trs


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