The equalisation system run by the FIA for the GT1 series has its critics, with some feeling that adjustments and tinkering sometimes happens without rhyme or reason, or that an element of race fixing is happening.

Perhaps it is too complicated, and just having a liberal amount of success ballast to use would be simpler, but the bottom line is that some of the racing being seen in the FIA GT1 World Championship this season is fantastic, and certainly the battle at the front of the qualifying race here in Portimao was of that caliber.

Further back standards weren't quite so high, with Bartels in the number 1 Vitaphone racing remarking that some of the Lamborghinis were very optimistic about overtaking early on, and should have kept in mind of the chaos which would ensue... his frustration was understandable as its not the first time this season it happened.

As such I'll focus on the battle at the front, which combined with the stunning backdrop of the Algarve foothills overlooking the roller-coaster circuit made for a heavenly hour of high octane hooning.. as I've said before I just wish the races were longer!



As you can see above, the Phoenix number 13 Corvette started on pole, and it did everything possible to stay out in front, using all the track, and a bit more! Alex Margaritis managed to cling on for all his stint, and it seemed Marc Hennerici would hold out for victory.



Peter Dumbreck in the number 23 Sumo Power Nissan GTR had other plans though, and 5 laps from the end he made his move, respecting his competitor, and being mindful that so close to the end, second place would be preferable to a spin, or contact. As such the move was clean, and honourable, and resulted in him moving clear into the lead.



With Hennerici's tyres gone off in the Corvette, Andrea Bertolini in the Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC12 number 1 car was able to squeeze through, too - again executing a respectful manoeuvre, and showing the class which has seen Vitaphone clinch the championship time and again.

Further back in the field Richard Westbrook drove a storming drive after the pit stop to wrestle his Matech Ford GT up from 21st on the grid following a suspension failure in qualifying, to finish 5th, making everything possible in the champsionship race tomorrow.

Qualifying Race
Pos Car Class Drivers Car Time Laps Gap Avg
speed
1 23 GT1 Dumbreck / Krumm Nissan GT - R 1:01:00.808 34 0.000 266
2 1 GT1 Bertolini / Bartels Maserati MC12 1:01:03.282 34 2.474 265
3 13 GT1 Hennerici / Margaritis Corvette Z06 1:01:10.030 34 9.222 265
4 7 GT1 Turner / Enge Aston Martin DB9 1:01:27.018 34 26.210 265
5 5 GT1 Mutsch / Westbrook Ford GT Matech 1:01:29.887 34 29.079 268
6 33 GT1 Heger / Mller Maserati MC12 1:01:40.272 34 39.464 267
7 11 GT1 Jousse / Maassen Corvette Z06 1:01:40.389 34 39.581 266
8 38 GT1 Pastorelli / Schwager Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S 1:01:40.790 34 39.982 258
9 22 GT1 Campbell-Walter / Hughes Nissan GT - R 1:01:40.916 34 40.108 270
10 9 GT1 Makowiecki / Clairay Aston Martin DB9 1:01:41.236 34 40.428 267
11 4 GT1 Ara / Nilsson Nissan GT - R 1:01:41.488 34 40.680 269
12 24 GT1 Kox / Haase Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S 1:01:42.357 34 41.549 260
13 2 GT1 Bernoldi / Ramos Maserati MC12 1:01:44.758 34 43.950 268
14 25 GT1 Kechele / Menten Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S 1:01:45.308 34 44.500 261
15 8 GT1 Mcke / Lamy Aston Martin DB9 1:01:47.958 34 47.150 266
16 10 GT1 Hirschi / Piccione Aston Martin DB9 1:01:59.173 34 58.365 267
17 12 GT1 Cazenave / Kuismanen Corvette Z06 1:02:51.838 34 1:51.030 261
18 34 GT1 Mayr-Melnhof / Pier Guidi Maserati MC12 1:01:26.535 33 25.727 267
19 41 GT1 Palttala / Kuppens Ford GT 1:02:51.535 33 1:50.727 266
20 6 GT1 Prost / Jani Ford GT Matech 53:03.626 25 7:57.182 269
21 40 GT1 Martin / Leinders Ford GT 40:46.728 22 20:14.080 268
22 3 GT1 Wendlinger / Moser Nissan GT - R 33:52.886 18 27:07.922 273
23 37 GT1 Bouchut / Basseng Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-S 23:17.854 13 37:42.954 263