Spa Francorchamps, Belgium - 27 July 2012: The #3 BMW Z4 GT3 of Maxime Martin, Bas Leinders and Markus Palttala will start tomorrow's 24 Hours of Spa from the front row of the grid, while the #4 car of Henri Moser, Mike Hezemans and Bert Longin will start from 16th position.
With today's Superpole shootout cancelled after torrential rain drenched the Spa circuit less than an hour before the scheduled start, grid positions for tomorrow's race were decided based on qualifying times from yesterday.
The cancellation was a disappointment for the Marc VDS Racing Team. Maxime Martin was robbed of the chance to secure his second successive pole position for Belgium's most prestigious endurance race, while Henri Moser in the #4 car lost an opportunity to improve on his qualifying time from yesterday.
All six Marc VDS drivers go into tomorrow's 24 Hours of Spa confident of a strong performance, although the drivers of the #3 BMW Z4 GT3 will have to overcome the disadvantage of a stop and go penalty in the first three laps, after being controversially penalised during pre-qualifying yesterday for exceeding the track limits.
Warm up for the 64th edition of the 24 Hours of Spa gets underway at 09H05, with the race itself scheduled to start at 16H00.
Maxime Martin: #3 BMW Z4 GT3
"I can't help feeling a little frustrated, as Superpole was supposed to be a head-to-head between the best 20 drivers to see who could post the fastest one-off lap. Okay, the rain was heavy, but I don't understand why they were so quick to cancel today's main event, when the track was driveable less than an hour later. It's annoying, and not just because we had a good shot at pole position in the wet. Tomorrow we will start from the front row of the grid, which is always good, but the stop and go penalty is something that we will need to factor into our race strategy. Even so, we have a good set-up, three good drivers and an experienced team, so I'm still confident we can extend our lead at the top of the championship with a good result this weekend."
Source: Marc VDS
Henri Moser: #4 BMW Z4 GT3
"We know how good our car is in the wet, so the rain arriving shortly before Superpole was good for us... Or so we thought. Unfortunately it was heavy enough for this afternoon's session to be cancelled, which meant we weren't able to improve on our 16th position from yesterday. Anyway, where you start a 24-hour race isn't important, it's where you finish that counts. With the BMW Z4 GT3 we have a good package for this circuit; the car is pretty undemanding of the driver and that's important over 24 hours of racing. We go into tomorrow's race with some confidence and we'll be pushing hard for a good result."
Bas Leinders: Team Principal
"Obviously I'm happy that one of our cars is starting the race from the front row, and both are in the top 20, but I'm also a little disappointed about the cancellation of Superpole, because there was every chance we could have secured our second Spa pole position in succession this afternoon. I also feel for the fans that braved the weather conditions today, but saw nothing of Superpole, especially when there were cars on track less than an hour after it was cancelled. I'm not against the new format, but I think more thought needs to go into the wet weather contingency plan next time. As for the race; the stop and go penalty for our #3 car means changing slightly our strategy for the race, but if both cars can avoid trouble - not so easy when you're racing around the clock - then I'm pretty confident we can finish with two good results on Sunday."