Star role of Yelmer at the Ring
It was a tough job in the first episode of the FIA GT1 weekend at the Nürburgring
Michael Bartels did not succeed in qualifying for the third timed session and as a result he had to start from tenth place in the qualification race. But the German managed to work up his way to sixth with Yelmer then producing a few stunning overtaking maneuvers ultimately finishing fourth. Only one single point was lost on Marc Basseng and Marcus Winkelhock.
Michael Bartels drove a cautious firth lap and was eight when the safety-car was deployed, a result of Jeroen Bleekemolen, guest driver at Reiter Engineering, crashing his Lamborghini into the barriers. The repairs on the bent guardrails took almost twenty minutes so Bartels had only a few laps remaining before he came in to hand over the car to Yelmer, just behind the Mercedes of Thomas Jäger. With four new tyres put on the car it took the Dutchman a while to get on his way. “I had a clutch issue with the pedal on the ground and with the time lost I again ended up behind that Mercedes”, Yelmer explained afterwards. Yelmer managed to close the gap quickly but it seemed impossible to overtake Nicky Pastorelli. With only 12 minutes remaining he finally managed to work his way by the Mercedes and then set after the McLaren of Grégoire Demoustier. Within a few laps he passed the Frenchman and with only 8 minutes to go he swiftly closed the gap to Marc Basseng, the German being his main championship rival. At stake was winning point or losing one. Unfortunately the race ended with the last option. Whatever Yelmer tried and how much faster he was apparently there was no way he could overtake the German All-inkl.com team boss. As a result Basseng and Winkelhock caught up one point decreasing the gap to five points.
So Yelmer will start tomorrow’s championship race from fourth place with Basseng starting next to him from third. Peter Kox and Mike Parisy won the race in their Lamborghini Gallardo, after a perfect pit-stop strategy, followed by the Audi R8 of Stéphane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor. “It’s a shame that we had that clutch problem because otherwise I surely would have left the pits in front of Pastorelli and with passing Demoustier so quickly I am convinced that I would have overtaken Basseng also. I saw his tyres rapidly loosing grip while mine were still in good shape”, a disappointed Yelmer assured.
1. Parisy/Kox - Lamborghini Gallardo 28 laps
2. Ortelli/Vanthoor - Audi R8 at 2.525
3. Basseng/Winkelhock - Mercedes SLS at 8.512
4. Buurman/Bartels - BMW Z4 at 8.964
5. Demoustier/Parente - McLaren MP4 at 12.507
6. Pastorelli/Jäger - Mercedes SLS at 14.013
7. Stippler/Jarvis - Audi R8 at 15.869
8. Vilander/Salaquarda - Ferrari 458 at 17.669
9. Mayr-Meinhof/Lauda - BMW Z4 at 24.495
10. Ide/Castellacci - Ferrari 485 at 26.994