Having now arrived at the mid-point of the season, Brackley-based Team Maranello Concessionaires' drivers Jamie Davies and Tim Mullen lead the Championship by one point in their Ferrari 360 N/GT race car. The team itself lies in second place in the Team Championship, just five points behind the leader. Drivers Kelvin Burt and Darren Turner, in TMC's second Ferrari, currently hold joint tenth place.
As the 24 hour race in Belgium is of critical importance due to the competitors' ability to earn double points, the team has taken the opportunity to change its driver line-up ahead of Spa. This has been done to enable TMC to attempt to consolidate its lead in the Drivers' Championship and to recover the lead in the Team Championship (the Racing Red and Cambridge Blue cars led from the beginning of the season until round five last month). Car 88 will now be driven by Kelvin Burt, Tim Mullen and Andrew Kirkaldy (who joins the team as car 88's third driver for the 24 hour race). Car 89 will belong to recent GTS-class Le Mans winner with Veloqx Prodrive Racing, Jamie Davies, Darren Turner and another recent Le Mans hero, Guy Smith.
TMC took the opportunity to participate in the test session today to enable all six drivers to familiarise themselves with the famous seven kilometre-long Spa circuit. In addition, in view of recent gear linkage problems which forced race car number 89 into early retirement at Donington Park last month, time has been spent testing a new design which has performed faultlessly during some deliberately harsh usage today.
"Whilst we are pleased to have Jamie and Tim leading the Drivers' Championship after Donington Park, we were disappointed to surrender the lead in the Team Championship for the first time this season," commented Rod Benoist, TMC's Team Manager. "This test at Spa has been so valuable on a number of counts. It has enabled all of the drivers to settle into a new routine as we have asked most of them to change cars now and to test our solution to the gear linkage issues we have been facing recently. Having worked so diligently these past few weeks, it has been gratifying to see that the hard work that the team has undertaken has been rewarded. However, the 24 hour race later this month will be the true test but I must say that the whole team is now in great shape to take maximum points away from Belgium before the summer recess."