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Mundial - FIA GT


Quarta, 09 Junho 2021 17:01 | Actualizado em Domingo, 20 Junho 2021 03:08

Balfe shine at 

GT Cup Snetterton.
The third meeting of the GT Cup Championship season at Snetterton proved to be a memorable one for Balfe Motorsport and its drivers Mike Price and Callum Macleod. Saturday brought two fine podium positions, while Sunday yielded a season-first pole position, a race win and another podium. To cap off the successful outing, Balfe Motorsport were also awarded Team of the Weekend by the series organisers.

The team tested in both dry and wet conditions on Friday ahead of the race weekend and were more than happy with the performance of McLaren 570S GT4. The form carried over into Saturday morning and qualifying for the first race – round seven of the championship – where Mike qualified a respectable fourth in the GTH class.
Momentum was very much on their side following top-three positions at both Donington Park and Brands Hatch and the opening Sprint race of the day saw Mike make gains on the opening lap, shadowing the #26 of Moh Ritson, while fending off a challenge from Carl Cavers to take the first podium of the weekend.
The afternoon feature race brought the same result, despite a ten-second success penalty being carried over from the recent Brands Hatch result. Mike started the 50-minute pitstop race, moving to the head of the GTH class for the first 12 laps. Callum soon took over, exiting the pits third, before chasing Oli Webb across the line to record the second podium of the day.
The team worked late into the evening to rectify a minor engine issue on the McLaren. Their efforts were certainly rewarded Sunday morning as Mike claimed a sensational first pole position with the team. The start saw him retain the advantage initially, again battling with Ritson for position. Mike’s rival briefly took the lead of the class, only to take himself out of contention shortly after. Under intense pressure from the #1 McLaren, he maintained the small advantage to claim his first win in GT Cup by half a second.

Armed with another pitstop success penalty, the final race of the day was all about securing valuable championship points. Another impressive drive from both Mike and Callum netted a fourth-place finish at the chequered. A post-race disqualification of the race winner for racing underweight elevated the position to third, meaning that the team secured podiums in all four rounds at Snetterton and head to Oulton Park with bags of momentum.  
MIKE PRICE, #90 McLaren 570S GT4
“That has to be the best ever race weekend. From four races with four podium trophies, plus an additional Team of the Weekend award. Adding to that we had our first pole position and our first race win. It’s all the more special as the team worked so hard on Saturday night to cure a misfire, put in the hours and we could then perform so well.
“The Friday test was very useful and the setup in both wet and dry was good and this helped to pave the way for the weekend ahead. Into qualifying, I was very happy with fourth position and then we had a highly eventful race and it was a case, early on, of trying to stay out of trouble. We still got hit from behind and some damage to the front-right on the way to third position, which was a good outcome considering the close racing.
“The pitstop race saw us start sixth, plus the success penalty, and again there was plenty of incidents, but I was able to hand over to Callum in second position. He exited in fourth and then made gains for a great P3.
“Sunday was special, qualifying was great, and I managed my best lap of the weekend - time-wise - to claim the class pole. The race was intense, lots of pressure, and I settled into second after being passed by the #26 McLaren. He then collided with another car at turn one, giving me back P1 which I managed to retain, despite the heat from the #1 McLaren. It was thrilling to bring the car home with the outright victory.
“We finished the final race in fourth on the road and this later became third after a post-race disqualification of the race winner. It was again incident-filled as I moved to the head of the field and then handed over the car in second. Callum exited fourth after the pitstop time penalty, survived contact with a rival and he did an excellent job to bring the car home. It’s been fantastic, there’s so much commitment from everybody, and it’s great to get the rewards.”
CALLUM MACLEOD, #90 McLaren 570S GT4

“It’s been our best weekend by far, especially with the pitstop success penalties, we really couldn’t have asked for anything better. It’s been a weekend of firsts in many ways. Mike got his first podium in a sprint race, then the first pole, then the first win, it’s been unbelievable. We just need our first endurance win now to complete the set. The final race saw us finish in fourth, which is a good result and also means we go into the next round without any success penalties.

“In terms of the championship, this has been a very successful weekend. If we can approach the upcoming races like we have this weekend and rack up the points at each opportunity, then we will be thereabout for the title at the end.”
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