Tuesday, April 2, 2013

FIA GT: Phoenix Racing with Kumpen/Ide takes fourth place twice in FIA GT inaugural event

Phoenix Racing Press Release

Phoenix Racing achieved two fourth places in the new FIA GT Series’ inaugural event at Nogaro, France. In the qualification race on Easter Sunday and in the main race on Easter Monday, the Belgians Anthony Kumpen and Enzo Ide in the Audi R8 LMS ultra just barely missed the podium. In addition, Phoenix Racing was able to celebrate victory in the pit stop competition.

“The drivers and the team have to gel first after all a lot of things are new, including the racing series and the Pirelli tyres. The learning curve was very steep in the inaugural event. Fourth row on the grid after qualifying and fourth place at the end of both races – that’s really good we can build on that,” said Team Director Ernst Moser, positively summing up the outcome.

In the super pole across two fast laps as the third qualifying segment, Anthony Kumpen set the eighth-best time and put the red-white Phoenix R8 designated as car number five on the fourth row of the grid. In good conditions and in front of a remarkable crowd, Ide and Kumpen, after the mandatory pit stop, step by step advanced to fourth place, which at the same time amounted to third place in the Pro class. The main race on Monday, also held for one hour, took place in pouring rain though and was started behind the safety car. Kumpen and – subsequently – Ide did not take any more risks than necessary and were nonetheless heading for a podium finish up to the last lap before a competitor surprised Ide with his attack.

“We’re happy about the results. Given that this was our first joint race, the outcome was more than respectable. In three weeks from now we’re travelling to Zolder, which is Enzo’s and my home track. That’s where we aim to make the next step forwards,” Anthony Kumpen summed up the event. “The team did a great job right from the outset, as winning the pit stop competition confirmed too,” added Enzo Ide.

In the aggregate of the two pit stops on Sunday and Monday, Phoenix Racing was clearly the front runner. “Everything fit together: the perfect entry and exit by the drivers and the quick work of the mechanics,” said a pleased Ernst Moser.

The Phoenix team boss had even more reasons to be pleased: “This was a promising premiere of the FIA GT Series with 24 sports cars, an impressive variety of brands, an international field plus nice and thrilling races. Including the comprehensive TV coverage, including live airing of the event on RTL Nitro, it was brilliant

Photo credit: Laurent Chauveau/Endurance-Info/86400.fr