InterProgressBank Spartak Racing made the finish with the Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT on its first outing in the race twice around the clock at Spa, Belgium. In addition to the long race distance, the Russian team also took advantage of the peculiarity of points being awarded on three occasions throughout the race. Valuable points for the FIA GT Championship were collected at the 6, 12 and 24 hour marks.
The driver quartet of Roman Rusinov (RUS), Peter Kox (NL), Jan Lammers (NL) and Tomas Enge (CZ) posted a strong performance during the first half of the race. Starting from eighth position the IPB Spartak Racing crew worked its way up to fourth position despite the changeable weather. In the process, the drivers even outclassed the entire competition from Maserati, Corvette and Aston Martin. The lap times were as much as 2 seconds quicker than those of the competition.
Unfortunately, a gear-change problem on early Sunday morning ended IPB Spartak Racing’s march towards the front. The mechanics changed the Lamborghini Murciélago’s gearbox after completing 336 laps around the roller-coaster Spa-Francorchamps track in the Ardennes.
However, in spite of this time consuming repair Rusinov, Kox, Lammers and Enge returned to the fray with renewed motivation and once again recorded extremely competitive lap times.
The #8 IPB Spartak Racing Lamborghini Murciélago returned to the race in 14th position and had fought its way into the top-ten again by midday. Even an unscheduled pit-stop to change tires after touching another car could not halt the forward progress. Although the rain increased during the final two hours of this marathon, Peter Kox completed a double-stint on slick tires. The GT1 Class rivals choose different rain tires, but were unable to keep the Dutchman’s pace. The IPB Spartak Racing Lamborghini Murciélago was occasionally as much as 5 seconds per lap faster than the rest of the field.
Thanks to this incredible effort the InterProgressBank Spartak Racing Lamborghini Murciélago crossed the finish line in fifth position in the GT1 class with Peter Kox at the wheel. “Every driver and the entire team dug deep and produced an incredible performance to make this result possible,” says Hans Reiter of Reiter Engineering, which provided the technical support for this event.