The start of the FIA GT Series in early April only whet the appetite of Sébastien Loeb Racing. First row in qualifying, first victory in the qualifying race and leading the championship race almost to the finish…It was a successful first outing and serves to feed the team’s ambitions. This first round showed how competitive the Alsacian team could be with their pair of McLaren MC4-12C entries with an ability to adapt to the circumstances, the weather and a real determination to succeed. The hour has come to confirm the good start to the season with the next race meeting at Zolder.
Located in the heart of Flanders in Belgium, a few kilometers from Maastricht, Zolder once hosted Formula 1 in the 60s and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Known as a quick track, the 4km long route combines long straights with fast, flowing corners in a wooded area near Alberkanaal. In addition to a humid climate, the weather is often variable and rainy.
Andreas Zuber, Alvaro Parente and Mike Parisy, who all have won here in GT1, know the track well and will use this advantage to define the best setup while the experience gained on a wet track at Nogaro will be valuable. Only Sébastien Leob will be discovering Zolder for the first time, but the multiple World Rally champion’s ability to adapt will no doubt put him near the top of the field from the first practice session.
Sébastien Loeb Racing will take advantage of two free practice sessions on Friday to refine the set up of the two McLaren MP4-12C, before taking on the clock on Saturday morning for the qualifying session. Meanwhile, the qualifying race is scheduled for early afternoon on Saturday and will determine the grid for the championship the following day, Sunday the 21st at 2 :15pm.
Alavaro Parente (McLaren MP4-12C #9): "I’m pretty confident. The only real unknown for me will be the weather. At Zolder, sometimes it can rain for quite some time and steadily at that. We still need to progress in the wet, but we’ve worked hard since Nogaro and things should go in the right direction. We are aiming for a good result. Seb doesn’t know Zolder so he’ll have to learn this track that’s not very easy, but I’m not too worried about that ! We’re turning the page on Nogaro and keeping in mind the things we need to do in order to take the most points away from the race weekend at Zolder."
Mike Parisy (McLaren MP4-12C #10): "We showed good top speed at Nogaro, which bodes well for us in Belgium. We still have a bit of margin when it comes to our wet setup, but we’re not far off and we can count on the team’s reactivity to find the right balance. I think the car will be competitive and generally comfortable to drive on this track that I know well after winning here last year. I just finished on the podium at Monza, also in a McLaren. The dynamic is good and our objectives are high!"
Sébastien Loeb Racing