FIA GTs: Dutch Viper wins in Hungary

In blisteringly hot and humid conditions, Mike Hezemans and Jeroen Bleekemolen made up for all their reliability woes at the start of the season by winning round six of the FIA GT Championship at the Hungaroring today (Sunday)

FIA GTs: Dutch Viper wins in Hungary

Sporting a smart new paintscheme on the Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper for the first time, and opting for a standard tank in a bid to halt its fuel pressure problems which has blighted its year, the Dutch duo led from start to finish, barring a couple of laps after its first pit stop when Didier Defourny led in his Belmondo-run Viper.

Hezemans streaked away from the start, as fellow front row man Jamie Campbell-Walter appeared to bog down and was swallowed up by the pack, which included Alain Menu's debuting Prodrive Allstars Ferrari 550 Maranello. Menu dived down the inside of Julian Bailey's Lister and Christophe Bouchut's Larbre Chrysler Viper in true touring car style.

The Swiss briefly grabbed second, but had to yield to Bouchut on the exit. Bailey got past Menu on lap two and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen did likewise in the second Carsport Holland Viper a few tours later. Bailey then relieved Bouchut of his second position on lap 10 at the first turn.

Campbell-Walter took several laps to find a way past the scarlet machine, which demonstrated prodigious straightline speed. Once ahead, Jamie battled his way past Bleekemolen, pulled a smart move to pass Bouchut at Turn Two, and grabbed second from the sister car of Bailey on lap 17.

Menu was the first big retirement when his Ferrari coasted to a halt in the pit lane entry on lap 20: "The engine just cut out, the fuel alarm came on and that was it, no fuel pressure. It was going pretty well. I was pacing myself and I think we could've done pretty well."

The next big name forced out was the charging Campbell-Walter. He chanced upon a trio of battling Porsches when the first of them spun and caused chaos behind, the upshot being JC-W collecting the spinning Haberthur Porsche of Mauro Casadei/Stefano Zonca/Marco Spinelli and wrecking the front end of his Lister Storm.

The safety car was called upon to clear up the mess and, if Lister's day wasn't bad enough, Nicolaus Springer was held at the end of the pits for a lap after he took over from Bailey. Also losing a lap in similar circumstances was Jean-Philippe Belloc, who was in for Bouchut. Both cars dropped to the tail of the field as a result, and Springer lost further time by spinning off at the restart.

Leader Hezemans elected not to stop under the yellows, and did so under green to hand over to Jeroen Bleekemolen, allowing Defourny to lead until his pit stop on lap 48.

That allowed the second Carsport Holland Viper of Seb and Mike Hezemans up to second, until Mike made an unscheduled stop when he misread a pit signal, and his son wasn't ready to take over so soon.

That allowed Bouchut to grab second place with 20mins to go, but he could do nothing about catching the leading Carsport Holland Viper, especially after partner Belloc hit a backmarker and spun: "The car is very, very good, the best it's been all year," said Belloc.

Bailey clawed his way back to fourth place to give the Lister team some cheer, snatching the position from Vincent Vosse/Boris Derichbourg in the final laps. The sister Belmondo Viper of Defourny/Anthony Kumpen was forced to make a second pit stop during which the car stalled and dropped to sixth.

David Terrien and Christian Pescatori won the N-GT class, despite tough challenges from the Porsches of Sebastien Dumez and Fabio Babini.

1 Mike Hezemans/Jeroen Bleekemolen, Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper, 3 hours
2 Christophe Bouchut/Jean-Philippe Belloc, Larbre Chrysler Viper, +1m21.646s
3 Sebastiaan Bleekemolen/Michael Bleekemolen, Carsport Holland Chrysler Viper, +1 lap
4 Julian Bailey/Nicolaus Springer, Lister Storm, +1 lap
5 Vincent Vosse/Boris Derichebourg, Belmondo Chrysler Viper, +1 lap
6 Anthony Kumpen/Didier Defourny, Belmondo Chrysler Viper, +1 lap

David Terrien/Christian Pescatori, JMB Competition Ferrari 360 Modena

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