Portimao: Series practice 1 report

Ford GT fastest in Free Practice The Ford GT of Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin topped the time sheets in Friday's Free Practice session at the Autodromo do Algarve this morning. At the start of the 80-minute session, the field took to a damp...

Ford GT fastest in Free Practice

The Ford GT of Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin topped the time sheets in Friday's Free Practice session at the Autodromo do Algarve this morning.

At the start of the 80-minute session, the field took to a damp track on wet weather tyres but as the morning progressed and the sun broke through slick tyres were the order of the day.

The Marc VDS No.40 set a time of 1:44.446. Second was the Vitaphone Maserati No.1 of Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini with the Nissan GT-R No.23 shared by Peter Dumbreck and Michael Krumm third fastest.

Bas Leinders, Marc VDS Ford GT No.40
"We managed to set the fastest lap but this was only a Free Practice. Those extra horsepower we are having for this race are not really that important because at the same time we got some extra kilos added as well.

"In this track the engine is not as important as it was in the Nurburgring but at least the extra power will allow us to keep the pace with our competitors. The circuit seems favourable to our Ford GT, let's see what happens.

"Algarve is a wonderful track, I love it."

Miguel Ramos, Vitaphone Racing Maserati No.2
"We went for this Free Practice with a different set-up and were much slower than our No.1 car (Bartels/Bertolini). We've tested a new differential but it did not work very well. Enrique (Bernoldi) was a bit faster than me, some three tenths of a second, but still very far from our No.1 car. So for this afternoon's pre-qualifying we will go back to the basic set-up and see how things go.

"The only problem our Maserati has in this circuit is the weight. Since most of this track's slow turns exit up the hill, then the car gets really slow. If instead we went downhill after those slow turns it would be great."

Xavier Maassen, Mad-Croc Racing Corvette No.11
"We had a little spin at turn number nine, it was Julien (Jousse) at the wheel and yellow flags went on. But it was nothing special, just a spin, and everything is fine for the pre-qualifying."

Peter Dumbreck, Nissan GT-R No.23

"There are some quick corners which suit us and some slow ones that usually don't, but Michael went quickest in his first lap on slicks, so it looks like it might be good for us. I'd expect us to be up there fighting for a top six, we should be everywhere we go."

Darren Turner, Aston Martin No.7
"The track was getting better and better every lap. Surprisingly as we are running with 40kg ballast, the performance and balance of the car doesn't feel too bad. I don't want to get too excited but we are looking OK at the moment.

"I've raced here a few times and done quite a bit of testing and I really like it. It's challenging with a few slow corners and a few high speed corners and the fact that it has so much elevation change is really nice. For a new circuit it's probably the best one out there at the moment."

-source: gtworld

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Michael Krumm , Darren Turner , Peter Dumbreck , Michael Bartels , Miguel Ramos , Andrea Bertolini , Bas Leinders , Xavier Maassen , Maxime Martin
Teams Nissan Motorsports , Marc VDS Racing