Sunday 15 May 2011

FIA GT1: Marc VDS and Ford Fly to Qualifying Race Victory in Germany

Marc VDS and Ford Fly to Qualifying Race Victory in Germany

Frederic Makowiecki and Maxime Martin claimed an emphatic victory in the Qualifying Race in Germany, storming from 14th on the grid to a winning margin of more than seven seconds. That owed much to a remarkable opening stint from Makowiecki, who passed a succession of cars to sit fifth as the pit stop window opened. The team then elected to stay out for a long first stint, and Makowiecki's pace - coupled with a rapid stop - allowed the team to just jump the No.3 Hexis Aston Martin of Stef Dusseldorp and Clivio Piccione for the lead.

The Aston itself had benefited from a fantastic stop, but came out moments behind Maxime Martin in the Ford and, after one lap of heavy pressure, gradually lost ground to finish second.

Third was eventually claimed by Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner in the No.8 Young Driver Aston Martin, with Mücke passing series returnee Warren Hughes in the No.20 Sumo Power Nissan GT minutes before the chequered flag fell.

Makowiecki and Martin's win was a welcome respite in an otherwise unfortunate race for the marque, which saw the No.40 Marc VDS and the No.9 Belgian Racing GTs ruled out in an opening lap incident also involving the second No.10 Belgian Racing car. The collision brought out a safety car for the opening four laps, with the No.37 Lamborghini leading the No.3 Hexis and No.8 Young Driver Aston Martins when the green flag restarted the race.

As Makowiecki worked his way through the order, the top three stayed the same and all three cars pitted at the first opportunity. Hexis once again excelled, the No.3 jumping into the lead, but the No.37 All-Inkl Lamborghini lost critical time and eventually dropped down to ninth as a result. It fought back to sixth, before a late spin dropped it once place to seventh.

The No.8 Aston Martin of Turner and Mücke meanwhile lost one place during their pit stop and fell to fourth, only to clinch the final step of the podium in the final minutes as they passed the No.20 Nissan Sumo Power GT of Warren Hughes and Enrique Bernoldi.

Several drivers were caught out by the tricky, undulating Sachsenring circuit, including the No.11 Exim Bank Team China Corvette which spun out of the race on lap five as Nicky Catsburg vied with the No.23 Nissan JRM for seventh place.

During the race the FIA Stewards received reports that both cars 41 and 3 cut the white line at the exit of the pitlane. After viewing the evidence and speaking to the competitors representatives the FIA Stewards decided that no further actions were needed (Steward’s Decisions nr7 and nr8 apply).

The Championship Race will take place at the Sachsenring on Sunday 15th May at 14:15 (local).

CLICK HERE for the result of Round 4 Qualifying Race

CLICK HERE for the Race Facts

CLICK HERE for the championship positions after the Qualifying Race

Frederic Makowiecki

nr41 Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT Matech

"The start there was a crash in the first corner, and when the Safety Car came in that’s when I really started to push. The car is actually really good on this track, and it was possible to overtake further. Also, the team made a really good pit stop when I came in, and that allowed us to exit in first place.

“Max (Martin) was really safe, and he finished on top so it was perfect for us. The team informed me I could do three of four laps, so I continued until just before the pit window closed and we were able to jump into the lead. It’s really important for the team, for everybody, because they worked very hard for this and after our difficult start to the championship, we hope to fight for the rest of the season.”

Maxime Martin

nr41 Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT Matech

"I saw the Aston Martin in my mirrors, so I knew we were in front. It was a little bit tricky with cold tyres at first, but we had good pace so I got a little gap and continued to push. We have to thank the team though, because without this pit stop I think it would have been more difficult. We were a little bit quicker at the end of the race, but at the beginning I was pushing very hard on cold tyres. We know we can win, so we look forward to tomorrow.”

Stef Dusseldorp

nr3 Hexis AMR Aston Martin DB9

“I didn’t expect the Ford to be in front of me after the pit stop – when we did our stop we went on new tyres and I pushed hard to get a big gap behind me. I knew the Ford was lapping quickly, but I was quite surprised to see them in front of me. Let’s hope for another nice race and good point for the championship tomorrow.”

Clivio Piccione

nr3 Hexis AMR Aston Martin DB9

“The start was okay, I missed my timing a little bit but otherwise the run was good. I paced myself on the Lamborghini in front, and with the Aston Martin behind me we had a big gap so I was not expecting to be fighting with the Ford at the end of the race. We did it in Abu Dhabi and now here though, so I think we’ll be fighting them more in the future.”

Darren Turner

nr8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9

“My start wasn’t particularly great, I couldn’t see the lights at all, so I nearly got nailed into the first corner but just managed to hang on. Then it was a little bit touch and go with Enrique (Bernoldi) for a few laps, until thankfully I managed to break away and then towards the end of the stint managed to join the battle for third. Overall very happy, the guys did a good job in the pit stop and Stefan did a great job getting us into third.”

Stefan Mücke

nr8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9

“I was a bit surprised to see the Nissans come out in front of me after the pit stop. I managed to get one back in the first lap, but the other one was quite strong and it was fast on the straight, so it was difficult to catch up. I was slightly faster but couldn’t really overtake, and then two laps to go he ran a bit wide and I went down the inside. I am absolutely happy that we are third, it’s a good place to start for tomorrow so let’s hope we have a clean race and get some points.”

Jeff Carter

Media Delegate,/acreditated and autorized media press.

Fotos: DPPI/Fia GT1.

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