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FIA GT1 World Championship
Paul Ricard HTTT (FRA) July 2nd – 4th, 2010

The fourth round of the FIA GT1 World Championship took place at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track in Le Castellet in the south of France with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius.

Swiss Racing Team started with their two NISSAN GT-R’s with starting numbers 3 and 4. Ara’s/Nilsson’s GT-R (#4) achieved the expected result and was able to compete in the second qualifying session on Saturday. In Q2 the duo managed to win start position 16 for the qualifying race.

The Swiss team wanted Wendlinger’s/Moser’s car to reach Q3. However, the qualifying did not go as hoped. They did not reach Q2 and the car started the qualifying race from the eleventh row.

Henri Moser (CHE) had a good pace and handed the car over to Karl Wendlinger (AUT) at P14 after a good pit stop. Wendlinger was forced to do an additional pit after two laps because his right front tyre was damaged after a collision. Shortly after, the Austrian got a 10 second stop and go penalty from race control because he obviously caused two collisions. The team did not get an explanation why he got this penalty. Therefore Wendlinger was not able to deliver any more results. He finished in P21.

The second team with Seiji Ara (JAP) and Max Nilsson (SWE) managed the NISSAN GT-R well and reached P12 in the qualifying race P12, a good starting position for Sunday’s race. “I fought really hard and I feel that the balance of the car is getting better and better. But I also feel that it is still understeering,” says Seji Ara.

During the start of the race on Sunday the rear of Seiji Ara’s GT-R (#4) was damaged. However, it had no influence on the course of the race. He showed a great performance and good lap times. Competing at P8 he was struck by a Corvette. This time the gearing was damaged. Consequently the race was finished for this car in lap 10, even before the driver change.

Wendlinger started with used tyres and therefore could not gain places. Henri Moser took over with the car being in P19. Moser started with new tyres and again showed a good pace. At the end of the race it was still the same pace as the top group. However, he was too far away to score points. He finished the race in 15th place.

“It is just a pity that Seiji Ara had the crash. Therefore a top result was impossible for us. We had already lost a car in the qualifying. However, we managed to drive great lap times which show that we made good progress. All in all I am happy with the weekend. The cooperation with NISMO is great, we want the same thing,” says managing director Othmar Welti.

Erich Kolb, Swiss Racing Team’s teammanager: “It is quite disappointing. We finally had the speed and were stopped because of a crash. Seiji Ara was in 8th place behind Peter Dumbreck’s NISSAN GT-R (Sumo Power GT) who came in second and was forced out because of a collision with a Corvette. He was not able to put in the fourth gear anymore.
We are managing the balance better now and the drivers are happy with the cars. Henri was able to constantly drive good times with the new tyres. Now we just have to achieve better places in the qualifying”.

The next race will take place in Spa-Francorchamps at the end of July.

Quelle: mmr/motioncompany

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