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Category: Barcelona 24 Hours

Gianluca De LorenziIt will be a very hot weekend, the next one, for the GDL Racing that will take part to three different races in three different countries.

The most fascinating will be the 24H of Barcelona in which the Ravenna-based team will line-up two cars. Team manager and driver Gianluca De Lorenzi will share a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 with Dutch Ivo Breukers, Bert de Heus and Briton Robert Nearn. Italian Dario Paletti, Roberto Fecchio, Singaporean Tan Wee Jun Gerald and Malaysian Lim Keong Liam will drive a Porsche 997 Cup. The race will start on Saturday afternoon to finish Sunday, the qualifying are scheduled for tomorrow.

From Spain to France, on the Magny-Cours track that will host the fifth round of the Carrera Cup Italia together with the French series, where GDL Racing will line-up also two cars for Marco Cassarà, Vittorio Bagnasco.

Last but not least the Targa Tricolore Porsche venue at Mugello, that De Lorenzi’s team will face with Marco Foresio-Fabio Babini – the last one winner of the last weekend’s GT Italian races, together with Riccardo Bianco, at Imola – that will participate in the GT Open class.

Adam ChristodoulouFormer UK Formula Renault Champion Adam Christodoulou notched up a proud victory in McLaren’s MP4-12C over the weekend when he was part of the team that secured the car’s first ever 24-hour victory in the 24 Hours of Barcelona.

In its fifteenth year, the 4.6km Circuit de Catalunya track – home of the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix – paid host to this prestigious race, and it also marked the first outright win for a McLaren in a 24 hour endurance race since the LeMans 24 hours in 1995.

The Lapidus racing team comprised of regular teammates, Adam Christodoulou, Klaas Hummel, Tim Mullen and Phil Quaife, who managed to eek out an impressive 12-lap lead by the halfway point in the race.

Only a faulty turbocharger wastegate hindered their progress, yet they rejoined the race in third place having had to painfully sacrifice 19 laps to the pits.

There were some further tense moments on track just before sunrise, but the eventual victory was secured with four-laps in hand, ahead of the Russian Bears Motorsport Ferarri F458 Italia and The Bratislava Porsche in the 51 car race. Despite the earlier set backs, the McLaren managed to tally up an impressive 2,979.2 Kilometres on track in temperatures of over 30 degrees.

At wheel as they passed the chequered flag, Christodoulou later reflected on the race, “It was fantastic to drive a car that is performing so well, the drivers did a stunning job, and all the crew from Lapidus Racing did an unbelievable job and fully deserve it. Its been a great few results we’ve been getting in our debut season as a new team, It’s been a great day. I’m looking forward to doing all again very soon.”

Phil QuaifePhil Quaife and his Lapidus Racing team-mates took a commanding victory in the Barcelona 24 Hours (8-9 September) to secure the McLaren 12C GT3 its first win in a twice-around-the-clock endurance race.

Making his second appearance of 2012 for the Lapidus Racing squad after contesting July’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, McLaren Automotive test driver Quaife again shared with team boss Klaas Hummel, Adam Christodoulou and Tim Mullen at Circuit de Catalunya.

However the make-up of the grid standing between them and victory would be quite different at the Spanish venue, with the McLaren competing against a varied field that mixed touring and cup cars with a number of GT machines.

Mullen took the start of Saturday afternoon’s race from third on the grid and within half an hour of the green flag had worked his way into the lead.

The 12C went on to build a commanding advantage as the race moved into the evening hours before an unscheduled pitstop saw the team drop to third.

Undeterred, the Lapidus Racing crew pushed hard throughout the night hours in the hope of recapturing top spot. With the car running faultlessly, Quaife and his team-mates went on to do just that, moving back into the lead of the race as dawn broke over the Spanish circuit. From there they enjoyed a smooth run to a well-deserved victory, taking the chequered flag four laps clear of their nearest rivals after covering a distance just short of three-thousand kilometres.

As well as securing a maiden 24 hours triumph for the 12C GT3, the 26-year-old Briton and his team-mates also became the first drivers to win a 24 hour race for the British manufacturer since the McLaren F1 GTR took outright victory at Le Mans 17 years ago. The result formed part of a standout day of racing for the Woking firm, whose cars also triumphed in Formula 1, as well as French and British GT events.

Phil Quaife: “It was great to get the win here with Lapidus Racing and I’m thrilled to have helped the McLaren 12C GT3 secure its first victory in a 24 hour race. It was a remarkably clean run with no major incidents and the car did everything we asked of it, so I’m delighted with how the weekend went.

“This was the perfect way to follow Spa as we didn’t really get a chance to demonstrate what we could do there. Today we showed exactly what the 12C GT3 and this team are capable of. I’ve got to offer my congratulations to the whole Lapidus Racing crew as well – this was a huge step for them. They’re a new operation but they’re growing at a phenomenal rate. I know Klaas is proud of them and he too did a great job behind the wheel, so there’s a great deal to be pleased about.”

For more information on Phil Quaife, please visit www.philquaife.com.

Photo by Creventic/www.24Hseries.com