Ferrari Motor Ferrari Challenge News

24 March 2007

Round 1 - Zhuhai - Kumpen and Collard fastest in first free practice


The first 80-minute practice season of the year was close and varied, with rain showers and a wet track making things even more interesting, with slick, intermediate and wet tyres all being used.  Four different makes led the session, with Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Maserati and finally Corvette all taking their place at the top of the times.  But in the end it was the Corvette C5R of Kumpen and Longin – victorious here in 2005 – which set the best time. In GT2, BMS Scuderia Italia started its first GT2 season with the best time, for Collard in the nr 97 Porsche 997 GT3 RSR.
In the damp early part of the session, Barwell’s Aston Martin DBR9 set the best time of 1:37.901, Jonny Kane at the wheel.  He was followed by Bouchut in the nr 7 Lamborghini, and the leading GT2 car, the BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche 997 of Collard and Malucelli.

Twenty minutes into the session, the rain started to come down heavily and all cars pitted for rain tyres  This continued for approximately thirty minutes, before the conditions began to dry, and more improvements were seen. Bertolini in the nr 11 Scuderia Playteam Sarafree improved to second overall behind Kane, while Busnelli, in the nr 74 Ebimotors Porsche, took the lead in GT2. 
Five minutes later, the lead finally changed, with Menten putting the nr 8 Lamborghini at the front, improving to 1:36.570.  He was displaced by Wendlinger in the nr 33 Jetalliance Racing Aston Martin.  Lechner, in the team’s second car, improved to third.  The next car to lead the time sheets was a Maserati MC 12, the nr 2 Vitaphone car in the hands of Miguel Ramos.  With twelve minutes to go, a fourth brand took the lead : Deletraz, in the nr 5 Carsport Holland Corvette, set a time of 1:33.135.  At this stage, four makes were in the top five, separated by just a second.  Ramos further improved, going under the 1:33 barrier to 1:32.567.  Towards the end of the session, just before the rain started up again, Anthony Kumpen set the best time with a lap of 1:32.274 in the PK Carsport Corvette C5.  The nr 2 Vitaphone Maserati was second, ahead of the nr 5 Corvette C6 of Hezemans and Deletraz, with the nr 11 Playteam Maserati fourth.  Jetalliance's Wendlinger and Sharp were fifth and the first Aston, ahead of the team's second car.
In GT2, after the early Porsche dominance, the dry sector saw the Ferrari cars improve, with Bruni in the nr 51 AF Corse Motorola car setting a time of 1:36.760 fifteen minutes before the end, and the nr 63 Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari second.  But the best time remained in the hands of the Porsches, with the nr 97 BMS Scuderia Italia Porsche of Collard and Malucelli setting a time of 1:35.765. In GT2, Collard led the nr 51 AF Corse Motorola Ferrari of Bruni and Ortelli, with Kirkaldy third for Scuderia Ecosse.
There were problems for the nr 62 Scuderia Ecosse car, which blew an engine, rear left suspension issues for the nr 19 PSI Corvette and transmission problems for the nr 22 Aston Martin Racing BMS car.


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