James Ruffier and Bert Longin took a comfortable win in this weekend's FIA GT round at the Algarve Autodrome, the pair's Selleslagh Racing Team Corvette Z06 leading the PK entry of Mike Hezemans and Anthony Kumpen across the line for a Corvette one-two.
The Selleslagh duo first took the lead on the sixth lap when Ruffier passed the polesitting Sangria Team Brazil Corvette driven by Enrique Bernoldi, Roberto Streit and Xavier Maassen, the latter joining the Brazilian crew as his usual Alphand team had to miss the event due to a recent transporter fire.
Ruffier and Longin remained in contention throughout much of the race, finally crossing the line with a lead of 33.222s to secure SRT's first win of 2009.
Their one scare came early on when Ruffier developed a problem with one of his wheels, but was unable to inform the team due to a broken radio. When he was finally able to pit he had lost 25s, but a fortuitously-timed safety car worked to the team's advantage and they were able to regain the lost ground.
A Corvette one-two-three looked possible late in the race until Alex Muller managed to get his Vitaphone Maserati past Bernoldi, who then had to spend the remaining minutes fighting off an attacking Andrea Bertolini in the sister Masterati. Hezemans and Kumpen's second place draws them level with Bertolini and his team-mate Michael Bartels at the top of the standings with two rounds to go.
Niki Cadei and Alvaro Barba Lopez won the GT2 class in the AF Corse Ferrari F430, beating the Prospeed Porsche of Emmanuel Collard and Richard Westbrook, and the BMS Scuderia Italian Ferrari of Ettore Bonaldi and Diego Romanini.
Pos Drivers Cl Car Time/Gap
1. Ruffier/Longin GT1 Corvette 2h01m39.556s
2. Kumpen/Hezemans GT1 Corvette + 33.222s
3. Muller/Ramos GT1 Maserati + 51.910s
4. Maassen/Streit/Bernoldi GT1 Corvette + 58.019s
5. Bertolini/Bartels GT1 Maserati + 58.310s
6. Pier Guidi/Bobbi GT1 Maserati + 58.554s
7. Cadei/Barba Lopez GT2 Ferrari + 2 laps
8. Collard/Westbrook GT2 Porsche + 2 laps
9. Malucelli/Ruberti GT2 Ferrari + 2 laps
10. Russo/Perez Companc GT2 Ferrari + 2 laps
11. Kirkaldy/Bell GT2 Ferrari + 2 laps
12. Bruni/Vilander GT2 Ferrari + 2 laps
13. Ragginger/Lucchini GT2 Porsche + 2 laps
14. Mullen/Niarchos GT2 Ferrari + 2 laps
15. Romanini/Bonaldi GT2 Ferrari + 3 laps
16. Sugden/Ashburn GT2 Porsche + 3 laps
Leinders/Kuppens GT1 Ford 59 laps
Lemeret/Hines GT1 Saleen 52 laps
Holzer/O'Young GT2 Porsche 34 laps