Snowdon Gears up for Monza Races with New Team-Mate

24th June 2007

SNOWDON GEARS UP FOR MONZA RACES – WITH NEW TEAM-MATE

Peter Snowdon will go into rounds five and six of the FIA GT3 European Championship today looking for a good run through the field after having a frustrating qualifying day, which included a last minute change in team-mate.

The MCD Developments backed racer had suffered a tyre failure at 156mph in the opening free practice session around the ultra fast sweeps of the Monza Grand Prix circuit. A heart-stopping moment keeping the car out of the barriers followed, before he had to park the car rather than damaging it.

In the run up to the opening qualifying session it was found that Peter’s team-mate would be unable to take part in the race, due to licence and paperwork issues. However, an immediate replacement had been found to take his place, in the form of former Le Mans 24 Hours winner and Porsche factory driver Jurgen Barth!

It was confirmed within several minutes that he would be able to race alongside Peter, something which Snowdon was understandably pleased about.

However, after further consultation from the race organizers, it was found that Jurgen would have to race under a ‘Gold’ rating, which put him out of bounds alongside Peter’s ‘Silver’ status in the regulations.

This news was broken to the team with just ten minutes to go before the start of the first qualifying session. A quick thinking Piers Masarati, Tech 9 Motorsport’s team manager, found Ascari racer Howard Spooner leaving the track after his car was unable to take part in the race and asked if he wanted to drive the Porsche 997.

Although he’d never driven one of the German sportscars before, Spooner managed a lap time just outside the two minute barrier, which was no disgrace after returning from ordering his first beer at the hotel bar!

“It’s a shame that Tom won’t be able race. But to have had the opportunity to race with Jurgen Barth would have been incredible. I’m really disappointed not to be racing with him, but I guess that winning Le Mans outright would mean an automatic Gold driver rating!” said Peter.

“We were struggling with the cars in the heat during the sessions as the Porsche engine management system cuts the power if it detects too much heat. We think we’re about 30hp down on the other cars, which around a power circuit like this, is an enormous amount to lose.”

“We have to go out today and play on our experience,” he added. “The first corner is most likely going to be mayhem and there may well be places to be made there. Hopefully the car will come into it’s own as the races progress and we can work our way into the points at the end of the hour long races.”

Adam Proctor

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