FIA GT: Hezemans and Hart win in Italy

Carsport Holland took their first FIA GT Championship win today, after a thrilling see-saw race over 500 km of the Italian track of Monza. Their Chrysler Viper GTS-R, driven by Dutchmen Mike Hezemans and David Hart completed the 87 laps in 2 hours 43 minutes.

FIA GT: Hezemans and Hart win in Italy

Hezemans started from pole, pulling away ahead of Wolfgang Kaufman in the leading Freisinger Porsche and a charging Julian Bailey in the Lister Storm. He managed to maintain the lead for the first fifteen laps before Bailey overhauled him.

The Lister began to pull out a lead, until Bailey started to run out of fuel. "I had a small kick at the back chicane, and managed to get back to the pits. But the brakes were getting worse and worse, and I went off a couple of times," the Championship leader commented.

Regaining the lead after the pit-stops, David Hart, taking over from Hezemans, was being chased by Jamie Campbell Walter when they had a slight coming together, although both cars carried on their way. "I'd turned my mirrors away, because of the glare from the Lister's lights, so I didn't realize he was there," Hart explained. "He moved to the left, and I dived down the inside, and as he didn't see me, we clashed," Campbell-Walter agreed.

The Lister pulled back into the lead, passing the ailing Freisinger Porsche, which suffered from misfires and vibrations throughout the race, and looked sure of taking their third successive victory. However, ten laps from the end, gearbox troubles meant the car was stuck in second gear. Bailey nursed the car across the line in third place. "I had no option - I just went as fast as I could in second," he said. With neither Paul Belmondo Racing Vipers finishing in the points, Lister now lead the Team Championship, with Bailey leading the Drivers championship.

Hezemans was delighted with his first win, while Kaufman achieved his wish of improving on his 1999 3rd place. "I'll have to win next year," he commented. French veteran Bob Wollek was not surprised with their excellent finish. "I knew, from testing last year, that the Porsche could do a 1:47 or 1:48 at this track. If we'd been really lucky, we could have won."

The N-GT battle was every bit as good as the fight for the overall win, with a stunning dogfight between the Porsches of Tim Sugden and Michel Neugarten during their first stint. Victory had looked like going to the #50 G-Force Porsche 996 GT3, until their engine overheated, leaving their team-mates Neugarten and Smith to take the win. "You know, the car was fantastic, and we had a nice strategy. The first hour was fantastic," Neugarten commented. Sugden and O'Rourke took the second place for EMKA GTC, "We were very competitive today," Sugden commented. "The Pirelli tyres were so close to the Michelins this weekend - Pirelli are putting in a lot of effort, and the new tyres really made a difference." Valencia and Estoril winners Bouchut and Goueslard finished third, having made their way up from the back of the grid after problematic qualifying sessions.

The next round is at Silverstone, on May 14th.

Monza results

1 Hezemans/Hart, Viper 87

2 Kaufmann/Wollek, Porsche 911 87

3 Bailey/CampbellWalter, Lister Storm 86

4 Brun/Seiler, Viper 86

5 Lafon/Jarier,Viper 86

6 Martinolle/Lagniez, Viper 85

7 Sabatini/Spinelli/Villa, Porsche 911 84

8 Smith/Neugarten, Porsche 996 84

9 Rourke/Sugden/Day, Porsche 996 83

10 Bouchut/Goueslard, Porsche 996 83

shares
comments
De Ferran rues race collisions

Previous article

De Ferran rues race collisions

Next article

Dario Franchitti writes for Autosport.com

Dario Franchitti writes for Autosport.com
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020