Thomas Mutsch and Ian Khan score two victories with the Ford GT Matech Racing at Silverstone !

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  Thomas Mutsch and Ian Khan score two victories with the Ford GT Matech Racing at Silverstone !

Thomas Mutsch and Ian Khan score two victories with the Ford GT Matech Racing at Silverstone !

21.04.2008: Thomas Mutsch and Ian Khan score two victories with the Ford GT Matech Racing at Silverstone !

Following on from an inter season during which the Swiss Matech Racing team were hard at work, they finally got to the heart of the matter this weekend at Silverstone for the opening round of the European FIA GT competition.

And in the pitlane the least one could say is that all eyes were on the Matech armada, with the Ford GTs respectively for Luca Pirri and Jürgen Von Gartzen (#19), Thomas Mutsch and Ian Khan (#20), Edward Morris and Bradley Ellis (#21), not forgetting the trio of Ford Mustang FR500GT3s, power beasts in full evolution, and being tamed by Eric De Doncker and Scott Maxwell (#22), Thierry Blaise and Nigel Greensall (#23), as also Romain Bera and Ron Marchal (#24). All this in a competition ever more fierce and where the slightest tenth of a second can make all the difference…

Things could not have been better for Matech Racing by way of an opening gambit.. notwithstanding the fact that at the start the first 60’ race, held on the Saturday, the British driver Ian Khan had to brake heavily in the first bend in order to avoid an out of control car. “Khan fell back to 22nd place, having set-off from the 6th row “, Martin Bartek, the man responsible for the team commented.

“However the best was still to come, as Ian was soon back up flirting with the top 10 prior to handing over to Thomas Mutsch. The latter completed the rest and at the end of the race the Ford GT Matech #20 clinched its first victory, in fact the second in its short career following on from the success gained in the streets of Bucharest last year.

The entire team are obviously delighted seeing that Morris and Ellis, who had become acquainted with the Ford GT’s handling during this meeting at Silverstone, rounded off this success with a well deserved 11th place overall, highly encouraging for the future.

The only down side were the technical problems which hindered Luca Pirri and Jürgen Von Gartzen during this first day. The car went off track during the qualifying sessions, but the team did everything in their power to ensure that the two drivers were back on track for the weekend…”

And for the second leg of the weekend, Thomas Mutsch set-off from pole position, having set the best GT3 lap time of the weekend, clocking a 1'50″237. As was to be expected the German dominated the fist part of the race, before handing over to Ian Khan. The latter fell back into third spot prior to putting on the pressure; climbing back up and finally lapping the leading Corvette 3 laps before the finish.

The outcome was that the Ford GT #20 scored its second win of the weekend! “Impossible to have dreamt of a better way to kick off the season “, Martin Bartek proudly extolled at the end of the weekend.”And the 7th place of the highly homogenous duo of Ellis and Morris once again rounded off and added to our success. On the other hand I feel very sorry for Pirri and Von Gartzen who experienced nothing but bad back luck during the weekend.

Having started from the pitlane as they had not driven a single lap during the second qualifying session, the Ford GT #19 brilliantly worked its way up through the pack only to be hindered by a flat tyre having driven over some debris. When things just don’t want to go your way…”

As for the Mustang FR500GT3s, they had a difficult weekend as the result of track conditions not really suited to these American power beasts. The team comprised of Eric De Doncker and Scott Maxwell came out best, with a 21st place in the first leg, notwithstanding a broken splitter, followed by a 24th place the following day.

“The Mustang is definitely progressing in the right direction, but what is lacking for this car is to find some other fast drivers keen on carrying on with the further development “, Martin Bartek continued . “Our objective in the mid-term is to feature up amongst the top 10, and with some hard work carried out in close collaboration with Ford Racing, I’m fully convinced that we can get there…”

Well worth keeping a close eye on, with the following FIA GT3 meeting being held at Monza on 17th and 18th May…

 

– Vincent Franssen – photos Jacques Létihon

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/fiagt3-thomas-mutsch-ian-khan-ford-gt-matech-racing-silverstone-luc-pirri-von-gartzen-juergen—36149.html

21.04.2008 / MaP

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