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Matech pair reclaim lead

Romain Grosjean and Thomas Mutsch win for Matech in Brno feature race
Romain Grosjean and Thomas Mutsch head the FIA GT1 drivers' standings after winning a dramatic championship race in Brno.

The Matech Racing duo secured another 25 points in the Czech Republic ahead of the Young Driver Aston Martin of Tomas Enge and Darren Turner and the Sumo Power Nissan GT-R of Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck.

At the finish, just 1.7 seconds covered the top five cars in an intensely-fought race.

Starting from sixth on the grid, Grosjean had an eventful first stint which included a heavy clash with one of the Hexis Aston Martins.

The former Renault F1 man fell down the field as a result but fought back to be fourth by the time the pit window opened under the second safety car period of the race.

"I made the moves on the two Aston Martins and the Corvette, who I'd thought about all night, having been stuck behind him for 35 minutes yesterday," he said. "It was difficult to overtake, and I really had to think to find where I could get past.

"The pit stop was just incredible from the team. We were in the pit entry and suddenly we were out in P1. Then Thomas went out, and was under pressure, like in Abu Dhabi, but he works well in these conditions."

It was the second win for the Ford GT after victory in the opening race in Abu Dhabi.

It was a topsy-turvy race for the Czech driver Enge in the Aston Martin. Having qualified second, Enge's hopes of a podium appeared to have vanished at the start when he misread the start light sequence.

As the pack headed for the start line, Enge eased off when all around him drivers were hitting the loud pedal. He later explained that he thought he saw an amber (warning) light and backed off assuming that there was an aborted start.

He was engulfed by the field and was relegated to 16th place on the opening lap.

"I saw an amber light at the start and thought it meant another formation lap and I backed off and just drove under the lights and unfortunately didn't see the lights go green," he said. "That mistake probably cost us victory.

"Despite that the guys did a great job at the pit stop to get us out in second position.

"We pitted under the safety car, and we had a fantastic pit stop again. We had the fastest car, fastest crew in the pit lane. Our guys can change the tyres very quickly. We managed to jump from P10 or twelve to P2. That was a fantastic improvement."

The early leader and pole sitter Andrea Bertolini in the #1 Vitaphone Maserati had threatened to run away with the race until a stop-go penalty for a speed violation at the start halted their progress.

Having done the penance, Bertolini rejoined at the tail of the field.

Handing over to Michael Bartels the overall team points leaders eventually fought back to finish fifth with the #2 Vitaphone Maserati (Enrique Bernoldi/Miguel Ramos) sixth.


Tagged as: Ford , Brno , Matech , Grosjean , Mutsch

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mutsch/Grosjean [Pic credit: DPPI]
Thomas Mutsch (GER)/Thomas Biagi (ITA) - Matech GT Racing Ford GT
Thomas Mutsch (GER)/Thomas Biagi (ITA) - Matech GT Racing Ford GT
Thomas Mutsch (GER)/Thomas Biagi (ITA) - Matech GT Racing Ford GT
Thomas Mutsch (GER)/Thomas Biagi (ITA) - Matech GT Racing Ford GT
Thomas Mutsch (GER)/Thomas Biagi (ITA) - Matech GT Racing Ford GT
Thomas Mutsch (GER)/Thomas Biagi (ITA) - Matech GT Racing Ford GT
Bas Leinders (BEL)/Renaud Kuppens (BEL) - Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
Bas Leinders (BEL)/Renaud Kuppens (BEL) - Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
Bas Leinders (BEL)/Renaud Kuppens (BEL) - Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
Bas Leinders (BEL)/Renaud Kuppens (BEL) - Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
Bas Leinders (BEL)/Renaud Kuppens (BEL) - Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
Bas Leinders (BEL)/Renaud Kuppens (BEL) - Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
Bas Leinders (BEL)/Renaud Kuppens (BEL) - Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
Bas Leinders (BEL)/Renaud Kuppens (BEL) - Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
Bas Leinders (BEL)/Renaud Kuppens (BEL) - Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
The Matech Ford GT1 during testing at Paul Ricard [Pic credit: DPPI/FIA GT]
Anne-Laure Bonnet, event presenter; José Manuel Balbiani, winner of the Ferrari Cup; Bradley Ellis, winner of the Ford Cup; and Sandrine Jarnet, FIA GT3 European Championship Team Relations Manager [Pic credit: V-Images]

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