Two weeks after wrapping up its world championship campaign with two victories at Donington, Hexis Racing was back racing in long-distance events by entering one of its McLaren MP4-12Cs in the final round of the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Alvaro Parente, Stef Dusseldorp and Fred Makowiecki’s win at Navarra will go down in the history of the French team as it is Hexis’ first in endurance.
The French squad had its first real taste of endurance in 2011 when it competed in the first Blancpain Endurance Series.
The two Aston Martin DBRS9 GT3s were starting to show their age, which did not prevent Hexis from battling for victory at Monza and the podium in the Spa 24 Hours.
This year the team took the decision to devote itself entirely to the FIA GT1 World Championship and the development of the McLaren GT.
It proved to be the right choice as the season ended with second place in both the teams’ and drivers’ classification: in the latter Makowiecki-Dusseldorp were only one point behind the winners!
The Blancpain Endurance Series still attracts a top-class field and 40 cars turned up for the final round in Spain. For this one-off outing Hexis Racing was able to count on three drivers who were with the team in the world championship.
The no. 7 McLaren was at the front in pre-qualifying and then clinched pole. After the first two stints by Alvaro Parente and Stef Dusseldorp it had pulled out a minute over its pursuers.
The third and final part of the race was perturbed by the rain and Fred Makowiecki was champing at the bit behind the safety car for a long time.
The race was restarted for another ten laps, and Makowiecki opened up a gap of around 15 seconds before the last neutralization and the stopping of the race, a few minutes before the final whistle.
“We did a little testing at Lédenon to get to grips with the Michelin tyres which are very different to the Pirellis we use in the world championship,” pointed out team manager, Philippe Dumas.
“We ran into some different problems in free practice and then we managed to get everything together and our drivers had a car that was comfortable to drive.
They did a fantastic job and the pit stops went off without a hitch. We’re becoming a real winning machine! I’m delighted for the team, for McLaren, for all the people who’ve been involved in this season’s adventure and who’ve believed in us.”
The members of the McLaren GT staff, who were at Navarra, were also very pleased to see their car winning for the first time in the Blancpain Endurance Series, and they qualified the performance of their French partners as a “Hexis job!” Difficult to dream of a better homage!
Source: Hexis Racing