Date posted : April 21. 2013
The second round in the 2013 FIA GT Series was held on the famous Zolder circuit in Belgium, with the action starting on Friday, April 19 with two free practice sessions that allow both drivers and team engineers to fine tune their cars before the actual race on Sunday.
No less than 22 cars would battle for a pole position during the qualifying sessions later one, however on Friday the weather in Zolder didn't play along too well, Peter Kox told journalists "It was not worth risking too much for us when the rain came this afternoon. The forecast is good for the rest of the weekend so it made sense to be cautious and save the car. Prior to that it was all very constructive to us. We have done two races immediately before this which has been good for the team to bond back together after a long winter. We made some useful mechanical changes to the car before the rain came so all in all it was a constructive day for us."
On Saturday the number 24 entry, being the white Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 (FL2 stands for Face Lift 2 by the way) driven by Peter Kox and Stefan Rosina was able to top the Superpole times during the qualifying sessions in the morning so they would be starting in pole position for the qualifying race in the afternoon. Peter Kox was able to put down a fastest lap in an impressive 1m29.398s on the Zolder circuit, which is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year ... as is Automobili Lamborghini SpA ... so this is a perfect performance for the Gallardo GT3 FL2, a race car which has been developed between Reiter Engineering and Lamborghini Squadra Corse.
Back in the pits Peter Kox commented "It was a good job by all the team, in qualifying. We are in great shape and Stefan did a nice job with his lap in Q2. My Superpole laps were smooth and we have found a good mechanical balance and a lot of work over the last few weeks. I think it will be busy in the race this afternoon but for sure we are starting in the best place to form a strong result."
Next to the Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 will be a beautiful the McLaren MP4-12C driven by 9-times World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb and Alvaro Parente who managed to follow the Raging Bull only 0.3 seconds behind.
Despite starting in pole position, the Gallardo GT3 FL2 could keep up the pace and lost the victory in the qualifying race to an Audi R8 LMS Ultra driven by Stephane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor, still a second place being only 10 seconds behind in this important stint was nothing to be embarased about as Stefan Rosina mentioned "This is the first time for me here in Zolder, so I am really happy with the result so far. I didn´t expect the Audis to be so close to me after the start. My expectation was to move ahead and have some clear laps before they get faster and catch me. At the end of my stint I had to calm down a bit as my rear tyres were losing grip. But tomorrow we will start from the front row and obviously we will fight again for the lead. In Qualifying we had shown that we are fast and in the race everything can happen."
Sunday afternoon was the moment things got really important in Zolder, the Audi R8 LMS Ultra started in pole position with the Gallardo GT3 FL2 next to it ... in the first minute Peter Kox managed to take the lead in the race in the first corner of the 60-minute race. Kox managed to take a five second lead over the competition when he made the mandatory pit stop handing over the wheel to Stefan Rosina.
Thanks to the perfect teamwork of the Lamborghini Blancpain Reiter pitcrew Rosina managed resume the race ... in the lead. During the hour from start to finish the Zolder race turned very nerve wrecking ... the five second lead of the Lamborghini was the only thing keeping Laurens Vanthoor behind the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra from victory after Kox managed to pass his teammate right at the start of the race.
In fact Vanthoor managed to catch up with the Raging Bull after fifty minutes ... with only 10 minutes remaining a fierce battle started between Vanthoor, a local hero, and Rosina ... who wasn't going to make any mistakes steering the mighty V10 Bull over the Zolder track. The battle was only resolved at the final corner of the race as the Lamborghini powered out of the Jacky Ickx chicane took the chequered flag by less than half a second ... leaving two Audi R8 behind ...
After the race Stefan Rosina mentioned "Yesterday, I could not stand the pressure from Laurens (Vanthoor) because he really drove well. Today, when I saw the good job that Peter did, I knew it was going to be a bit easier. Obviously, when you have such a fast car flashing (lights) a lot behind you it is hard, but I tried not to look at the mirrors so much. It was a great drive from Laurens and I was happy to keep him behind today."
There was also a second Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 competing in Zolder, the GRT Grasser Racing Team car number 25 driven by H. Proczyk and D. Baumann secured a 10th position in the qualifying race after 39 laps and a total race time of 1:01:48.326 ... the winning Gallardo also did 39 laps but managed to finish after 1:00:57.072 ... only about 50 seconds ahead of the second Raging Bull.
Quotes source : FIA GT Series
Text © Mark Smeyers - www.lambocars.com
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