|Review:||FIA GT3 2009 European Championship - ALPINA garners points again, this time at Adria Raceway|
Fielding the new BMW ALPINA B6 GT3, ALPINA impressed at Italy’s Adria Raceway with consistently quick lap times, just as they had done at the season’s first race in Silverstone/UK. This was a surprisingly positive performance on such a tight and short course, a course normally favouring smaller and lighter race cars.
Csaba Walter started the first race on Saturday afternoon from 11th place, handing over to team mate Claudia Hürtgen during a perfectly executed pitstop, including mandatory driver change. In spite of the extremely tightly-packed field, ALPINA’s drivers were able to work the #24 BMW ALPINA past some well-known and experienced names and into seventh position, yielding two further points for the Bavarian team from Buchloe. The race was dominated by the two lightweight, mid-engined Ford GTs, piloted by Lunardi & De Doncker in 1st place, and Salles & Mutsch in 2nd.
Claudia Hürtgen started the second race, a late-evening run, from 16th position, she just 1.2 seconds off the pole-sitter’s best lap time. After the mandatory driver change, Csaba Walter jumped into the bright green BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 and had a terrific battle with the #33 Audi R8 driven by Martin Matzke. At one point the two made contact and drifted briefly off course, allowing them both to be over-taken by the two competitors following directly behind.
In the end, the BMW ALPINA came 11th, ahead of both Audi R8s. The race-winner under the floodlights of the Adria Raceway was the #4 Aston Martin DBRS9, driven by Makowiecki und Rodriguez. ALPINA team boss Andreas Bovensiepen was happy on the whole with the result at the Adria round: “We’re surprised, in a positive sense, that our BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 managed to finish in the points on this very tight and twisty, 2.7km-long ‘Mickey Mouse’ course.” The unique atmosphere at the GT3 series’ first night race also struck the ALPINA team boss as worth a positive mention.
ALPINA are already looking forward to next weekend’s race with great excitement, where the team will field two BMW ALPINA B6 GT3s in the legendary 24 Hours of Nürburgring. As every year, the unique atmosphere at this race is guaranteed.
Click for the Official FIA shots from Adria