Impressive form continues as 2 Seas Motorsport secures top honours in Barcelona
The opening race of the International GT Open season finale saw 2 Seas Motorsport return to winning ways, as Ethan Simioni and Martin Kodrić took victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. A faultless team effort saw strong stints by both drivers and an impressive pitstop by the 2 Seas Motorsport team during the first race of the weekend to build a convincing lead before a late incident would see the #9 Mercedes-AMG GT3 lead the field home under Safety Car conditions.
The team picked up where they had left off from the previous round in Monza when the track went live for the weekend’s first practice session. The Bahraini-British outfit topping the timesheets, and then remained at the sharp end of the grid during the final practice session.
Qualifying for the opening race saw Martin battling hard for pole position, but the Croatian was unfortunate to encounter traffic during each of his quick laps. He briefly topped the times but, as the track conditions continued to improved, Martin held position in 3rd to secure a second-row grid slot for the 70-minute race.
The action started immediately for Martin as the race got underway, being forced wide and onto the grass as he made his way towards turn 1 on the opening lap. The move briefly dropped the #9 Mercedes-AMG back, but Martin quickly recovered and was immediately fighting for the final podium position. His pace remained strong over the following laps as he closed up to the back of the car ahead and, after showing his intentions on the previous lap, made a bold move stick on lap 7 to move into the top 3.
A brief Safety Car intervention closed the field back up as Martin continued to pressure the cars ahead. As the pitstop window opened, the strategy saw him run longer than the car ahead, gaining a further position. Now running in clear air, the #9 continued to close the gap to the race leader and as Martin entered the pitlane just after half distance, the lead gap was down to less than half a second.
Slick work by the 2 Seas Motorsport crew saw the car serviced and Ethan back out on track quickly and efficiently, giving the young Canadian the best opportunity to fight for the race lead. A lap later, as the race leader completed their stop, Ethan cleared the pitlane to take the overall race lead with over 10 seconds to the chasing pack.
With the benefit of such a margin, Ethan drove smoothly throughout his stint, negotiating his way through traffic and maintain the lead. A late incident between two cars further back in the order brought out a final Safety Car, and with less than five minutes remaining the track did not return to green flag running before the clock ran out. Ethan, as he had done in Monza last month, then brought the field home to score a second International GT Open victory for 2 Seas Motorsport, and leading a Mercedes-AMG 1-2 finish.
“Another amazing effort by the whole team to take the victory against such a strong field. Martin did a great job in the opening stint, and the team were absolutely perfect with the pitstop to give me the car in the best possible position. We have worked hard to get to this point, and it is great to be able to bring the car home for another victory, and to pick up where we left off in Italy. I am really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve tomorrow in race 2 and we will keep pushing to end the season on a high.”
Ethan Simioni, #9 Mercedes-AMG GT3, 2 Seas Motorsport.