Abu Dhabi: Marc VDS preview

Marc VDS Racing Team enters two Ford GT in the FIA GT1 world championship! Soon, Marc VDS Racing Team will be part of motorsports' history. Next Saturday 17th April the brand new FIA GT1 world championship will commence in Abu Dhabi. Stephane ...

Marc VDS Racing Team enters two Ford GT in the FIA GT1 world championship!

Soon, Marc VDS Racing Team will be part of motorsports' history. Next Saturday 17th April the brand new FIA GT1 world championship will commence in Abu Dhabi. Stephane Ratel - Mister GT - is the driving force behind this competition, only the fourth championship that is allowed to possess the world championship label, next to Formula 1, WRC and WTCC. Marc VDS Racing Team will enter two Ford GT, for the pairings Bas Leinders-Maxime Martin and Renaud Kuppens-Markus Palttala.

The FIA GT1 world championship. This new championship has ten rounds, spread out over four continents. The Belgian round of the FIA GT1-championship will be held during the Spa 24 Hours meeting, at the end of July.

The race format. Each meeting consists out of two races: a qualifying race and a race for the championship. The first is usually held on Saturdays and points are given to the first three (8-6-4 points), while the points for the championship race are the same as in a F1 Grand Prix (25-18-15, etc.). Each race has a duration of one hour, with an obligatory driver change. After each meeting success ballast will be distributed, so that the cars' performance remains well balanced. In short: 40-30-20-10 kg for the first four, the same weight will be taken out of cars that finish sixth or lower (-10-20-30-40 kg). Each car can only use two engines for the whole season.

The teams. Six manufacturers are represented in the FIA GT1 world championship. Next to the Ford GT there will be Aston Martin DB9, Corvette Z06, Maserati MC12, Lamborghini Murcielago R-SV and Nissan GT-R.

The Spa 24 Hours. One of the meetings of the FIA GT1 world championship is organised during the Spa 24 Hours meeting, which in itself no longer figures on the championship calendar, as it is now reserved for cars of the GT2, GT3 and GT4 classes. Of course, the Marc VDS Racing Team will be present in the two one hour races, with its usual line-up, but also in the 24 Hours itself, with the Ford Mustang GT of Eric De Doncker.

The Le Mans 24 Hours and the Spa 1000 km. The core of Marc VDS Racing Team's activities is GT racing, but that does not mean that the team of Charleroi will limit itself to an entry in the FIA GT1 world championship. There will also be a Ford GT at the start of the 78th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, on June 12th and 13th! A great premiere for the young Belgian team, that therefore will be part of the 55 cars at the start of the French classic. In preparation of the season's highlight one car will be entered in the 1000 km of Spa, on May 9th in Francorchamps.

The ambitions of the Marc VDS Racing Team. Even though the Marc VDS Racing Team has participated in the FIA-GT championship with a Ford GT for Bas Leinders and Renaud Kuppens, they know very well that it will be very hard to beat the experienced competition. "Even though last year our car was built according to the new 2010 rules, that does not mean that we have a year's advantage on the other teams", explains Bas Leinders. "It merely means that we have reduced the gap there was at the beginning of last year. We will start this championship concentrating on our strong points and at the same time try to reduce the weak ones. To pretend that we will fight for the title would be presumptuous, but we will start each and every race with the ambition to win."

-source: marc vds

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Stéphane Ratel , Bas Leinders , Markus Palttala , Renaud Kuppens , Maxime Martin
Teams Nissan Motorsport , Marc VDS Racing