Mikaël Grenier-Norbert Siedler win GT Open Race 2 in Barcelona
GRENIER HAD QUALIFIED FOURTH FOR THE 60 MINUTE RACE AND JUMPED TO THIRD AT THE START
Under much better conditions than on Saturday, it was Mikaël Grenier’s turn to qualify the #14 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for the starting grid of Race 2.
Grenier ended up fourth at the end of qualifying only 0.5 second away from pole sitter and Emil Frey teammate Albert Costa.
Grenier had a really good start and passed for third place by corner one passing outside front row starter SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes AMG GT3 of Tom Onslow-Cole and following #17 Teo Martin Motorsport McLaren 720s of Andrès Saravia who had moved form fourth to second place.
As Costa soon extended his lead upfront, Grenier stayed within a second from Saravia all the while containing the charge of the #16 Teo Martin Motorsport McLaren 720s of Allam Khodair.
As the window opened to complete the driver change, Costa had built a lead of around 7.5 seconds. With 35 minutes to go, it was Saravia and Grenier who dove into the pits first from the leading group.
Car running different handicaps, Siedler took over from Grenier and rejoined ahead of Fran Rueda, now driving the #17 McLaren from Saravia, how had a longer handicap than the #14.
#63 Costa came into the pits with 33 minutes to go. Giacomo Altoè took to the wheel of the Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini and although rejoined ahead of the #14 as he came out of the pits, Siedler already had the momentum and his tires up to temperature completed the pass when Altoè let him by several corners later.
Once everyone had completed their mandatory stops, Grenier/Siedler occupied the lead with the #63 of Costa/Altoè close in second and #16 Teo Martin Motorsport McLaren 720s of Marcelo Hahn who was fighting for position with #22 Sports and You Mercedes AMG Gt3 of Guillherme Salas in fourth and eventually passing Hahn for third.
Siedler had to go through two safety car period/restarts but in the end crossed the finish line in first place.
Norbert Siedler seemed to have had to work hard for this victory: “I had to give my everything during my stint as Giacomo was pushing very hard. I think I pushed too hard at the beginning, because I lost the optimum of the tyres. But the short Safety Car helped me and afterwards it was better. Thank you to the team who did a fantastic job this weekend.”
During his stint Mikaël Grenier kept close to the #17 McLaren driver but knew they had a pitstop advantage: “My stint on Sunday was ok, I was stuck behind the number 17 as their speed on the straights was too good and there was no chance to overtake. But on the other side we knew we had less handicap than the others, so we kept calm. Norbert completed the job and we are really happy to be back up on the first step, after having had a string of bad luck lately. It feels good to be back.”
This was the first victory for Grenier/Siedler since Race 1 at Spa-Francorchamps.
Second place went to #63 of Costa/Altoè and third to #22 of Guillherme Salas.
In the championship standings, Albert Costa/Giacomo Altoè (112 points) are leading #59 Teo Martin Motorsport Henrique Chaves/Martin Kodric (101 points) by 11 points followed in third by Mikaël Grenier/Norbert Siedler with 100 points.
There are two races to go with 15 points per race win to grab. The final event will take place at the famous Monza Circuit on the weekend of October 12-13.
Image: Emil Frey Racing