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24 Heures Du Mans; The 'Shopper Preview - GT

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On: Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 11:38AM | By: John Welch

24 Heures Du Mans; The 'Shopper Preview - GT

Zany mix-ups are always good for a laugh. Sometime around 2007, the entire world stopped caring about GT1 cars. Saleen, Maserati, even Aston Martin quit backing factory teams, and the mighty Corvette C6.R's were left to race each other. This whole "no competition" thing bored the hell out of CorvetteRacing, and they did what any self-respecting group of total-badasses would do: went andfound competition. With the American squad changing classes to GT2, that left no teams building or campaigning GT1 cars. It had become too expensive, too fast, too antiquated. GT1 was no longer relatable by 2009, the underbody aero-dynamics and carbon brakes just too costly for privateer teams. What to do, what to do . . .

Along came French driver Stephan Ratel, with is slicky-boy hair and his radical plans for molding GT1 into a relevant, global racing series. We will get further into the FIA GT1 World Championship and it's spectacular website later; all we need to know at the moment is that Ratel's plan would essentially create bigger GT2 cars. The under floor diffusers and carbon brakes would be shelved (just like a GT2 car,) and weight added to each car. Some of these new GT1 machines are specially built based on the rules, the Nissan GT-R's for instance, and some competitors are 'grandfathered' in. Start with a GT1 C6.R, take away all of it's aero-tricks, throw a sandbag or two in the trunk, and voila- new GT1 car. It could be argued that "New GT1 Car" stands for "Porky GT2 Car" and that the two classes being so closely matched should add up to some freaking amazing racing. It could also lead to some horrifying wrecks, as there are 8 cars entered in GT1 and an unprecedented 17 entries in GT2. Jeebus, that’s a lotta GT cars! Traveling at the same speeds! For 24 hours! 

We've got hard numbers inside the post. Qualifying times for all 26 GT entries, and possibly an image or two . . .

GT1 Qualifying

1.) 52 LMGT1 M Young Driver AMR - ENGE, Tomas / NYGAARD, Christoph / KOX, Peter Aston Martin DBR9 3:55.025

2.) 70 LMGT1 M Marc VDS Racing - LEINDERS, Bas / PALTTALA, Markus / DE DONCKER, Eric Ford GT Matech 3:55.356

3.) 60 LMGT1 M Matech Competition - MUTSCH, Thomas / GROSJEAN, Romain / HIRSCHI, Jonathan Ford GT Matech 3:55.583

4.) 73 LMGT1 M Luc Alphand Aventures - JOUSSE, Julien / GOUESLARD, Patrice / MAASSEN, Xavier Corvette C6.R 3:58.810

5.) 72 LMGT1 D Luc Alphand Aventures - POLICAND, Jerome / GREGOIRE, Stephan / HART, David Corvette C6.R 3:58.906

6.) 61 LMGT1 M Matech Competition - GACHNANG, Natacha / ALLEMANN, Cyndie / FREY, Rahel Ford GT Matech 4:01.628

7.) 50 LMGT1 M Larbre Competition - GARDEL, Gabriele / BERVILLE, Roland / CANAL, Julien Saleen S7R 4:03.175

8.) 69 LMGT1 Y JLOC - YOGO, Atsushi / IIRI, Hiroyuki / YAMANISHI, Koji Lamborghini Murcielago 4:05.170

GT2 Qualifying

1.) 82 LMGT2 M Risi Competizione - KAFFER, Pierre / MELO, Jaime / BRUNI, Gianmaria Ferrari F430 GT 3:59.233

2.) 64 LMGT2 M Corvette Racing - GAVIN, Oliver / BERETTA, Olivier / COLLARD, Emmanuel Corvette C6 ZR1 3:59.435

3.) 63 LMGT2 M Corvette Racing - O CONNEL, Johnny / MAGNUSSEN, Jan / GARCIA, Antonio Corvette C6 ZR1 3:59.793

4.) 95 LMGT2 M AF Corse SRL - ALESI, Jean / FISICHELLA, Giancarlo / VILANDER, Toni Ferrari F430 GT 3:59.837

5.) 77 LMGT2 M Team Felbermayr Proton - LIEB, Marc / LIETZ, Richard / HENZLER, Wolf Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 4:01.640

6.) 76 LMGT2 M IMSA Performance Matmut - PILET, Patrick / NARAC, Raymond / LONG, Patrick Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 4:02.014

7.) 78 LMGT2 D BMW Motorsport - MULLER, Jorg / FARFUS, Augusto / ALZEN, Uwe BMW M3 4:01.893

8.) 97 LMGT2 M BMS Scuderia Italia SPA - HOLZER, Marco / WESTBROOK, Richard / SCHEIDER, Timo Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 4:02.014

9.) 89 LMGT2 H Hankook Team Farnbacher - FARNBACHER, Dominik / SIMONSEN, Allan / KEEN, Leh Ferrari F430 GT 4:02.427

10.) 80 LGT2 M Flying Lizard Motorsports - NEIMAN, Seth / LAW, Darren / BERGMEISTER, Joerg Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 4:02.685

11.) 79 LGT2 D BMW Motorsport - PRIAULX, Andy / MULLER, Dirk / WERNER, Dirk BMW M3 4:03.215

12.) 83 LGT2 M Risi Competizione - KROHN, Tracy / JONSSON, Nic / VAN DE POELE, Eric Ferrari F430 GT 4:03.959

13.) 85 LGT2 M Spyker Squadron - DUMBRECK, Peter / CORONEL, Tom / BLEEKEMOLEN, Jeroen Spyker C8 Laviolette 4:04.057

14.) 92 LGT2 D JMW Motorsport - BELL, Robert / MILLER, Bryce / SUGDEN, Tim Aston Martin Vantage 4:04.303

15.) 75 LGT2 M Prospeed Competition - VAN SPLUNTEREN, Paul / HOMMERSON, Niek Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 4:10.017

16.) 88 LGT2 M Team Felbermayr Proton - FELBERMAYR, Horst Jr / FELBERMAYR, Horst Sr Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 4:10.054

17.) 81 LGT2 Y Jaguar RSR - GOOSSENS, Marc / GENTILOZZI, Paul / DALZIEL, Ryan Jaguar XKR GT2 4:12.431

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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