By Mark H
Valter Pinheiro and Renan Guerra won both races and shot into lead in the 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro de GT (Brazilian GT Championship)
On Friday 21st June, under heavy rain, Valter Pinheiro and Renan Guerra showed early promise by recording the fastest time in the final practice session. The Lotus Evora's sovereignty was threatened only in qualifying, when the Aston Martin of Hellmeister and Laganá was only one tenth of a second down from the Lotus.
In the first race, on Saturday 22nd June, the competition was fierce at the beginning, as the Lotus pair fell quickly back to third place. Guerra and Pinheiro reacted strongly, reclaiming the lead and maintaining it to claim the top step of the podium. They were joined on the podium by Rossete and Greco in second, and Laganá and Hellmeister third.
In Sunday's race, victory was even harder to achieve as Pinheiro starting from fourth place managed to jump into the lead on the first corner. Thereafter, he had to defend vigorously to withstand the pressure of Rosetti's Maserati. In the second half of the race, Guerra struggled to keep ahead of Hellmeister, who managed to put in even faster times in his Aston Martin than he had in qualifying!
Valter Pinheiro: "We led from the first corner, but the pressure of maintaining that lead forces errors, especially when other cars are faster on the long straights," said Valter Pinheiro.
With these two victories, the duo took took a strong lead in the GT4 category. The next double round will take place on 27th and 28th July in Tarumã, Rio Grande do Sul.
The Guerra Team Lotus Motorsport Team is sponsored by WCP, Playboy TV, China In Box, Pirelli and Aegea and has the support of LRM (Lacaille Race Management).
By Mark H
Round four of the Brazilian sports car series, at the Autodromo Internacional de Curatiba, saw the first victory of the year for the Lotus Evora GT4.
Leonardo Burti’s Evora led the early stages of first qualifying on Saturday, before experiencing problems with the fly-by-wire throttle. Dragao Lotus Motorsport was relegated to third in class by the end of the session, and were unable to fix the issue in time for the second session. They would therefore start Race 2 at the back of the grid.
Burti, starting third on Saturday for the first race, seized the lead at the start. He and Alan Hellmeister’s Aston Martin fought hard, the Vantage edging ahead but the Evora GT4 staying firmly on its tale. However, just before Burti was due to handover to co-driver Valter Pinheiro, the Lotus suffered a broken driveshaft and that was the end of their race.
So, starting last for Sunday’s Race 2, the weekend looked like it might be points-free. However, Pinheiro soldiered on and moved up the field, finishing his stint in an impressive third place in the GT4 class. Burti picked up the baton and pushed on, passing the Ferrari of William Freire and then hunted down the lead car, the BMW M3 GT4 of Leonardo Cordeiro. The Evora was catching fast before the M3 pulled over with a punctured tyre. The Lotus had moved from the back of the grid to P1, and Burti maintained the lead he had over the Ferrari Challenge until the chequered flag.
Leonardo Burti: “We knew we had good pace and could win, so in Race 2 I was just desperate we wouldn’t have any further mechanical issues. The car handles very well, it has more power than the Ginettas and it’s really easy to work. We’re now fifth in the championship, but I think we’ve got our rivals worried now. I’d like to congratulate the whole team on our first win of the season, and also the guys at Lotus in England who worked around the clock to prepare the car for us pre-season.”