Silverstone spells the start of the FIA-GT season for Marc VDS Racing Team The FIA-GT championship 2009 starts in Silverstone, during the weekend of 2-3 May. For the Marc VDS Racing Team it's the start of the program with the stunningly...
Silverstone spells the start of the FIA-GT season for Marc VDS Racing Team
The FIA-GT championship 2009 starts in Silverstone, during the weekend of 2-3 May. For the Marc VDS Racing Team it's the start of the program with the stunningly beautiful Ford GT. During the course of the season there will be a close cooperation with the Matech Team, the developers of this brand-new GT1 racing car.
Before confronting the best of the FIA-GT teams Marc VDS Racing Team and Matech have completed two important tests. "Twice a session of two days, in Magny-Cours and Paul Ricard", explains Bas Leinders, who shared the car with his team-mate Renaud Kuppens. "During the second test we could compare our performance with the other cars and drivers, since Paul Ricard was the scene of the official pre-season test."
Not only did those four days give the team the opportunity to develop the car even further, it was also a great chance to improve the cooperation between the Marc VDS Racing Team and Matech. "Everybody got to know each other better, which is a good thing, since in this project we will be working closely together", team manager Jean-Michel Delporte added.
Both drivers were very excited after their first miles with the new car. "Those tests proved to be very productive, since we were not hindered by any reliability problems", Bas Leinders says. "Renaud and I swapped places behind the wheel and found the car very convincing, even though it suffered from light oversteer. But the car responded well to our changes in the set-up, which is always a good thing. We were not looking to drive on the limit, of course, since our main aim was to do as many miles as possible. We lapped Ricard around four seconds slower than the fastest cars. Not a small gap, we know, but I am convinced that we can halve that deficit quickly. Do not forget that this is a car that only has to shine in 2010, since it was completely built according to the new rules that take effect next season. If we wanted to battle for podium places this year, then we had to chose another, more developed car. This project is all about preparing the future."
This does not mean that the Belgian duo will take it easy during this year's races. "I gather there will be a dozen or so GT1-cars at the start of this championship", says Renaud Kuppens. "We should be able to get a spot between the best of the GT1's and the GT2's. Our car is the heaviest of the lot, that's for sure. Personally I would like to get into the top 10, in qualifying as well as during the race. If there are a couple of incidents during the race, that might just happen..."
To get this brand new Ford GT to Silverstone in the best condition possible, the car had to undergo a thorough preparation: testing of the engine to adapt the electronics, visit in the wind tunnel and setting up the suspension, hydraulics, shock absorbers, etc. All boxes were ticked and Bas Leinders and Renaud Kuppens are ready to go!