SAN LUIS SERVES UP A CLASSIC!
By Lewis James Houghton
Nov 24, 2008, 10:42
In soaring temperatures the inaugural race at the stunning Potrero de los Funes circuit pushed the Scuderia Ecosse team to the limit throughout the final round of the 2008 FIA GT Championship during what turned out to be an exciting and incident packed race that thrilled the large and enthusiastic Argentinean crowd.
With first corner traffic throwing the GT2 category into a muddle Fabio Babini took advantage of the chaos to skilfully move up through the field and on to the tail of the early leaders. However, lap 18 saw Fabio pick up a puncture to his left rear forcing an earlier than planned pit stop and driver change to Jamie Davies. Before this incident Fabio was well placed in fourth position but the subsequent delay caused by the puncture and pit stop effectively ended the team’s hopes of a podium finish.
Jamie tried hard to maintain the earlier race pace set by Fabio before handing the battle scarred car ‘62’ back to Fabio for his final stint with 32 minutes of the race remaining. As the flag fell for the last time this season seventh place and a further two points were added to the teams tally and fifth place secured in the 2008 GT2 Championship
Before heading home Fabio Babini said, ”After all the chaos of the start my first stint was really encouraging and I was able to move up to fourth which was a really good position to be in before the first pit stops. When I picked up the puncture on the left rear tyre I just lost so much time getting back to the pits. The team did a fantastic job in turning the car around in the crushing heat and it is real disappointment for us, and Pirelli, not to be on the podium today. It has been a fantastic experience to race here and I’d like to thank all the team for all their hard work this season.”
Jamie Davies added, ”It was a tough race here in the heat and dust of South America and unfortunately the puncture set us back too far. Our race pace proved what a great job the team and Pirelli have done throughout this season and it has been a pleasure working with them all.”
Immediately after the race Stewart Roden said, “It is a real shame that we suffered a puncture so early on in the race because the car was in great shape and we had the pace to really challenge the front runners. It should have been a great result for us. Pirelli did a good job again with consistent tyres and the set up we achieved suited this amazing new track. Once again, elements out of our control put paid to a strong finish here at the season finale. It has been a tough season with close racing throughout but we will be back next year ready to fight for the top spot again!”