MARC VDS EFFORTS GO UNREWARDED They started the Le Mans 24 Hours as second of the GT1-cars, but the Ford GT of the Marc VDS Racing Team did not go all the way in the French classic, after a crash on Saturday. It had all started well for the...
MARC VDS EFFORTS GO UNREWARDED
They started the Le Mans 24 Hours as second of the GT1-cars, but the Ford GT of the Marc VDS Racing Team did not go all the way in the French classic, after a crash on Saturday.
It had all started well for the Marc VDS Racing Team, despite this being only their - and the drivers Bas Leinders, Eric De Doncker and Markus Palttala - first entry in the Le Mans 24 Hours. They impressed immediately by setting the second qualifying time in the GT1-category, only three tenths of a second behind Le Mans reference Thomas Enge in his Aston Martin.
But only a few hours after the start it all went wrong for the team from Charleroi. "My start was good and I immediately got into a good rhythm and could defend our second position easily. We even could pass Peter Kox's Aston Martin without trying too hard", Bas Leinders explained. "Then the safety cars came out, so we advanced our first pitstop. Unfortunately we were stopped at the end of the pitlane, instead of letting us through to follow the line behind the first of three safety cars. That made us lose a lot of positions, but these things happen, especially in races like these. When the green flag came back out, I quickly got into the same rhythm. Everything went well, so the team decided that I could do a third stint, still on the same tires. At the end of that third stint, I was taken by surprise by the car stepping out and I hit the guardrails in the long right corner behind the Dunlop bridge. I could rejoin our box by driving very slowly, but then we found that the bolts of the driver's seat had moved. The safety of the drivers was no longer guaranteed so we retired. During that same investigation, we also found that it was a puncture that caused the car to swerve. A sad end to a weekend that had started very well."
And so the Marc VDS Racing Team remained dissatisfied, especially since every team member was impressed by the charm of this extraordinary event. "The atmosphere around this race is absolutely magical", Marc van der Straten stated. "The drivers' parade was only just one of those very special moments, the passion could clearly be felt. The race started well, but we do realise that you have to deal with this race in all modesty. Bas had found a good rhythm, but a puncture cut our efforts short far too early. That's a pity, since we will not return to Le Mans with this car, according to the decision by the ACO. But we understand the organisers' decision and have to admit that the GT2 category suits this race and the Le Mans Series in general."
-source: marc vds