GT4: Mallock wins, Meijer champion!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The last race of the Portuguese GT4 European Cup meeting produced some fabulous racing. The three championship contenders had a fair and straight battle for victory, with Michael Mallock winning, Meijer finishing in second and securing his 2010 GT4 European cup title and Matt Nicoll-Jones finishing in third. Mallock and Nicoll-Jones are now separated by one little point and will fight it out during the last round, in Magny-Cours, France, for second in the standings. Rhesus racing is GT4 European Cup team champion for 2010.


Paul Meijer stated after qualifying that his double pole position for the 9th and 10th race of the season, this weekend in Portimao, is a big step towards the 2010 GT4 European Cup title. The Dutchman was quickest in both qualifying sessions and will start ahead of his main rivals in the races on Saturday.

The grey Rhesus Racing Aston Martin was already quickest in both free practice sessions on Friday morning and noon and no one could stop the Dutch Aston on the Portuguese track on Friday evening.??With Nissan in second and third for the opening race on Saturday, both Michael Mallock and Matt Nicoll-Jones will have a serious task during the 40-minute race. Jordan Tresson and Lucas Ordonez secured a strong 2-3 for RJN Nissan, the best qualifying result for the team so far this season. Matt-Nicoll Jones (IMS Ginetta G50) and Michael Mallock (RS Williams Aston Martin) finished in fourth and fifth. ??In the second session Mallock set second best, followed by Ordonez, Nicoll-Jones and Tresson. ??In Supersports, Gianni Giudici and Marco Fumagalli secured a 1-2 for Scuderia Giudici Lotus in both sessions, of course in the Lotus 2Eleven.


Paul Meijer: “I’m very happy, this result is very important. It’s always better to start up front, as you are more likely to stay out of trouble during the opening stages of the race. I really want this title!”

Michael Mallock: “We had a little incident this morning and I missed most of the free practice, which is of course far from ideal for the set-up.”

Race 1

With his fourth win of the season, Paul Meijer had come already very close to the fourth GT4 European Cup title in the history of the GT championship. The Dutch championship leader won the opening race of the Portuguese GT4 weekend, also his ninth consecutive podium of the season. Matt Nicoll-Jones came home second in his IMS Ginetta and Jordan Tresson scored his maiden podium onboard of a Nissan 370Z. The young French RJN Nissan driver won the Playstation GT Academy 2010 and made some impressive steps forward since his debut in Silverstone last April.

Paul Meijer took the lead right from the start, but the Dutch driver never could play on safe. The Nissan boys, Matt Nicoll-Jones, the second Rhesus Racing Aston and Meijer’s nearest championship rival, Michael Mallock stayed on his tail during the opening stages of the 40-minute competition. ?
Bad luck struck Michael Mallock when a broken gearbox dropped him into last position, ruining his last championship hopes. Lucas Ordonez also lost a possible podium after a stop & go due to a too short pitstop.

Meanwhile up front, Meijer was still leading, with the IMS Ginetta in second and Tresson’s RJN Nissan in third. This order remained unchanged through to the finish, while Lucas Ordonez and Supersport winner Gianni Giudici completed the top-5. The battle in Supersport was really thrilling, with less than a second separating the top-3.

Marco Fumagalli finished in second, also driving a Lotus 2Eleven, while Athanasios Ladas and Kevin Veltman were third in the KTM.


Paul Meijer: “It was a difficult race, the other guys stayed close, especially in the opening stages of the race. I felt that my tyres were suffering from the heat and I had to be careful by the end of the race. But naturally I’m delighted with my win, the first since Spa!”

Race 2

Paul Meijer missed his start, but fought his way back into first, but Michael Mallock was really keen on winning this last Portuguese race, after the gearbox of his Astong had ruined hischances in the first race earlier. Mallock kept the pressure on Meijer and managed to get by five laps from the chequered flag. Meijer knew that he had to keep second in order to win the championship and did so by less than 2 tenths of a second.

Behind the top-3, Lucas Ordonez and Jordan Tresson gave Nissan a fourth and fifth spot, while Humaid Al Masssood scored a fine sixth.

Athanasios Ladas and Kevin Veltman scored a great win for KTM in Supersport, with Lotus drivers Giudici and Fumagalli coming home in second and third. Gianni Giudici is leading the championship.

The last round of the GT4 European Cup is to be held on the 16th and 17th of October in Magny-Cours.


Paul Meijer: “It was a difficult race, but winning the championship is so great. I’m really very delighted and we’re going to have a great party. I missed my start and even made a little mistake later in the race, but the result is there!”

Michael Mallock: “It was a great race, a fair battle and a superb win. Thanks to all the boys of RS Williams, because what they did in between both races was just fantastic!”
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