FIA race halted due to rain

The second round of the FIA GT Championship only lasted twenty-three laps before torrential rain caused it to be stopped.

FIA race halted due to rain

The rain in Estoril started before Saturday's second qualifying session, and continued through the warm-up, meaning that the race was declared wet.

"I have never seen weather like this in Portugal," local hero Ni Amorim commented.

Julian Bailey led away from pole in the Lister Storm, while Peter Hardman, in the second Lister, collided with Vincent Vosse in the leading Paul Belmondo Racing Chrysler Viper.

Bailey pulled out a lead, followed by the pack of Vipers, with Vosse recovering to take fifth.

While Bailey suffered from problems with his rear brakes, Vosse pulled up to second place, and had closed to within 4 seconds of the leader when the rain set in and the Safety Car was brought out.

On the 24th lap, the race was stopped.

"The circuit became undriveable, and I thought that the safety car could have come out a couple of laps earlier," Bailey said, after being awarded victory - and half points - in the race.

He was followed, as in Valencia, by the two Paul Belmondo Racing Vipers, with the Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper, driven by David Hart and Mike Hezemans, in fourth.

Cor Euser, in the Marcos Mantara LM600, worked his way up to sixth place, for the final half-point, after started from the back row of the grid after the cancellation of his first qualifying times.

Former Mercedes factory driver Christophe Bouchut took his second N-GT category win in the Larbre Competition Porsche 996 GT3 he shares with Patrice Goueslard.

He was followed by a hard driving Luca Riccitelli in the RWS Porsche, rising from last on the grid.

Category pole holder Michel Neugarten took the final podium place in the G-Force Porsche.

In the points, Bailey and Campbell-Walter lead the GT drivers, while the Lister and Paul Belmondo are equal with fifteen points in the Teams classification.

Goueslard and Bouchut lead N-GT with their Larbre Competition team dominating the N-GT teams points.

The next round is at Monza on April 16th.

1 1 14 GT Bailey/CampbellWalter Lister Lister Storm 23

2 6 12 GT Belmondo/Vosse Belmondo Chry. Viper 23

3 3 11 GT Gosselin/Derichebourg Belmondo Chry. Viper 23

4 4 25 GT Hezemans/Hart Carsport Chry. Viper 23

5 5 1 GT Amorim/Watson Chamberlain Chry. Viper 23

6 27 19 GT Euser/Vann Marcos Marcos Manta 23

7 8 3 GT Kaufmann/Ortelli Freisinger Porsche 911 23

8 14 52 NGT Bouchut/Goueslard Larbre Porsche 996 23

9 2 15 GT Springer/Hardman/Favre Lister Lister Storm 23

10 28 77 NGT Höfer/Riccitelli/Willems RWS Porsche 996 23

11 13 51 NGT Smith/Neugarten G-Force Porsche 996 23

12 17 56 NGT O'Rourke/Sugden/Day EMKA GTC Porsche 996 23

13 16 10 GT Martinolle/Lagniez Belmondo Chry. Viper 23

14 15 50 NGT Wallinder/Nearn G-Force Porsche 996 23

15 7 2 GT Brun/Seiler Chamberlain Chry. Viper 23

16 19 67 NGT Villamil Orti MAC Porsche 996 23

17 9 21 GT Cappellari/Matteuzzi/ZadraRacing Box Chry. Viper 23

18 12 4 GT Hane/Palmberger Freisinger Porsche 911 23

19 24 53 NGT Chereau/Arhle Larbre Porsche 996 22

20 20 28 GT Felbermayr/Felbermayr RWS Porsche 911 22

21 21 36 GT Monteiro&Monteiro Estoril Porsche 911 22

22 25 66 NGT Frigerio/Rapetti MAC Porsche 996 22

23 26 32 GT Werner/Piattier Seikel Porsche 911 22

24 22 27 GT Sabatini/Spinelli Autorlando Porsche 911 22

25 23 8 GT Vuillaume/Meloni/Esteves Haberthur Porsche 911 22

26 18 7 GT Reid/Reid/Casadei Proton Porsche 911 20

27 10 5 GT Konrad/von Gartzen Konrad Porsche 911 11

28 11 22 GT Wieth/Wieth Wieth Porsche 911 1

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