A huge let-down in relation to performance!
After working hard on the setups on Friday the Hexis squad put on a stunning performance on Saturday morning as Parente and Dusseldorp bagged the first two positions in Q2 and Fred Makowiecki clinched pole. It was Hexis Racing’s and McLaren’s GT’s second pole on the trot after the one set by Parente and Demoustier in Moscow. Although Dusseldorp made an excellent start in the qualifying race he had no time to open up a gap as the safety car was deployed on lap 2. For eight laps Stef in the lead and Alvaro in seventh place were champing at the bit. The team’s hopes of victory evaporated soon after the green flag was hung out. Smoke came from the right-hand front wheel on Stef’s McLaren, which ground to a halt on the circuit with a suspension problem. Alvaro, Greg and the pit-stop mechanics’ excellent work helped the no. 2 McLaren to an encouraging fifth place.
On Sunday, Grégoire Demoustier was the unwitting victim of a collision between a Mercedes-Benz and an Audi on the first lap. The latter hit the no. 2 McLaren MP4-12C and tore off its left-hand rear wheel. From 12th On the grid, Fred Makowiecki had a grandstand view of the incident which he managed to avoid and began a great fight back. When he’d fought his way up into sixth place he was blocked behind a slower car racing in the FIA GT3 Championship. Heico Motorsport’s Dominik Baumann’s resistance was completely useless as there were different classifications, and the regulations concerning pit stops condemned him to finishing behind the GT1s. Nonetheless, he prevented Makowiecki from closing the gap to his two rivals battling for the world title who were just in front. The Frenchman finally got past the German but tagged the Mercredes-Benz in the process. Fred then overtook Buurman and Bartels in the BMW leading the championship before handing over to Stef in fourth position. But the Stewards hit no. 1 with a drive-through penalty which cost the McLaren a place before it retired with an electronics failure.
Philippe Dumas, team manager: “We’d got it all together early on in the weekend. We adapted the car to the circuit perfectly to put us in front in qualifying. Our third pole of the season is the positive point of this weekend. In the qualifying race Alvaro didn’t manage to take full advantage of his speed because of the safety car: We carried out a first-class pit stop and Greg did a good job during his stint. Obviously, we were disappointed with no. 1’s retirement, but despite this setback we were determined to score a good result in the championship race. Given the mix between the FIA GT1 and GT3 championships a collision was on the cards. What wasn’t, though, was Fred’s drive-through penalty that I’d qualify as surrealist! In the end it didn’t make any difference as the car retired soon afterwards. It’s a shame as we had the pace to clinch a podium finish even starting from so far back. The no. 2’s crash wasn’t Greg’s fault as he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After eight out of nine races, no.1 hasn’t scored points on three occasions; it’s too much but that’s part of the game. We’re going to England more determined than ever to fight for victory and we’d like to finish the season with the highest number of wins.”
Source: Hexis Racing