ProSpeed Competition claims deserved podium place in home race

ProSpeed Competition claims deserved podium place in home race

20.10.2008: ProSpeed Competition claims deserved podium place in home race

FIA GT – Round 9: ZOLDER – Belgium

ProSpeed Competition had a highly intense weekend on home ground during the penultimate round of the FIA GT-championship in Zolder. The Markus Palttala – Marc Lieb duo finished in an excellent third place, just ahead of Manu Collard and Richard Westbrook. "Unfortunately both teams were hindered by race incidents, because otherwise the result would have been even better", Rudi Penders commented after the race. "At the start Marc Lieb was delayed by cars sliding off track and Manu Collard was brutally hindered by a competitor losing valuable time. But overall we have enjoyed and rounded off a pretty good weekend."

A mere two weeks after the race in Nogaro, the eighth round of the FIA GT championship, the last round of the season for the European FIA GT-competition was on the calendar. Circuit Zolder was hosting the strongest GT championship in the world, which meant a home race for ProSpeed Competition.

As per usual the team worked on the car’s set-up during the free practice sessions and as previously proven this season, this bore its fruits. Both ProSpeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs finished in an excellent second and third place after a short but highly intense qualifying session. Manu Collard finished in 2nd, just in front of his German colleague Marc Lieb.

Collard: "The team carried out their work to perfection and the car was great. There’s not much more I can add to that." During the FIA GT press conference the German Marc Lieb confirmed this. "In addition it is important that we score as a team, because the team needs the points in the championship", he added.

Unfortunately for Marc Lieb the start was not as expected. "A couple of cars spun just ahead of mine, I had to avoid them and became rather closed in. I obviously lost valuable time and had to get going on a catch-up race. My car could not have been better and I was soon back amongst the leading pack. Markus then drove a great middle stint and I was able to finish off the job. We finished third, this as the result of an incident our team-mates were involved in, and they finally finished fourth."

Markus Palttala was also highly pleased with his fist podium. "I’m satisfied with this third spot after a season that has been plagued by bad luck throughout. I hope that my regular team-mate, Mikael Forsten has performed equally well in the GP Jumping held in Helsinki."

Richard Westbrook and Manu Collard had fought nail and tooth for victory until "I was brutally pushed off", the Frenchman told us after the race. "Jamie Davis braked far too late when cutting into the chicane by the start-finish and hit me hard at the rear. I spun around and had to wait an instant before I could get back on to the track. If it had not been for that incident a second place would have been on the books. But notwithstanding that we’re lying third in both the drivers as also the teams championship, and we’ll do everything in our power to move up a place in Argentina."

The FIA GT cars will now be heading off for Argentina, where the final round of the championship is being held on 22nd and 23rd November.

Race FIA GT2

1. Vilander/Bruni AF Corse Ferrari F430

2. Ruberti/Malucelli BMS Scuderia Ferrari F430

3. Palttala/Lieb ProSpeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

4. Collard/Westbrook ProSpeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

...

 

-JF Van Laere - also photos

more photos on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS - FIA GT

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20.10.2008 / MaP

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