Friday 9 September 2011

Round 9 – Goldenport Park, Beijing, China Qualifying 09 September 2011 Beijing Pole for Marc VDS Ford

Round 9 – Goldenport Park, Beijing, China


09 September 2011

Beijing Pole for Marc VDS Ford

Maxime Martin continued his stunning form in the Marc VDS Ford GT nr41 by taking pole in an eventful Qualifying in Beijing. The Belgian, a double race winner at Ordos last weekend with Frenchman Fred Makowiecki sharing the driving, was partnered at Goldenport circuit this afternoon by fellow-Belgian Bertrand Baguette. The duo set a best time of 1:00.344. The Young Driver Aston Martins of Darren Turner/Stefan Mücke (nr.8, 1:00.441) and Tomas Enge/Alex Muller (nr.7, 1:00.465) were second and third.

Fourth was the drivers' championship contenders Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock in the nr38 Münnich Motorsport Lamborghini (1:00.588).

The session was red-flagged twice to allow stricken cars to be dragged from the unforgiving Goldenport gravel traps. The tight layout tested the mettle of the GT1 pack.

All five GT1 brands were represented in the top 8. There were mixed results for the Team China Corvettes. The nr12 car of Michael Rossi and the returning Nico Verdonck wowed the home fans by qualifying a splendid fifth.

Ho-Pin Tung and Jeroen Den Boer in the nr11 were eliminated in Q2 and could only manage 11th place.

The nimble Ford GT's liking for the challenging Goldenport circuit was underlined with sixth place for the second Marc VDS Ford GT of Bas Leinders and Marc Hennerici and seventh for the Belgian Racing entry of Jonathan Hirschi and Christoffer Nygaard. It was the first appearance of 2011 in Q3 for Belgian Racing.

Jamie Campbell-Walter and David Brabham in the Sumo Power nr21 were the best of the Nissans in 8th.

It was not a good day for the other GT-Rs, particularly the Championship leaders Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm. Qualifying ended abruptly for the pair after 12 minutes when Luhr dropped the nr23 JRM car in the gravel at the end of turn 1.

The Germans were classified 16th while the nr22 JRM Nissan of Richard Westbrook and Peter Dumbreck was 9th having just missed the cut for Q3.

The nr20 Sumo Power Nissan GT-R of Nick Catsburg and Enrique Bernoldi did not make it out for Qualifying after Catsburg damaged the front end of the car in an off-track excursion in Free Practice. The team is hopeful of making tomorrow's Qualifying Race.

Hexis Aston Martin's Stef Dusseldorp (Clivio Piccione), third in the Championship Race in Ordos, also ended in the gravel at T13 in Q1 and took no further part in proceedings. The nr3 car finished last of the 17 runners.

CLICK HERE for the Result from Qualifying
CLICK HERE for the Race Facts from Qualifying

The Qualifying Race is due to start at 10:45 (Local) /4:45 (CET) on Saturday 10 September.

What the Drivers Say....

Maxime Martin
nr41 Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT Matech

"This performance is really great for the whole team. We knew the track would be quite good for the Fords. For sure, with 40 kilos it is not so easy, but we are proud to be on pole here in Beijing and it will be great for the race tomorrow. It's great to work with Bertrand (Baguette) again, he is a professional driver so it is great for us to continue with him after our race together in Spain."

Bertrand Baguette
nr41 Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT Matech

"I think that pole position here is 50% of the job as it is very difficult to overtake here. It's a very twisty track, with very few opportunities to overtake. Maxime did a very good job in Q3 to put us at the front of the grid tomorrow. I don't think the 40 kilos ballast will affect the tyre wear. We do feel the weight in the car but we have to deal with it. From what we've seen today in Free Practice and Pre-Qualifying the car was quite good so it should be OK for tomorrow."

Stefan Mücke
nr8 Young Driver Aston Martin DB9

"We are very pleased with result and starting on the front row tomorrow, which is going to be very important here as overtaking is quite difficult. So we are very happy to be where we are, even though we have to start on the outside but fingers crossed everything will be OK. We also have 20 kilos of ballast in the car, which doesn't make life very easy, but the car is running well and I think we did quite a good job this morning in Free Practice and Pre Qualifying to find a good set up."

Darren Turner
nr8 Young Driver Aston Martin DB9
"It is a very difficult circuit, but it is a good circuit and is fun to drive. Although it is very short, it just means we do more of the same with the laps. It is very good and very challenging; one small mistake and it could be a big trip into the gravel."

Tomas Enge
nr7 Young Driver Aston Martin DB9

"Before the weekend we thought this wasn't going to be the track for us. But when we walked around on Tuesday I started to like this circuit and thought things might not be as bad as we thought. Here we are, second and third in qualifying and we are really happy with this and a very good start for the weekend. We just need to keep this going in the two races tomorrow."

Alex Muller
nr7 Young Driver Aston Martin DB9

"Thanks to Young Driver AMR the car's running fine after the problems last weekend in Ordos. As Tomas said the circuit isn't that bad and we are looking forward to tomorrow's race."

Nico Verdonck,

Nr12 Exim Bank Team China Corvette (5th)

"It's not been too bad today for my first time in China. I think for most drivers it is a new track. So far it is going pretty well, I am getting to know Michael (Rossi) and we are getting on well together. I think Michael did a good performance and I think he could've gone better than P5 but he made a mistake at the last corner and so he came in. P5 is his best qualifying performance so we are being positive about it."

Jamie Campbell-Walter

nr21 Sumo Power Nissan GT-R (8th)

“It was good that we made it into Q3. Brabs (David Brabham) did a great job in Q2 and, missing one of this morning’s warm up sessions, meant that our crew also did a fantastic job to get the car set up for Qualifying and for us to be the fastest of the Nissans.

"We may have even finished higher if my last flying lap hadn’t been red-flagged because of another car going off. If we can make up a few places in the first race tomorrow then, in the second, we can aim for the podium that we should have had in the Championship Race in Ordos.”

David Brabham,

nr21 Sumo Power Nissan GT-R (8th)

“For these sorts of tracks, I find you have to think of them as street circuits, with no run-offs. It is a difficult track for us, but I was really pleased to get Jamie and I into Q3. We are still making adjustments to the car and I think we can still achieve a good result tomorrow from P8.”

Richard Westbrook,

nr22 JRM Nissan GT-R (9th)

“The car was going better lap-by-lap, so if Peter hadn’t got stuck in traffic I think we could have got through to the final eight in Q3, as there was only 0.03 second separating us in P9 and the next competitor in P9. In fact it’s been very close all day, so with a bit of good luck, there’s no reason why a good result shouldn’t come our way.”

Peter Dumbreck

nr22 JRM Nissan GT-R (9th)

"It’s always frustrating being one place away from Q3, but it was a hard qualifying session. On a circuit like this you have to use every last bit of track that’s available, but you also can’t afford any mistakes. It’s certainly going to be an interesting race.”

Lucas Luhr,

nr23 JRM Nissan GT-R (16th)

“I was struggling for grip in some places on the track, but decided to go for a fast lap. The car then got loose under braking for turn one, I lost traction and then I ended up in the gravel. It wasn’t what we wanted and I’m sorry to the boys in the pits we couldn’t get into Q1 this time. I think tomorrow’s races are going to be very exciting for the spectators, that’s for sure.”

Nicky Catsburg

nr20 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R (DNS)

“I was on new tyres and, like normal, I was feeling what kind of grip I had. The car stepped out – not that much really – and I corrected it, only to find that in the next second I had run out of road, then I was on the grass and then in the tyres. From where I was sitting the accident looked bigger than it felt, so I’m fine. I just hope the car is not to bad and the guys can get it fixed. I feel most sorry for them that this has happened.”

Free Practice and Pre Qualifying Reports and Results available at

Jeff Carter

Media Delegate,

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