SWISS RACING TEAM: MODERATE SUCCESS IN SPA DESPITE SECOND BEST TIME IN FREE PRACTICE SESSION

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FIA GT1 Worldchampionship 2010, RD 5 SpaFIA GT1 World Championship
Spa – Francochamps (Total 24 Hours of Spa)
July 29th – August 1st, 2010

The fifth FIA GT1 World Championship race took place at the traditional track in Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) last weekend. Twelve teams competed with a total of 24 cars in the dream cars league. Swiss Racing Team (CHE) started with two NISSAN GT-R’s and their usual pilots: Karl Wendliner (AUT) / Henri Moser (CHE) with starting number 3 and Seiji Ara (JAP) / Max Nilsson (SWE) with starting number 4.

The free practice session took place under cloudy skies and the track was wet at the beginning. Japanese pilot Seiji Ara braved the conditions and reached the second best time behind Vitaphone’s Maserati and in front of Mad-Croc-Racing’s Corvette. The second NISSAN GT-R reached P20 in the free practice session.


In the pre-qualifying session the drivers faced difficult weather conditions, alternating between heavy showers and sunny periods. However, the team and the pilots managed the cars well and reached P7 (Ara/Nilsson) and P13 (Wendlinger/Moser).

According to GT1 regulations the pilots that are named first for the individual cars start the qualifying session. Those are Karl Wendlinger and Seiji Ara. Wendlinger failed to reach the Top16 in Q1. Therefore he did not qualify the NISSAN #4 for Q2 which would have been Henri Moser’s stint. “Seiji did a great job and qualified the car for Q2 with P12,” says Erich Kolb, SRT’s teammanager. “However, we did not reach all of our goals that day.” Swedish pilot Max Nilsson participated in Q2. However, he was not able to gain places and finished in P15.

The qualifying race took place in dry conditions but again was not very successful for the Swiss team, reaching P16 (#3) and P17 (#4).

The pace in the main race on Saturday was good. The team had made some changes in the setup which had a positive impact. All in all, it shows a good development for the second half of the season. During the start Seiji Ara and Mad Croc Racing’s Corvette #12 touched which destroyed the valve of the left front tyre. Without pressure the tyre rolled off the rim almost completely. Therefore he had to come in for an unscheduled tyre change and lost almost an entire lap. After the driver change Max Nilsson got on track during a safety car phase and was able to catch up with the field. His car drove across the finish line in P16 and at the end of the race he reached very good lap times.
Wendlinger/Moser managed their NISSAN well. Wendlinger started from P19 and reached P12 during the race. Since the crew responsible for the tyre change did an excellent pit stop Moser took over in P10. Four cars formed a group fighting each other. In the end Henri Moser had to settle for P12 and therefore did not score any point. Henri Moser happily, “I noticed that the car worked much better today. I have a good feeling for the next race.”

For the next race at the Nürburgring (27th –29th August, 2010) the team aims to place both cars in the Top10 and to finally score some points again.

Quelle: mmr/motioncompany

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