FIA GT » 22 September 2003
Oschersleben ends in stewards' room.
Although Kinch then had a spin, he continued out front with no problems and handed back to Campbell-Walter, who was followed at a distance by the #23 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello, with the nr 4 Force One Viper nearly a minute behind the BMS car, with only these three cars on the same lap.
On lap 101, however, the simplicity of the race changed. With the Lister Storm coming up to lap the #4 Viper of Phillipe Alliot, the two cars collided, with the Viper going into the pit wall. Although Alliot climbed out of the wrecked car, the safety car was brought out for the track to be cleared, closing the field up.
The Lister appeared to have got away without any significant damage from the collision and, at the restart, Campbell-Walter pulled clear from the #23 Ferrari, eventually taking the victory with a lead of 23 seconds. The #6 Creation Autosportif Lister finished in third place, giving drivers Bobby Verdon-Roe and Marco Zadra their best result of the season.
"It was a great result, we're over the moon," BV-R grinned, "It's also good timing as Mike Jankowski's father died last week, and it is nice to be able to dedicate this to him. I actually thought about him when I was driving around behind the safety car.
"As for the race, it was a bad first stint and bad start - [team-mate] Jean-Marc [Gounon] came flying past us in the second car. We were not very competitive, but Marco did a very good job, and other people started hitting problems, so we moved gradually up the field. I spent the last laps behind the #14 Lister, and it was quite encouraging to actually be quicker than him. We seem to be much closer to the works cars pace now - we have found something with the diff, which seems to work."
"We finally found the luck we needed, and I think it is very good for the team," Zadra agreed, "We have all put so much into this programme, and this result is incredible. I am very happy with this result, which is my first podium since winning the FIA Sportscar Championship in 2001 - it has been a long time."
Later, a steward's enquiry into the accident between the #14 Lister and #4 Viper saw them exclude the winning car from the results for 'causing an avoidable accident' - and outcome naturally appealed by the Lister team.
A separate enquiry excluded the #2 Konrad Saleen, which was originally classified in sixth place, for dangerous driving during the safety car procedure.
All this off-track activity changed the finishing line-up, with the #23 BMS Ferrari taking another win for Matteo Bobbi and Thomas Biagi, ahead of the Creation Lister, with the Care Racing Ferrari of Lilian Bryner, Stefano Livio and Enzo Calderari promoted to the final step of the podium.
"The team did really good work yesterday to set up the car for the race," Biagi reported, "With the restrictors we have, it was sometimes difficult to even overtake the N-GT cars, as we have no power at the top - and it's going to be more of a problem in Estoril and Monza. But we are very pleased to win and to extend our points lead.
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