SR Qualifies for GT3 Championship Series

The newly formed GT3 Championship series rolled into Italy for the 12 hours of Imola. While not a points paying event, this race was crucial for Satellite in that only the top 40 teams would be accepted for the full season.

“It’s completely different” said Owner Matt Strand. “We’ve raced tin tops for enduros before but we’ve never run in a league with all 1 class for over 2 hours before, led alone the 12 and 24 we’ll be seeing here and hopefully all season. The caliber of drivers here is higher then anywhere we’ve raced also and we’re excited to see where we fit into the group.”

The weekend started off with both SR cars further down then we’re accustomed too. Nick Rowland qualified the brand new Audi R8 GT3 in 19th while Matt Strand was down in 31st, just a second off of Nicks time. The pace from the other cars wasn’t just quick, it was tight and consistent from everybody. Our goal was to simply stay in the top 40 with both cars and get qualified and we’ll work on pace for Spa.

close action early on at Imola

The race started out with both cars running nose to tail with various others and the first few hours went 100% to plan. The entire race did for the most part with only a few small issues. Jeff Cable had a run in with a Mercedes which knocked the front splitter askew slightly and Brandon Warren had the electronics fail in his headlights with just a couple minutes remaining. He was told to park the car for safetys sake but our goals were already met with both cars far enough forward to qualify for the season.

David Nichols 6 hours into the 12 hours of Imola

Nick Rowland – “I think it was a great race for all of us. Excellent first outing and we should all be thoroughly proud of the job we achieved. The communication side of things for us was very strong. It is clear that we had an advantage in a straight line but were getting mugged in the corners. From what I could identify is that the front splitter and rear wing really make a difference in this car, more than I have known any GT car previous to do so.”

David Nichols – “Yesterday is a good platform to build on, we’ve learnt a little bit more about the car. As well as the work Nick has done on the engineering side in the test. I’d like to see us try to get more from the tyres. If we can keep our’s from going off for longer, we could get quite an advantage.”

The series will start September 8th with the 24 hours of Spa Francochamps.