Zonta/Kechele dominate in Spain
|By Gary Watkins||Sunday, October 24th 2010, 09:27 GMT|
Reiter Lamborghini drivers Frank Kechele and Ricardo Zonta dominated this morning's FIA GT1 World Championship qualifying race at the Navarra circuit.
Kechele converted the pole position won by Zonta into the lead of the race and was able to pull away from second-place Nico Verdonck's Hegersport Maserati with ease. He was nearly seven seconds ahead when the pitstop sequence began in the middle of the one-hour race.
Zonta emerged from the pits only a couple of seconds clear of Alessandro Pier Guidi, who had taken over from Verdonck, but the Brazilian was able to edge clear over the remainder of the distance. The former grand prix driver crossed the line with three and a half seconds in hand.
Kechele said: "I had a good start: the Lambo has good acceleration, so it was quite easy for me to keep the lead. I tried to make some solid fast laps in the beginning and then tried to save the car."
The Marc VDS Ford team notched up its best finish of the season with third place for Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin. Martin took the chequered flag just over a tenth clear of the Matech Ford Neel Jani shared with Nicolas Armindo.
Championship leaders Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels made it through from their disappointing seventh-row grid position to take seventh in the Vitaphone Maserati.
Pos Drivers Car Time/Gap 1. Zonta/Kechele Lamborghini 1h01m02.750s 2. Pier Guidi/Verdonck Maserati + 4.548s 3. Martin/Leinders Ford + 34.111s 4. Jani/Amindo Ford + 34.243s 5. Campbell-Walter/Hughes Nissan + 37.406s 6. Longin/Muller Maserati + 42.316s 7. Bertolini/Bartels Maserati + 50.127s 8. Bouchut/Basseng Lamborghini + 56.593s 9. Makowiecki/Clairay Aston Martin + 1m04.704s 10. Westbrook/Mutsch Ford + 1m07.495s 11. Hennerici/Margaritis Corvette + 1m21.127s 12. Bobbi/Palttala Ford + 1m22.663s 13. Ara/Nilsson Nissan + 1m26.128s 14. Wendlinger/Moser Nissan + 1 lap 15. Huisman/Kuismanen Corvette + 1 lap 16. Dumbreck/Krumm Nissan + 2 laps 17. Kox/Haase Lamborghini + 4 laps Retirements: Schwager/Pastorelli Lamborghini 13 laps Turner/Enge Aston Martin 6 laps Hirschi/Piccione Aston Martin 4 laps