CORK driver Matt Griffin and his Spirit of Race team mates Britain’s Duncan Cameron and South African David Perel took a third place podium finish in the LMGTE category of the 4 Hours of Barcelona, the opening round of the European Le Mans Series.
In their newly liveried green and white Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, they finished just behind the Proton Competition run Porsche 911 RSR-19 as the Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 GTE took a dominant class win.
Blarney born Griffin was far from happy with his qualifying stint as he lost a good lap time due to exceeding track limits and then was slowed by traffic on his other fastest lap and they had to be content with P7.
In the race, Cameron drove the first stint that was yellow flagged after two incidents and the safety car was deployed for seven minutes to allow race organisers clear the track.
Cameron moved up a place and within ten minutes he was challenging the Porsche 911 of Killarney native Michael Fassbende for fifth.
Remarkably, after the opening half hour, Cameron, who had overtaken Fassbender, was even challenging for third spot.
Cameron’s stint behind the wheel lasted some seventy minutes. By the time he came into the pits to allow Griffin climb onboard, he had slotted into third.
Griffin slipped down for a time but as the final hour beckoned, he had regained third before new recruit Perel took over for the final stint. Although Perel narrowed the gap to second spot, time was not on his side and he took the chequered flag in third spot.
Fassbender and his Proton Competition team mates Felipe Laser and Richard Lietz brought their Porsche 911 home in sixth place.
Meanwhile, rallying under the banner of Motorsport Ireland will be much more expensive if recent proposals from the governing body are implemented.
It is envisaged that rallysprint events (gated) are likely to be one the first disciplines when the sport resumes under Covid-19 restrictions.
In terms of rallies, the options suggested include forest stage events (semi-gated) and tarmac stage rallies (non-gated).
Options for rallies are set to feature two stage locations repeated three times (2x3) or three stage locations repeated three times (3x3).
Entry fees will range from €800 to €1,000. While clubs have also been given costings templates, they reveal profit margins that suggest entry fees could be lower than those proposed.
The fixed entry fees comes as MI state that organising clubs will not be allowed to offer discounts, rebates, early incentives or free entries.
An on-line entry portal is also causing unease within many clubs, who fear that the governing body is exercising too much control over them.
So far, the governing body has failed to engage in a Zoom meeting with its clubs.