EU-GT4: Portimao: Maxime Martin weekend summary

Maxime Martin finishes off the weekend in the top-5 Maxime Martin finished off his double rendezvous on the Portuguese circuit of Portimao with a brilliant 5th place in the FIA GT1 World Championship. In Sunday's championship race Maxime and...

Maxime Martin finishes off the weekend in the top-5

Maxime Martin finished off his double rendezvous on the Portuguese circuit of Portimao with a brilliant 5th place in the FIA GT1 World Championship. In Sunday's championship race Maxime and his team mate Bas Leinders performed an enormous climb-up through the pack, having started from the rear of the grid, to reach the top-5, definitely a victory in its own right. Earlier in the day Martin had clinched a 4th place in the second race of the European FIA GT3 championship, at the wheel of a Marc VDS Ford GT, this time around in its GT3 version. However the weekend had not necessarily been that brilliant throughout ...

" That's the least one could say, Maxime Martin confirmed. In GT3, my team mate Gael Lesoudier had clinched the 12th time in qualifying, just before I managed to record the 2nd best time. Unfortunately a damaged gearbox prevented us from taking the start of the first race. As such a top place or even victory slipped though our fingers, without having been able to race a single meter. We were convinced of the Ford GT's potential, which is replacing the Ford Mustang in the European competition. At the wheel of the Mustang, Gael and I had in fact managed to grab an excellent 6th place a week earlier in Albi, in the FFSA GT3 championship..''

The car was sorted in time for Sunday's race and Martin took the start fully determined and handed over the wheel to his French team mate after half an hour ... heading up the classification.! " The car was running really well, and I was sure that a podium place was within our sights. Unfortunately Gael came into contact with the driver who was running 2nd, the latter having put in an attack prior to spinning and finishing further back. Ultimately we finished in 4th place, which taking into account the circumstances is not a bad result.''

In the meanwhile the FIA GT1 adventure had not been all quiet either. A superb 2nd best time in qualifying and smiling faces during the press conference gave way for darkened expressions when the team were told about some worries concerning the exhaust manifold during scrutineering. " Normally the engine should stop running during the tennis ball test, which literally consists of placing a tennis ball in order to stop the airflow. The installation of an adapted air flow system for this race had created a small opening, which had resulted in the engine continuing to run. This meant that our lap time was annulled. It goes without saying that starting from second place or last is an enormous difference. On top of that both Bas and I were victims of several collisions, which resulted in our retirement on Sunday ...''

We know the sequel. Maxime Martin and Bas Leinders fought like demons on Sunday, rewarding them with a 5th place overall after having overtaken no less than.....16 cars. " Completely mad, but just image what we might have achieved starting from the front ... I prefer not to think about it, and enjoy our result. Rendezvous at Navarra on 23rd and 24th October!''

-source: Maxime Martin

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Gael Lesoudier , Bas Leinders , Maxime Martin
Teams Marc VDS Racing