Barcelona, 2 October 2017 – Kessel Racing’s Stephen Earle on the no. 111 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 has become the 2017 Iron Cup champion after the final Main Race in this year’s GT Sports Club season finally was cut short due to heavy rain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Red flag. Heavens opened in earnest as the Blancpain GT Sports Club drivers took to the Spanish Grand Prix venue to line up on their grid. This led to Sunday’s 40-minute contest getting under way behind the Safety Car but when several cars slithered off track in worsening weather conditions, the decision was made to red flag and not resume the race. As the official race result was issued after one lap, in accordance with the sporting regulations, no points were awarded after the Main Race, and the final points remain those after Saturday’s Qualifying Race.
One-point advantage. Having entered the title-deciding event one point ahead of Iron Cup rival Klaus Dieter Frers, winner of Qualifying Race on the no. 3 Artega Rennsport Ferrari 488 GT3, Stephen Earle thus ends up on top in the Blancpain GT Sports Club’s category reserved for drivers aged 60 and over. Frers was leading over Earle when the Sunday’s race was red flagged. The overall race was led by Anthony Pons’ Mercedes, the Frenchman, already winner on Saturday, won the overall title.
The champion’s words. “It feels wonderful to be the 2017 Iron Cup champion – said Earle on Sunday – When you fight hard all year for a championship goal and you finally achieve this, it’s really indescribable, it’s the icing on the cake. Especially when you consider what happened last year and having the flat tyre and losing the championship by one point. The one thing that you talk to people that have been in racing for a long time is: you can have the best driver, the best car, the best team, the best strategy, but you still have to be lucky and you never have any control over that luck and that’s what makes this sport so addictive and yet so frustrating.”