Lotus News Article

INTERNATIONAL GT OPEN – PORTIMÃO RACE REPORT

Monday, April 30, 2012 - 11:45
Lotus’ Evora GT4 scored a podium in the Algarve at the first round of the 2012 International GT Open, while its big brother, the Evora GTE, was running top five in its class until an accident curtailed the team’s race.

PortimaoLotus Giudici Racing’s Evora GTE qualified 16th in the Super GT class, 23rd overall. Changeable conditions throughout the weekend made both races challenging. In Race 1 the car crossed the line eighth in class, the Evora working well in the wet. Sunday’s Race 2 was damp at the start but the teams went with slicks anyway. Team leader Johnny Mowlem spun at Turn 2, dropping to 26th, but his recovery was brilliant. By changeover time in the 37 lap race he was fifth in Super GT and on course for a strong finish. However, team-mate Marcello Puglisi earned a drive-thru penalty for speeding and, as he rejoined the track, clipped a Ferrari and damaged the front-right suspension. This lost the Italian team four laps, dropping them down the order.

Portugal’s Goodsense Racing Team contested the GT Light class with their Evora GT4. Angela Negrao and Joffrey Didier qualified for Race 1 2nd in their class but failed to finish when a wheel nut came lose on Lap 10 after Didier’s pitstop for slicks. For Race 2, the team qualified 3rd and maintained this position to the end, reaching the podium and setting the fastest GT Light lap in the process.

Johnny Mowlem (Lotus Giudici Racing): “The International GT Open is probably the most competitive GT championship there is. Given this was the first time the team had seen the car, we’d not been to this track before and it was our first time on Dunlops I didn’t hold out much hope for a result. I was therefore pleasantly surprised by the car’s performance. Starting the second race in the damp and on slicks was great, the Lotus loves that. We were on course for a storming finish, coming from the back up to fifth place. In the wet we were able to match the pace of everyone except the top three. The car handles beautifully, it’s just lacking aero and development. We’ll work on it, but I left Portugal feeling encouraged.”