2012 FIA GT1 : Nogaro - Double Nogaro joy for Ortelli and Vanthoor

2012 FIA GT1 - Nogaro Winners : Stephane Ortelli / Laurens Vanthoor - #32 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - Audi R8 LMS

WRT made it two out of two in the 2012 season today, when Stephane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor claimed victory in the first Championship race of the season, at Nogaro, in France.  Ortelli's last win in the FIA GT Championships was in 2007, at Nogaro, when he won the GT2 category with Gianmaria Bruni. Bright sunshine and big crowds, this first event of a new era saw the two Audi R8 LMS cars finish in first and second places, with Frank Stippler and Oliver Jarvis taking second. 

The final podium place went to Tomas Enge and Albert von Thurn und Taxis in the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo No.24.

After a brilliant opening stint from Enge on a greasy Circuit Paul Armagnac, von Thurn und Taxis held off the late challenge of the No.4 Hexis McLaren of Alvaro Parente and Gregoire Demoustier at the finish.

Pole-sitters Toni Vilander and Filip Salaquarda in the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia No.3 were fifth.
Enge made a storming start from seventh on the grid, throwing the LP600 around the Circuit Paul Armagnac with little regard for the tricky conditions. The Czech driver assumed the lead as early as the fourth lap and led until the pit stop/driver change.

As the track began to dry, von Thurn und Taxis held the lead momentarily but was eclipsed by both Audis as they proved equal to the drying conditions to open their 2012 account in emphatic style.

What the drivers say …

Laurens Vanthoor, Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS No.32 (1st) 

“It was a fantastic race, I must say I was quite nervous at the beginning because this was the my first race in a GT car with a roof over my head. It is a little bit more comfortable – and I didn’t get wet.
“We had a good race - it was a difficult start for me because I had to adapt to the situation and it was difficult to pass the Ferrari but once I got past I got into my rhythm and I slowly got closer to Tomas Enge.

“After the pit stop, Stephane (Ortelli) did an excellent job, he was very fast and he did not hesitate at all when making a pass and he finished the job in the perfect way.”

Stephane Ortelli, Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS No.32 (1st) 

“It is such a great win for us, I cannot believe we won the first race. We had been testing on Tuesday in the damp and we did not expect to have a car that would cope as well in these conditions. We have a very good car, it was really consistent in the wet.

“I have to congratulate Tomas (Enge) he did a fantastic job, it was really good to watch. Winning the race is a dream start, and making it a one-two for Audi is just amazing.”

Frank Stippler, Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS No.33 (2nd)

“This is a great results. I’m proud to be part of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, this is a good team to be in for the world championship and I hope that we can have a strong season.”

Oliver Jarvis, Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS No.33 (2nd) 

“I think we have had a very strong start in very difficult conditions for everyone, but I think it is very close out there, we have some great teams and some great drivers, I think it will be a close season. In other conditions, at other tracks you’re going to see other teams win and other drivers doing well.”

Tomas Enge, Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 No.24 (3rd)

“I was really surprised how well the Lamborghini handled. I had quite a wet track and Albert (von Thurn und Taxis) had drying conditions so it was much trickier for him. We had a good pit stop and Albert drove really well to secure third position. We hope to continue like this for tomorrow and the following races.”

Albert von Thurn und Taxis, Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 No.24 (3rd)

“It was quite difficult in the end because as the track was drying up the car was proving more and more difficult to handle. As the line became dry I was struggling to keep the rear tyres in shape. I’m very happy to keep the McLaren behind us to finish on the podium. This is more than I expected from my first world championship race. I am delighted.”

2012 FIA GT1 - Round 1 Nogaro - Race result

Pos Car Class Drivers Car Time Laps Gap Avg
1 32 GT1 Stephane Ortelli / Laurens Vanthoor Audi R8 LMS 1:00:26.801 40
2 33 GT1 Frank Stippler / Oliver Jarvis Audi R8 LMS 1:00:30.532 40 3.731
3 38 GT1 Marc Basseng / Marcus Winkelhock Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG 1:00:31.222 40 4.421
4 37 GT1 Nicky Pastorelli / Thomas Jäger Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG 1:00:33.167 40 6.366
5 4 GT1 Enzo Ide / Francesco Castellacci Ferrari 458 Italia 1:00:45.726 40 18.925
6 3 GT1 Toni Vilander / Filip Salaquarda Ferrari 458 Italia 1:00:48.032 40 21.231
7 25 GT1 Darryl O Young / Peter Kox Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 1:00:48.483 40 21.682
8 24 GT1 Albert von Thurn und Taxis / Tomas Enge Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 1:01:02.035 40 35.234
9 9 GT1 Mike Parisy / Matt Halliday Porsche 911 GT3 R 1:01:16.420 40 49.619
10 18 GT1 Yelmer Buurman / Michael Bartels BMW Z4 GT3 1:01:27.108 40 1:00.307
11 17 GT1 Nikolaus Mayr-Melnhof / Mathias Lauda BMW Z4 GT3 1:01:32.609 40 1:05.808
12 7 GT1 Maxime Martin / Alexej Vasiliev Aston Martin DBRS9 1:01:53.968 40 1:27.167
13 6 GT1 Andreas Zuber / Sergey Afanasyev Aston Martin DBRS9 1:01:00.764 39 33.963
14 10 GT1 Milos Pavlovic / Matteo Cressoni Ford GT 1:01:31.666 38 1:04.865
15 8 GT1 Benjamin Lariche / Ren Wei Porsche 911 GT3 R 1:00:35.910 37 9.109
16 2 GT1 Gregoire Demoustier / Alvaro Parente McLaren MP4-12C 29:07.047 18 31:19.754
17 1 GT1 Frederic Makowiecki / Stef Dusseldorp McLaren MP4-12C 4:39.611 3 55:47.190

Images : 2012 FIA GT1 - Round 1 Nogaro


[Source : FIA GT1 - Official]


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