Can Dome beat the Ferraris at Brno?

The FIA Sportscar Championship kicks back into life in the Czech Republic this weekend with another entry of top quality sports prototypes set to do battle around the undulating 3.5-mile track

Can Dome beat the Ferraris at Brno?

Many of the FIA teams excelled at Le Mans a fortnight ago, and will be keen to carry on that momentum in this race that marks the halfway point in the championship. So far this year Ferrari have swept the board with BMS Scuderia Italia taking two wins and the unique GLV Brums Ferrari-Judd taking that unforgettable victory at the Monza 1000kms.

But the question on everyone's lips at the moment is: can the Domes of Racing For Holland and Den Bla Avis Goh come to the fore at Brno? They proved to be among the fastest cars at Le Mans, bar the all-conquering Audis.

Jan Lammers' Racing For Holland outfit shook La Sarthe with fourth place on the grid and a sensational early stint that saw the experienced Dutchman briefly take the lead. Jan's young team mate Val Hillebrand certainly thinks that Brno could be the race that the Japanese car challenges for the win: "We're really looking forward to this race. I think from what we did at Le Mans we will fear nobody here, and both Jan and I are really pumped up."

Newbury-based Den Bla Avis Goh also made their mark at Le Mans with the red and white S101-Judd running as high as fifth at one stage. For team principal and driver John Nielsen, Brno will be a race where he will want to banish the memory of Spa, where he and team mate Hiroki Katoh led for so long only for a broken damper to cost them a certain win.

A new high downforce aerodynamic package will be used by the team this weekend and Nielsen is hopeful that the developments will bring his and the cars first win in the championship: "It should make a lot of difference to the car at Brno which is essentially a tight circuit. The package has been tested in the wind tunnel in Japan with positive results so we should be in good shape."

Team Ascari are long overdue their first victory with the sleek A410-Judd, and Brno marks a year since their debut when they actually led, albeit it for a single lap. Werner Lupberger and Ben Collins both emerged as real stars at Le Mans a fortnight ago after lapping faster than Audi luminaries like Johnny Herbert and Dindo Capello at times.

But the Prancing Horse will be out to maintain its 100 percent winning record so far this year, with both BMS Scuderia Italia and GLV Brums looking for another 20 points. Scuderia Italia lead the teams championship by 12 points from GLV Brums whilst in the drivers table Marco Zadra has a 10 point lead.

Two teams that have yet to fulfil their potential are R&M Riley & Scott and the Kremer Racing Lola. Each has impeccable driver line ups with R&M partnering 1994 Le Mans winner Mauro Baldi with ex-Arrows F1 star Alex Caffi. With 92 Grand Prix starts between them, the pair has already struck up a solid partnership in the Judd-powered car. The team will also benefit from having respected engineer Renato Moscati attend his first race with the team this weekend.

Kremer Racing's Sam Hancock and Gary Formato will be hoping for better fortunes in the Lola-Roush after problems have blighted their season. The Cologne-based outfit have won just about every sportscar race there is, but that will be of little consolation to Sam and Gary at the moment as they strive to get their first results of the season.

The supporting SR2 class has all the ingredients for another close and exciting scrap with at least five cars in with a realistic shot of taking the class win at Brno, so it's all to play for here.

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