International GT Open

Strong performance at Silverstone from Orange 1 Team Lazarus

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A Second place finish in race one, and a fourth in race two at Silverstone for the distinctive, bright Orange Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Orange 1 Team Lazarus was enough, not only to see their drivers, Thomas Biagi and Fabrizio Crestani increase their lead in the points standings, but also move into second place in the team classification ahead of Garage 59.

Biagi and Crestani now lead the Balfe Motorsport pair of Shaun Balfe and Phil Keen by twenty-two points and the team sit just ten points behind BMW Team Teo Martin as the 2016 International GT Open season reached its halfway stage at Silverstone.

Biagi and Crestani increased their lead by twelve points over Balfe and Keen, themselves having a solid round with a brace of fifth place finishes in their new McLaren 650S.  Nothing was handed to them on a plate though, particularly Sunday’s race two, where the #27 Lamborghini had to overcome as much as twenty-five seconds of success penalty following victory in the previous round at Paul Ricard last month, and second place from race one held at Silverstone on Saturday.

Not content in simply consolidating their points lead, the drivers were on maximum attack during race two, aiming for the highest position possible.  Crestani, having qualified the car in fifth place lost two positions on the first lap as Duncan Tappy got by him at the start and Robert Wheldon went passed at Stowe.  He managed to quickly get back past Wheldon however and then continued to drive well for the rest of his stint, regaining fifth place by passing Pieter Schothorst before targeting, and pressuring Duncan Tappy in the Garage 59 McLaren for fourth place.

As the pit stop window opened, Crestani brought the Lamborghini Huracan in from fifth place to hand over to Thomas Biagi and to serve the ‘success seconds’ handicap.  Biagi emerged in eighth place, just in front of championship rival Phil Keen, who he had to battle for the duration of his stint.  He and Keen passed the Wessex Motorsport Lamborghini of Craig Dolby for sixth place and then closed in on the three-way fight for third place between the two BMW Team Teo Martin cars driven by Miguel Ramos in fifth, Gustavo Yacaman in fourth and The FF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 of Paul McNeilly in third place.

Yacaman passed his team-mate for fourth and McNeilly to take third.  Biagi caught the trio and passed reigning champion Miguel Ramos at the Loop for fifth place, then performed a beautiful manoeuvre on Paul McNeilly going into the Vale to take fourth place on the penultimate lap.  The Orange 1 Team Lazarus Lamborghini crossed the line in fourth place, only two seconds behind third placed driver Michael Benham.  Had there been time for one more lap, you would have been brave to bet against seeing the championship leaders standing on the podium for a third consecutive time.

The next time Thomas Biagi, Fabrizio Crestani and the Orange 1 Team Lazarus Lamborghini Huracan GT3 take to the track in the 2016 International GT Open will be the weekend of September 10-11.

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