Lister steals unexpected FIA GT win

Julian Bailey and Jamie Campbell Walter claimed a fourth win for Lister in the 2000 FIA GT Championship, after a close and thrilling three hour race at the Belgian track of Zolder.

Lister steals unexpected FIA GT win

Their win was far from straightforward, however, after the Lister Storm developed brake problems in the final stint, dropping Bailey behind a charging Marc Duez in the Belmondo Racing Chrysler Viper. With severe problems overtaking backmarkers, and having to drop down extra gears for every corner round the twisty track, Bailey was losing ground to Vincent Vosse in the other Paul Belmondo car, and it looked as if the Lister might have to settle for third.

However, in the last few laps everything changed. First Vosse had to make an extra splash-and-dash pit stop after a misunderstanding with the pits. Then Duez, who had a 30-second lead, lost a wheel. Reduced to a three-wheeler, he waited by the line for Bailey to take the chequered flag, eventually crossing the line in third, with Vosse and Derichebourg taking second for the French Paul Belmondo team.

"That's motor-racing," a clearly disappointed Marc Duez said.

"I didn't even know we'd won the race at the end!" Julian Bailey said afterwards, while Jamie Campbell Walter added "Sometimes, you just need some luck !"

Lister thus maintain their six point lead in the championship, with Bailey and Campbell Walter also leading the Drivers' Championship. The Freisinger Porsche, driven by Wolfgang Kaufmann and local driver Bert Longin, came in fourth, two laps down, after a steady race, with the Marcos, which came close to creating a qualifying sensation, in fifth, after strategy problems.

The N-GT category was won by RWS Porsche 996 GT3 line-up of Luca Riccitelli and Hans Willems. The team was fastest throughout the weekend, with Riccitelli claiming pole a full second ahead of championship category leader Christophe Bouchut, and they led from start to finish in the three-hour race. Bouchut, whose team-mate Goueslard was not well this weekend, was unable to keep up with the Italian's pace in the first stint, but in the final hour he began to put the pressure on the RWS car, which had lost a front spoiler and was understeering badly.

Closing by around three seconds a lap, Bouchut finally crossed the line 0.5 seconds behind the race leader, but remains in the championship lead.

"I had to drive at 110%," a delighted Riccitelli said afterwards, having given RWS their first win of the season, and his Belgian team-mate his first international win at his home track.

The Pennzoil Quaker-State G-Force team finished in third and fourth, maintaining their second position in the Championship, 11 points behind Larbre Competition. For their first FIA GT experience, British drivers Adam Simmons and Ian Gibbons finished seventh, just outside the points, in the Cirtek Porsche 996 GT3-R they shared with German driver Jürgen Lorenz.

"I drove more in one stint here than in three races in the British GT Championship," a delighted but exhausted Adam Simmons said.

The next round of the championship is at the Austrian A1 Ring, in two weeks time.

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