Alliot and Malenfant Steal The Victory in Stormy Interlagos

The Carson Speedworks crew of Joey Alliot and Jacques Malenfant paved their way to victory in the first round of the 2018 Rolex GT Super Series season in Interlagos with the assist of their Pit Crew.

After a scare early on with a coming together with teammate Li Qi, the 63 crew would rise to the challenge laid down by the Gulf Racing Aston Martin of Matteo Rossi and Roland Davidson and the 02 Solvalou Lamborghini or Chris Winter and Einar Armannsson when the rain system came over the Interlagos circuit late into the race. Malenfant found himself in third face behind the dueling Davidson and Armannsson after the second round of pit stops for wet tires with 40 minutes remaining in the race, but would skyrocket to the lead and eventually the win when the rain intensified with 10 minutes to go, necessitating everyone to go to the Monsoon wet tires. While the 02 and the 6 would reverse their order with the Factory Lamborghini leading their battle, the Carson Speedworks crew would put in a blinding pit stop and rocket Malenfant to a five second lead, which would hold until the chequered flag would wave. It is the pairing’s second overall victory with the first coming at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in 2016, and gives the new Factory Chevrolet team Carson Speedworks and the new Corvette C6.R victories on debut.

The second place finishing Solvalou Lamborghini of Winter and Armannsson had a eventful race before ending off a near race-long duel with the Gulf Racing Aston for second place. After joining the battle for the lead early on against Rossi and Gerald Pereria driver Fabian Rei, a early rain shower would catch Chris Winter out causing him to spin at turn 6 before the first round of pit stops, dropping him outside of the top five. Once the rain picked up however, the Pirelli-shod runners would slowly start to drop back allowing Winter’s co-driver Armannsson to gain back ground and into that battle for the lead with Roland Davidson which would eventually have the pair of cars finishing second and third.

The other front-row starting car of Rei and co-driver Ryota Wong would go out to a early five second lead to start out before being reeled back in by Rossi past the 10 minute mark of the race. The pair would swap the lead throughout the opening stint before the first rain system would appear at the 40 minute park, around the first round of pit stops. Wong would exit the first round of pit stops the leader but would struggle for pace in the deteriorating conditions. They would remain in the hunt for the lead when the first system faded but would drop back to their eventual finishing position of sixth when the major rain system hit at the end of the race.

Finishing half a second behind Rei and Wong would be the Independents Class winner in the Commonwealth Corvette, driven by Darren Older Jr. and Valeri Kozar. They would be the main benefactors after the previous class leader, who ran as high as fifth, the Scuderia Belgio Ferrari hit mechanical troubles and had to drop out of the race. Finishing second in the Independants class, and the only other car in class to finish in the top ten, would be the 96 Best In The World Lamborghini, with local driver Haílton Fidélis teaming up with last year’s co-champion Marlin Hortin. The Brazilian would get spun early on in the race, but with help from the weather would fight back into podium contention in class. Closing out the Independents Class podium would be the Tom Douglas Racing Saleen of Antonio and Vidal Reyna-Sanchez.

Race Results – After 74 Laps

528MRestov/DaviesScuderia Italia+17.878
614MRei/WongGerald Pereria+19.331
756IOlder Jr./KozarCommonwealth+19.747
927Mvan Walwijk/ConstantiniScuderia Italia+34.174
1096IFidelis/HortinBest In The World+34.617
11555IA.+V. Reyna-SanchezTom Douglas+35.912
1255IDouglas/MelroseTom Douglas+36.280
1441MTravesen/SparksGerald Pereria+53.409
152IKikkawa/GauthierBoutsen Ginion+56.148
1608IWhiting/de LangeChris Short+1:02.498
2099IEinfeldt/von SchweigerPeople's Republic+1 Lap
2111IMestach/JafferBest In The World+4 Laps*
2203MLe Fay/FazioSolvalouSuspension
243IBourne/TuckerBoutsen GinionBrakes
2521IVan Dycke/SeronBelgioGearbox
26007MMagnus/GeiszlerFalken TireElectrics
2709IMelvanov/KabirovChris ShortGearbox
2931IWinton/YanameWintonContact Damage

Fastest Lap – Car 6 (Gulf Aston Martin – Rossi/Davidson) – 1:25.277

Infinite Improbability Drive of the Race – Haílton Fidélis and Marlin Hortin: Getting caught out in the early carnage and then grinding it back deserves some recognition.

Reject of The Race – Ito Shidehara: Missing your pit box and then going into reverse in the fast lane to get back to it is dangerous, and rejectful to say the least.