Ford's Marc VDS squad continued their excellent start to 2011 with a dominant performance in this morning's free practice session at their home circuit of Zolder.
Under the guidance of Abu Dhabi Qualifying Race winners Frederic Makowiecki and Maxime Martin, the No. 41 Ford GT Matech went fastest in the opening five minutes of the session and remained at the top of the timesheets for the duration of the 80 minute session.
The No. 8 Young Driver Aston Martin and the No. 20 Sumo Power Nissan GT came closest to displacing Marc VDS, and at one point the top three were separated by just 0.036s. Makowiecki underlined his team's dominance however with a blazing effort on his final tour of the circuit, dipping under the 1m30s bracket for the first time to eventually finish more than four tenths clear of the rest of the field.
Second place was eventually claimed by Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke in their Aston Martin DB9, with the pair edging out Ricardo Zonta and Enrique Bernoldi in the No. 20 Nissan GT by just two thousandths of a second.
Nissan continued their own strong start to the year with two cars in the top four, as the No. 22 JR Motorsports GT of Peter Dumbreck and Richard Westbrook finished one tenth down the road in fourth.
Fifth went to Abu Dhabi Championship Race winners - and current points leaders - Clivio Piccione and Stef Dusseldorp in the No. 5 Aston Martin Hexis AMR, with their team-mates Christian Hohenadel and Andrea Piccini in the No. 4 DB9 finishing less than one tenth of a second down the road in sixth.
German duo Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm finished seventh in the No. 23 Nissan JRM GT-R, ahead of the highest place Lamborghini - the No. 37 All-Inkl Murcielago of Dominik Schwager and Nicky Pastorelli.
The highest place Corvette was that of Exim Bank Team China, as Mike Hezemans and Nicky Catsburg guided the No. 11 car to 12th - impressively still within nine tenths of the ultimate pace.
New Belgian Racing Ford GT pairing Vanina Ickx and Mathias Beche struggled to assert themselves during the session and finished 16th, just ahead of team-mates Milos Pavlovic and Martin Matzke in the No. 10 Ford GT.
For full results, click here
The on-track action will resume at 14.20 local time, when Pre-Qualifying commences ahead of Qualifying and the opening Qualifying Race tomorrow.
Reaction to follow...
Info/Foto - FIA GT1 World Championship. / Autorized and Acreditated Press.
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