Spa 24H: Macr VDA qualifying report

QUALIFYING SESSION DISRUPTED BY RAIN Concentrated into the space of the whole day on Thursday, free practice and qualifying for the Total 24 Hours of Spa was disrupted by rain. At 16h00 on Saturday, the Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GTs will be ...

QUALIFYING SESSION DISRUPTED BY RAIN

Concentrated into the space of the whole day on Thursday, free practice and qualifying for the Total 24 Hours of Spa was disrupted by rain. At 16h00 on Saturday, the Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GTs will be starting respectively from 12th and 20th place on the grid for the 63rd edition of the twice-round-the-clock in the Ardennes.

The rain lead a merry dance on the most beautiful track in the world this Thursday. And on more than one occasion, ruffled the nerves of the drivers. It was almost necessary to have a frog at the back of the garage or be directly in touch with the powers above to know at which moment to mount slicks or wets because every 15 minutes the grip kept changing.

Just like all the other drivers entered in the 2010 edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the drivers in the Marc VDS Racing Team had to adapt to the conditions.

"I admit I'm a bit disappointed with the grid positions of our cars," Jean-Michel Delporte, the Belgian team's General Manager, confided after qualifying. "But neither the drivers nor the other members of the team are to blame. I decided on the strategy all by myself. Having said that, let's get it into proportion. Three minutes after the GTs have started, grid positions won't have the slightest bearing."

Eric de Doncker will start in the #98 and Maxime Martin in the #99. "They'll set off for a one-hour stint," continued Jean-Michel. "To be realistic, we can aim for a top ten finish, maybe even top five. But if the rain shows its face, we might be on for a podium."

What they said: Ford GT #99 (12th, 2.25.270)

Maxime Martin: "It wasn't that bad. I just did two laps in second qualifying but I was caught in traffic. In the second session, I spun at the entrance to the Raidillon at the moment I was changing down to fifth. Fortunately, I just scraped the barrier".

Bas Leinders: "We didn't have the right strategy.  In my case, I knuckled
down to find out what the car would do on cold slicks.  In the last
session, I had harder tyres and I lapped in 2.26.  That was a good time."

Marc Duez: "I didn't go all out for a fast time. The laps in the dark enabled us to realise that the lights didn't light up the track enough. In the wet, this Ford GT is sublime."

What they said: Ford GT #98 (20e, 2.27.193)

Eric de Doncker: "We will start off at a cautious tempo.  There's no
point in taking any risks.  We'll see what happens by the early hours of
Sunday.  I'm certain the leading cars will start of at a ferocious pace."

Markus Palttala: "The rain turned qualifying into a lottery. First we had to work on the car because it hadn't raced before today. But in the wet, this Ford GT is like a hoover. We obviously won't be able to match the GT2s or the BMWs, but, on long stretches, the Ford will prove to be very effective."

Renaud Kuppens: "It's a reassuring car for competing in endurance racing. It is comfortable and less physical than the GT1. It allows for small margins of error because it is less 'refined'."

-source: marc vds

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About this article
Series Endurance
Drivers Bas Leinders , Marc Duez , Markus Palttala , Renaud Kuppens , Maxime Martin , Eric de Doncker
Teams Marc VDS Racing