Capitalising on the lap one retirement of GT class points leaders Thomas Biagi and Matteo Bobbi, factory Lister duo Jamie Campbell-Walter and Nathan Kinch gave Laurence Pearce's outfit their first FIA victory of the season at the Anderstorp circuit in Sweden.

The British duo finished Sunday's 3-hour, 114-lap race just 52 seconds ahead of the polesitting Franz Konrad/Walter Lechner Jr/Toni Seiler Saleen S7R, who gave the always fast but so often fragile American built beast its first top five finish of the season.

The Swedish sun - as opposed to last year's rain - shone on Lister Racing this weekend, with the British team taking its first win of the season after coming so close on many occasions. Jamie Campbell-Walter and Nathan Kinch finally shook off their run of bad luck to take the top step of the podium.

"This win has been a long time coming, and everyone has worked really hard," Campbell-Walter explained, "The team did a fantastic job in the pits, and by the end we could just cruise really. But towards the end I put in my fastest lap just to show the Dunlop boys how good they are!
"We've had an incredibly unlucky year - I think everyone knows this is a new car, the one Verdon Roe and Knapfield used last year, and was the only Lister chassis never to have won a race. Everyone was saying in the Lister workshop that it was jinxed, and that we would never win. But we've proved them wrong today, and now it's a lucky car."

Starting fifth on the grid, after missing a lot of track time during practice, the Storm ran strongly at the start, climbing up to third behind the Saleens. Kinch took the car over in second place, and gradually overhauled Toni Seiler in the Konrad, handing a good lead back over to Campbell-Walter, who came home to break the jinx which had seemed to plague the 2000 champions this season.

"The race was great," JC-W continued, "The Konrad guys were really quick at the beginning, but we settled into a rhythm, I had a great start, managed to bring the car into second place. Then Nathan did a great job, especially considering he did not have many laps this weekend. It was good to see him take the lead and pull away,
giving us a nice 18-second gap for the last pit stops."

The second factory Lister of Andrea Piccini and newcomer David Sterckx completed the podium, one lap behind their team-mates on a day where the flat and largely featureless 4-kilometre long Swedish track proved to be a real car breaker, especially in the GT ranks.

With their sister BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello crew sitting on the sidelines before one lap was completed it was left to Luca Cappellari and Fabrizio Gollin to uphold Prancing Horse honours in fourth position, one lap behind the winners and one lap ahead of fifth place trio Lillian Bryner/Enzo Calderari/Stefano Livio in the Care Racing 550.

Sixth overall and first in N-GT was the EMKA Racing Porsche of Tim Sugden and Emmanuel Collard, who finished ten seconds ahead of the leading GT class Viper in the hands of the Zwaan family and Klaus Abbelen.

"The start was fine but, by the time we got to the first corner, I was in trouble," Sugden admitted, "Because there was an incident, I thought it would be a good idea to go around the outside of it. It probably was a good idea, but I ended up on the grass, and everybody passed me, so, by the time we got to the straight, I was seventh or eighth in class. I made it hard for myself.

"But it was good, the car was good, and I managed to chip away and pass people, eventually caught the lead Ferrari, albeit three-quarters of an hour later than I planned. I handed over to Emmanuel with a good lead, and he took over from there. We're really pleased for the team, as we were going very well at Spa, keeping up with Freisinger, but something went wrong with the gearbox, so it's really nice to come here and win."

Spa 24 Hours winners Marc Lieb and Stephane Ortelli suffered something of a Belgian hangover as, for once they had to play second fiddle to the EMKA Porsche and the Freisinger duo came home in eighth place overall, second in N-GT.

Jean Marc Gounon's debut with the Creation Autosportif ended in a delayed 15th overall, but good enough for seventh in GT, although their team-mates Bobby Verdon-Roe and Marco Zadra were among six GT runners that failed to last the distance.

The Kelvin Burt/Tim Mullen Team Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari 360 Modena was the sole N-GT class retirement, while their team-mates Jamie Davies and Darren Turner ran to a solid third in class and ninth overall.

While pole sitter Walter Lechner Jr, in the #2 Konrad Saleen, made a fine start and pulled out a good lead, followed by Tommy Erdos in the #7 Graham Nash Motorsport Saleen, the rest of the field had to avoid a spinning #23 Ferrari 550 Maranello. In the confusion, the #11 Roos Viper suffered a damaged bonnet, which flew off at the end of the long straight.

"There was some debris on the track and the car in front of me noticed it and slowed down, but I couldn't brake early enough and I hit him," Roos driver Magnus Wallinder revealed, "The car was okay to start with but, on the next lap, at the end of the long straight, the bonnet came off. It took us 34 minutes to repair it in the pits, but it was very important to get out again as this is our home race."

Lechner was on the pace from the beginning, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap eight and pulling out a lead of eleven seconds over the Graham Nash car by lap 14, with the #14 Lister close behind. Piccini, in the #15 Lister had dropped back at the start, but moved up to fourth on lap 24, just behind the sister car.

On lap 28, Campbell-Walter overtook the #7 GNM Saleen for second but, when it was Piccini's turn to try to overtake the Saleen, a collision saw the Graham Nash-run car going off the track, and suffering damage that effectively putting it out of contention.

"We were very pleased with the front row qualifying, but the accident between the #7 and the #15 did quite a lot of damage, and the car needed extensive repairs," confirmed GNM manager Gordon Davies, "Mike [Newton] took the car back out to make sure it was okay, but something else failed and it landed in the gravel."

When the first round of driver changes took place, Kinch took over the #14 Storm and gradually caught up with Toni Seiler, taking the lead on lap 51. Ten laps later, he
had a lead of seven seconds over the Konrad car, building it up to nearly 20secs by the time he handed the car back over to Campbell-Walter. The #14 Lister retained the lead until the end, with the Konrad Saleen of Franz Konrad, Walter Lechner Jr and Toni Seiler 52 seconds behind, and the second Lister Storm of Piccini and Sterckx a distant third.

"I am very happy, and now I can see a small light at the end of the tunnel after all the gearbox problems we had all season," team boss Franz Konrad said, "We were able to show everyone that the car was fast, but we could not finish the race. Now we have got through. The team works well, the car is going well, the tyres are good.

"When I took the car over again for the final stint, I had problems with third gear, and so, to be safe, I just used fourth," Piccini revealed, "The car was shaking a lot, so I just took it easy to get to the end of the race, because third place is very good for the championship.

"We have gained a lot of points in the teams' classification, so I think it is looking good for the last three races. The Ferraris are quick, but they will be under pressure and fighting between each other, so I think it is going to be a good end to the championship."

Fourth place went to Cappellari and Gollin in the #22 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello after a difficult race, with the #21 Care Racing Ferrari of Bryner and Calderari fifth.

"That was a very hard race," Cappellari said, "We lost six positions at the start during Bobbi's accident and, due to the ballast and the smaller restrictors, we have lost straight-line speed, so it was difficult to climb back up. But the team did a great job in the pits and we came up to fourth. This was very good for the championship, as Fabrizio and I are now only seven points behind Bobbi and Biagi, and I think there will be a big fight for the rest of the season."

Despite struggling with a bonnet problem, the Zwaan's Racing Chrysler Viper of Rob and Arjan van der Zwaan and Klaus Abbelen finished sixth.

The newly-entered #19 Creation Autosportif Lister Storm of Jean-Marc Gounon and Paul Knapfield took two points for seventh after struggling with oversteer and two trips into the gravel, while the #9 JMB Racing Ferrari, which had run strongly but stopped before the end with suspension problems, was classified eighth and took the final point.

"It was a very difficult race - we had oversteer and went into the gravel twice," Gounon said, "I consider this race as a test session - we have been solving the problems
little by little, and it went better in the race, so at least we finished in the points."

In N-GT, Tim Sugden, starting from pole in the #61 EMKA Racing Porsche, lost places when he went wide to avoid the start-line confusion, meaning that the #52 JMB Racing Ferrari took the lead, followed by the #50 Freisinger Porsche and the #99 RWS Yukos car.

However, Sugden rapidly climbed back up the order and, by lap 19, was only five seconds behind the Ferrari. The EMKA car stayed out while most of its N-GT rivals made pit-stops and, by the time it pitted on lap 46, the car was lying fourth overall, ahead of the #88 Team Maranello Concessionaires car, which had also not pitted.

The JMB Ferrari then regained the lead, ahead of the #50 Freisinger Porsche, but a gear-box problem hit the #52 car, giving the #61 Porsche the definitive lead when driver changes eventually played out, with Collard and Sugden finishing a lap ahead of Ortelli and Lieb, with the #88 TMC Ferrari 360 Modena third.

"This seems to be a good track for me," Collard said, "This weekend, we had a very good car, we were very fast in qualifying and in the race, and we had no problems. It was not easy, but I had a ten-second lead so I could manage the tyres and I had no problems at all in the race."

Marc Lieb and Stephane Ortelli had an entirely different story to tell after getting out of the #50 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche.

"That was such a difficult race," Lieb reported, "We have been struggling with the set-up of our car all weekend, so I am very happy with second place, which is good for
the championship. EMKA did a fantastic job - they were in a different league - but we will be back in Oschersleben."

"We were expecting to fight for the podium and I think our real place should have been third, except for the problems that JMB had in the race," Ortelli admitted, "We were lucky to take eight points this weekend, as Jamie [Davies] was as fast as Marc at the end, but he had to do a splash and dash, otherwise we could have lost second."
"It was quite a tough race, just pushing as hard as possible to try and get the most out of the car, pushing as hard as possible every lap to try to close the gap," Davies replied, "But the car wasn't working as we would have liked, we didn't have enough grip."

Daoudi and Jones were pleased with a fourth-place finish in the #99 RWS Yukos Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS, ahead of the second Freisinger Porsche, which finished fifth to give the team another four points in their fight to retain the championship.
"Fourth can be rather disappointing, but now I am really glad, because I did a great last stint, overtaking von Gartzen and Gardel in the last few minutes," Daoudi revealed, "I hope that we will manage to find an even better set-up with tyres, so that we can try to be nearer the front next time."

Mark Mayall and J?rgen von Gartzen, running under the Eurotech entry, were sixth, with the #57 MENX Ferrari seventh and the #77 RWS Yukos Porsche of Fomenko and Vasiliev taking the final point for eighth.

With three races to go this year, Bobbi and Biagi still lead the GT standings but have now failed to score in either of the last two races and have allowed fellow Ferrari drivers Enzo Calderari, Lilian Bryner, Fabrizio Gollin and Luca Cappellari move into a four-way tie for equal third place, just seven points behind the early season runaway leaders.

In N-GT, Ortelli and Lieb's second place run, plus the fact that EMKA driver Sugden and Collard do not figure in the points race, extended their lead to 16.5 points over Davies and to an even healthier 21 over JMB Ferrari driver Fabrizio de Simone.



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