Lister on top in Italy

The factory Lister team continued to dominate proceedings in free practice for the third round of the FIA GT Championship at Monza

Lister on top in Italy

Julian Bailey and Jamie Campbell-Walter, winners at both Valencia and Estoril, ended the first session 0.2s ahead of the Belmondo Viper of Paul Belmondo and Vincent Vosse. Bailey predicted a close fight.

'The car is very good but he Vipers are quick on the straights,' he said. 'I think it is going to be a hard race and I hope it doesn't rain.'

The second session was indeed disrupted by rain. The previous round of the series at Estoril had to be abandoned due to a downpour before the first hour had been completed, and Vosse shared Bailey's concerns about the conditions.

'I hope that is doesn't rain because that will be very hard work,' he said. 'Already in the dry we are having to brake very early to avoid the N-GT cars because the speed difference is so big.'

Three more Vipers completed the top five: the Carsport Holland entry of David Hart and Mike Hezemans, the second Belmondo car driven by Boris Derichebourg and Claude-Yves Gosselin, and the the lead Chamberlain car of Toni Seiler and Walter Brun.

The other Chamberlian car had a troubled time. Frenchman Xavier Pompidou has taken the place of Ni Amorim alongside Stephen Watson in the car, but the pair were only eighth quickest. 2.8s off the pace and baffled as to the reason why.

They were 0.05s quicker than the Marcos of Cor Euser, now partnered by Harald Becker and Herman Buurmann after Christian Vann left the team. Euser, who won the British GT event at Croft last weekend, was fastest overall by 2.8s in the wet second session.

However, several drivers chose to stay in the pits rather than venture out onto the soaking track, and few went for a really quick time, giving the timesheets a somewhat surreal look.

The midfield Proton Porsche of Gerold and Christian Ried was second to the Marcos, with Bailey and Campbell-Walter only eighth fastest, a full 8.9s off Euser's pace. However, the Dutchman set his time before the rain became really heavy.

In the N-GT class, Christophe Bouchut and Patrice Goueslard were quickest, and 17th overall, in their Porsche 996, ahead of Luca Ricctelli's RWS Porsche and the EMKA entry of Steve O';Rourke and Tim Sugden.

The latter car was slowed by an oil leak in the first session but ended the wet afternoon session an heroic third fastest overall, a full 12s quicker than the next best N-GT car of Massimo Frigerio and Paulo Rapetti.

Leading times from Friday practice at Monza:









































































1


J Bailey


J Campbell-Walter


Lister


Lister Storm


1m47.004s


2


P Belmondo


V Vosse


Belmondo


Chrysler Viper


1m47.276s


3


M Hezemans


D Hart


Carsport


Chrysler Viper


1m47.421s


4


C-Y Gosselin


B Derichebourg


Belmondo


Chrysler Viper


1m47.749s


5


W Brun


T Seiler


Chamberlain


Chrysler Viper


1m48.203s


6


F Lafon


J-P Jarier


ART


Chrysler Viper


1m48.799s


7


N Springer


P Hardman


Lister


Lister Storm


1m49.156s


8


X Pompidou


S Watson


Chamberlain


Chrysler Viper


1m49.845s


9


C Euser


H Buurmann


Marcos


Marcos Mantara


1m49.897s


10


W Kaufmann


B Wollek


Freisinger


Porsche 911 GT2


1m50.228s

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