Sunday, November 10, 2013

GT Open: Rafael Suzuki narrowly missed GT Open GTS title with Novadriver Audi in Barcelona race two

By Johan Laubscher

The International GT Open season finale concluded with the second and final race at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona today. Two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars were entered for the GT Open finale.

The GT Open finale was held alongside the finale of the Spanish IBER GT Championship, with both series running together on track. Both championships are split into two categories: the SGT class for GTE specification vehicles and GTS for GT3 specification vehicles.

Three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars were on the grid, of which two were GT Open entrants. The first car was from Team Novadriver, who had entered their #81 Audi R8 LMS ultra in GT Open with drivers Cesar Campanico and GT Open GTS class (GT3) title hopeful, Rafael Hideo Suzuki. This #81 car was also entered for the Spanish IBER GT. Team Novadriver also entered a second Audi in the event, but this #80 car was only entered in the Spanish IBER GT class. Team Novadriver was aiming for the Spanish IBER GT title and Suzuki was aiming to become the GT Open GTS champion. The second GT Open entered car was entered by Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, the #88 Audi R8 LMS ultra of Filipe Albuquerque and Yves Weerts.

The first race was held late on Saturday and concluded with the #81 Audi R8 LMS ultra finishing fourth overall within the combined standings. They took third place within the GT Open GTS class. The WRT Audi was running at the back of the field, but Albuquerque was able to recover during his stint and the #88 WRT Audi finished in twenty-eighth place.

Qualifying for race two saw the #81 Audi in ninth place overall in the combined results. This was a sixth place starting position within the Open GT GTS class. The #88 WRT Audi qualified eighteenth overall.

The second and final race got underway on Sunday. This final race of 2013 again saw the #81 R8 LMS ultra as the highest placed Audi finisher. Campanico and Suzuki finished seventeenth overall, after a huge time handicap penalty during the pitstop. They finished thirteenth within the GT Open GTS class. Unfortunately Suzuki lost out on the GTS title. The #88 WRT Audi finished further back in twenty-second position overall.

This weekend concluded the 2013 International GT Open season.

Photo credit: Team Novadriver