Bhai Tech flies to Jerez to take part in GT Open mid-season race

After dominating in GTS at the Nurburgring, where the team scored a double win, Bhai Tech Racing is ready to race again next weekend at the Spanish circuit of Jerez de la Frontera.

The Spanish track will host the fourth round (out of eight events) of International GT Open and the four drivers of the Advanced Vehicle Science Centre Giorgio Pantano, Rafael Suzuki, Chris Van Der Drift and Luiz Razia are all ready to get into their McLaren MP4 12C to defend the GTS class leadership which was achieved in Germany and continue to get good results.

Last Saturday the team’s staff, directed by the engineer Mr. Costa, tested the Andalusian track by taking part in a three-hour-test session “We’ve carried out a complete car development work, trying to get the most of the engine power. Unfortunately track temperatures weren’t as high as they are expected to be in the upcoming weekend.” Very high temperatures are expected for the racing weekend, which will mark the end of the first half of the season “The track of Jerez is very demanding both for drivers and tyres”, says the technical director Mr. Costa “Track temperature will rise to 50°C and this will contribute to increase tyre degradation. Drivers will have to maintain an even pace throughout the race and make a good use of tyres”, ends Costa.

The racing weekend will start on Friday with a one-hour-private test session which will be followed by two 60-min. free practice sessions. The two 15-min. qualifying sessions are scheduled for Saturday and will take place from 9 am to 11.50am. The two qualifying sessions will determine the starting grid of race 1 and 2. The 70-min. first race will start on Saturday afternoon at 4pm and the 50-min. second race will start on Sunday at noon.

First point for Bhai Tech at Portimao

At Portimao, where the track is featured by a natural rise and fall, Bhai Tech Racing Team experienced a bittersweet racing weekend. The Team scored its first points of the season with the two McLaren MP4 12C, however the Mestrino-based staff is not satisfied with on track performances, so far, even because of many limitations due to turbo engines.

The four drivers, Giorgio Pantano/Rafael Suzuki and Chris Van der Drift/Luiz Razia managed to climb back up the race by chalking up 29 passes, finishing in the top 10 in both races and scoring the first points. The long weekend started on Thursday with a two-hour free practice session during which the staff, directed by the engineer Mr. Roberto Costa, shook down the #65 car which was seriously damaged at Le Castellet, then continued to develop the two McLaren in order to be well prepared for the second race of the International GT Open Championship.

On Saturday afternoon, after qualifying in the ninth and tenth row, the racer from Padua Giorgio Pantano along with the Brazilian driver Rafael Suzuki drove an exciting recovery manoeuvre, jumping up to tenth (seventh in class) and scoring one point, while the two classmates Van der Drift and Razia finished 13th . During Sunday’s race the New-Zealander and Brazilian racing crew jumped up to the ninth position overall, which is the fourth in class. Recovering 10 positions was not enough for the Italo-Brazilian duo, who finished just one step behind the score zone.

We knew it wouldn’t have been easy, as it was our debut in the dry. Due to its features the track at Portimao was an important test bench, as it gave us the opportunity to have a complete picture of our development and the areas where corrective actions have to be performed” says the technical director Roberto Costa “We tested car set-up so many times, trying to get the best balance, making a step forward in the second race. Now we’ll have to make the most of the data gathered from the racing weekend in order to continue to develop the car over the next races, but, most of all, we’ll have to continue to work together with the series’ arrangers to try to solve issues related to car balance and turbo engine, in order to take an equal struggle against rivals”, finished the Brazilian enginee

The Bhai Tech Advanced Vehicle Science Centre- based Team left Algarve aware to be a valid and hard rival, to be able to progress and strive for top positions. Next racing weekend will be held on the German track at Nurburgring on 1st-2nd June 2013.