Marc VDS Takes First Blood of 2011
Maxime Martin and Fred Makowieki took the honours in the first encounter of 2011 by winning the Qualifying Race at Yas Marina. A clash with the nr7 Aston Martin of Tomas Enge damaged the door of the Ford GT at the start of the race but failed to stop Martin from taking the chequered flag to record his and his team's first GT1 World win. It was all smiles in the Nissan camp as JR Motorsports had both their cars in the top 3 finishers, with Richard Westbrook and Peter Dumbreck pushing the Ford all the way to the chequered flag, while team mates Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr held on to take third.
The nr8 Aston Martin of Darren Turner led for the first half of the race but a slow pitstop put Stefan Mucke back behind the Ford and a missing locking pin in the front left wheel allowed the wheel to come adrift and forced the German into retirement. The incident at Turn 1 at the start between Tomas Enge and Fred Makowiecki span the Aston around, which was collected by the nr37 All-Inkl.com Muennich Motorsport Lamborghini of Thomas Schwager and then by the nr47 DKR Corvette of Jaime Camara, eliminating all three cars from the race.
Despite misty condition caused by a sand storm, the first race of the season was action packed from start to finish and the battle for the lead between the Ford GT and the Nissan GT-R provided some nailbiting entertainment for the teams and spectators alike.
Maxime Martin will now take his place on Pole Position for the first Champinship RAce of 2011 thsi evening, which begins at 19:45 local time (14:45 UK and 15:45 CET).
Fred Makowiecki – nr41 Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
“This is really great for us for the start of the championship. During the start I had a little contact with Tomas – a little bit of damage – but I could continue and I was still able to push. I had a good stint and tried to stay constant, to give Maxime the car in a good condition. The team did a really good job at the pit stop, and we continued to push and Maxime took the win!”
Maxime Martin – nr41 Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT
“The team did a very good pit stop, we had a little problem with the door because of the crash so we lost a bit of time but I got out in front of at the Aston. Then I had a very good fight with Peter and the Nissan, it was very fair and nice to see for the first race of the season. It’s a very nice feeling for me and for sure the rest of the team. Last year was not so easy, so to be here and win the first race is fantastic.”
Richard Westbrook – nr22 JR Motorsports Nissan GT-R
“This is a great result for everyone at Nissan: we’re carrying the Japanese flag on our car and obviously in these difficult times it’s nice to have something to cheer about. The future looks really bright for us: I don’t think we’re quite there on pace yet, but we drove a good race, got a podium and we’ll gladly take the points.”
Peter Dumbreck - nr22 JR Motorsports Nissan GT-R
“I had no idea where Maxime was when I left the pits, and then suddenly he was alongside me and that was the start of the fight really. It took me a few laps to get my tyres working and then I was on his tail. It’s always easier being the pursuer, but he drove very well. If you compare our team to one year ago its night and day really, and this result brings us that bit closer to the front.”
Michael Krumm - nr23 JR Motorsports Nissan GT-R
“I had a good getaway at the start, and then as I turned in I saw cars flying around me but I got back and then made a move on the Corvette. It was a little bit lucky, but the car ran really well, the GT-R proved in the race its really strong and I think Nissan and the entire team have done a fantastic job to get us where we are. I also want to thank Lucas for the move he made on the other Nissan – I think it was the overtaking move of the race, and I’m really pleased with this German combination we have.”
Lucas Luhr - nr22 JR Motorsports Nissan GT-R
“It’s always a little bit exciting doing something for the first time, so I didn’t really know what to expect but I’m really happy. We’re still missing a bit of speed to the cars in front, but our car was really good and I’m looking forward to the main race later today!”