SUNDAY 19 APRIL 2009
CLASS OF THE FIELD ONCE AGAIN AT BRITISH GT OPENER
Still smiling from taking home the silverware at the opening round of the 2009 Le Mans Series in Barcelona, the previous weekend, Allan Simonsen got ready to climb into another Ferrari 430 in a different country.

He'd done this many times before and with the same team, albiet rebranded.
But it was a new year and the opening round of British GT at Oulton Park.

Hector Lester would co-drive again in the Rosso Verde UBC Ferrarri 430 GT3, a less potent variant of what he had run at Catalunya a few days ago.,

However, like the GT2 car, where Hankook had come onboard, Avon had a new rear tyre for the GT3. A different fuel supplier had arrived in BGT - Sunoco replacing Carless – and for some competitors it seemed to be an issue forcing them back to pump fuel for the race, but forfeiting any point earned.

Simonsen picked up just where he left off in 2008 - fastest in all the practice sessions. That unfortunately did not translate well into qualifying

Allan surmise after qualifying, "We didn't think it nescessary to try the new Avons in practice and since I'd set fastest time it only seem natural that new rubber would ensure us pole. But when I tried them there was too much grip in the rear and that upset the front of the car.
Still it was good enough for 2nd yet Allan knew there was more in it.

"I was on a flyer and 0.3 sec up on my best but an Aston Martin went off in a big way bringing out the yellows so that was it.

Lestor started the race and handed it back to Simonsen at the 23 minute mark, in 5th, with the Momo Mosler leading.

Back on track it didn't take long for the Dane to grab 4th, setting the fastest lap, before locking his sights on 3rd.

Such is the nature of Oulton Park, and the width of the Viper in front, with its strong torque out of corners that it was a tough job to pass.
In the move of the race, Simonsen went outside on the banked Shell corner to snatch the position and finish the race on the podium.

Starting the second race off P2 and pulling off a great outside pass at Turn 1, Simonsen was into the lead, to be virtually unchallenged.

Pitstop at 37 minutes at Hector was in but found the car difficult to drive which soon ending in a spin at T1.

There was some rear damage but he'd kept it going and lost only 10 seconds holding 2nd place.

Only towards the end did the Viper and Ascari get the better of him and the Ferrari passed the flag in 4th.

Still it it was valuable points and the pairing would now sit 3rd in the championship.