Lister victory in action-packed final round

Despite heavy opposition from the Carsport Holland and Paul Belmondo teams, Lister Storm Racing managed to hold on to both the FIA GT teams' and drivers' championships, with Julian Bailey and Jamie Campbell-Walter taking their fifth win of the season

Lister victory in action-packed final round

Hezemans and Coronel took second place for the Carsport team, while the leading Belmondo car of Paul Belmondo and Marc Duez took third - both in Chrysler Vipers.

A thrilling race took place over 106 laps of the Magny-Cours Grand Prix circuit. However, one of the main players was left stranded at the start, when Marc Duez punted his team-mate Boris Derichebourg into the gravel on the first lap.

Campbell-Walter took an early lead ahead of Hezemans in the Carsport Viper, but was forced to pit for a ten second stop/go penalty for overtaking under yellow flags. Hezemans was in close pursuit of Duez's Lister, but a recurring fuel problem that has plagued the team all weekend, forced an extra pit stop leaving the Duez/Belmondo Chrysler Viper in the lead.

Julian Bailey took over in the Lister storm and an excellent stint saw him move back up the order and into the lead. After the Carsport team's final pit-stop, Tom Coronel came out around thirty seconds behind the Lister, and began to push. He was the fastest man on the track and was taking almost three seconds a lap out of Campbell Walter's lead.

With eight minutes to go, the flying Dutchman was trailing the Lister by six seconds. Three laps later he had closed to within 0.8s, unfortunately, that was too close.

"I wanted to get really close so that I could out-brake Campbell-Walter," said Coronel, "but I lost downforce, broke too late and went all the way through the gravel bed - I felt like Colin McRae!" He recovered to cross the line in second place minutes later.

Former BTCC driver Peter Kox put in an excellent performance after joining the Carsport Holland team for this race. The Dutchman ran towards the front of the field before his team mate David Hart put the car in the gravel.

"I'm really happy," said Kox. "I drove a bit under the limit as I'm not yet 100 per cent confident with the car. I think we could have finished on the podium, so it's a shame the race finished that way, but I'm still pleased with my performance."

The N-GT race went once more to the season's dominant team, new N-GT champions, Larbre Competition, with their leading drivers Christophe Bouchut and Patrice Goueslard. Their main opponent, the RWS Red Bull Racing number 77 Porsche, was delayed after Luca Riccitelli sustained a puncture early in the race, after a collision with a Porsche GT2 car.

The RWS team recovered from an early pit stop to take second place in both the race and the championship, with third place going to Britain's Nigel Smith and Swedish driver Magnus Wallinder after a steady drive in the G-Force Porsche 996 GT3-R.

Bouchut was extremely pleased with his weekend's work, as he won two Porsche Carrera Cup races to take the French Championship as well as winning the N-GT race and titles. Wolfgang Kaufmann, who won both French GT rounds this weekend with his team-mate Cyril Chateau, had a more problematic FIA GT race, stopping to fix a throttle cable by the side of the track before recovering to finish sixth.

Michel Ligonnet took the final N-GT race in the Haberthur Porsche, despite his team mate and owner of the car, Jean Charles Cartier, never having driven in a race before. Running third in the class for part of the race, Cartier dropped back and was overtaken by French veteran Bob Wollek at the final corner. Cartier finally finished an extremely happy sixth.

The 2001 season starts at Monza next April. "Next year, I hope we don't leave it this late to win the titles," Julian Bailey said afterwards. "I can't stand the tension!"

FIA GT Round 10 - Magny Cours

1 2 14 GT Bailey/Campbell-Walter Lister Lister Storm 106
2 3 25 GT Hezemans/Coronel Carsport Chry. Viper 106
3 6 11 GT Duez/Belmondo Belmondo Chry Viper 106
4 5 10 GT Kumpen/Gosselin Belmondo Chry Viper 105
5 1 15 GT Springer/Favre Lister Lister Storm 104
6 8 3 GT Kaufmann/Trunk Freisinger Porsche GT2 102
7 13 22 GT Wieth/Wieth Wieth Porsche GT2 102
8 10 52 NGT Bouchut/Goueslard Larbre Porsche GT3 102
9 14 77 NGT Riccitelli/Quester RWS Porsche GT3 102
10 17 50 NGT Wallinder/Smith G-Force Porsche GT3 101
11 15 27 GT Sabatini/Spinelli/Villa Orlando Porsche GT2 100
12 20 64 NGT Neugarten/Perrier/RichardPerspective Porsche GT3 100
13 16 79 NGT Hofer/Wollek RWS Porsche GT3 100
14 26 60 NGT Ligonnet/Cartier Haberthur Porsche GT3 100
15 28 55 NGT Bertoli/Rapetti ART Porsche GT3 99
16 21 57 NGT Colloni/Mancini ART Porsche GT3 99
17 23 53 NGT De Lesseps/Arhle/Chereau Larbre Porsche GT3 98
18 24 71 NGT Kulemann/Alliot JMB Ferrari 360 96
19 27 36 GT Monteiro/Monteiro Monteiro Porsche GT2 95
20 22 70 NGT Pescatori/Pregliasco/LambJMB Ferrari 360 94

Lister on pole for FIA GT decider
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