2 points for the Ford GT of Leinders-Kuppens Bas Leinders and Renaud Kuppens took 12th place in the Italian round of the FIA-GT championship, which was held in the twilight conditions of Saturday evening on the Adria racetrack. A result which...
2 points for the Ford GT of Leinders-Kuppens
Bas Leinders and Renaud Kuppens took 12th place in the Italian round of the FIA-GT championship, which was held in the twilight conditions of Saturday evening on the Adria racetrack. A result which does not do justice to the intrinsic value of the Belgian team, who keeps on developing their racecar with the 2010 season in mind.
"I am not exaggerating when I say that we could have taken a top-8 finish", Bas Leinders states. "Some small details made us lose a lot of time, but our 7th place on the fastest lap charts proves we could have taken a spot in the first eight."
Even during qualifying the Ford of Marc VDS Racing had set the 8th time, and was even promoted to 7th on the grid when Karl Wendlinger was disqualified due to a technical infringement. "In an identical car I was even half a second quicker then Tomas Biagi, who knows this technical Adria racetrack very well", Leinders continues. The Belgian started his race with a duel with countryman Stephane Lemeret. "Stephane had passed me on the start/finish-straight and we had a nice scrap for a couple of laps. I made up time in the corners and under braking, but he ran away on the straights thanks to his moer powerful engine."
A fight which could have lasted for a long time, until... "I clipped a stack of tyres and one of the locks of the hood became undone", Leinders explained. "We lost two laps with the repairs, worse: we used the stop to refuel, but the mechanics did not follow the correct procedure and I was penalised with a drive through."
Two more laps were lost during the next pitstop, with further repairs on the damaged lock. After that it was difficult to finish higher than 12th. "That's a pity, because we had good stints", Leinders concludes. "Renaud was matching the lap times of Biagi all the time. But anyway, we've accumulated some more experience, will change the placing of the locks on the hood, will go through all the procedures again and will continue the development of this car, which Renaud and I like more and more."
Next race: 20-21 June in Oschersleben (Germany).