Venetians blinded by form of Hexis Racing AMR Aston Martins Hexis Racing's Aston Martin DBRS9 cars showed they were as at ease on the short twisty Adria circuit, scene of the 3rd and 4th rounds of the FIA GT3 European Championship, as they had...
Venetians blinded by form of Hexis Racing AMR Aston Martins
Hexis Racing's Aston Martin DBRS9 cars showed they were as at ease on the short twisty Adria circuit, scene of the 3rd and 4th rounds of the FIA GT3 European Championship, as they had been at Silverstone, with its ample and rapid track layout. Frederic Makowiecki and Manu Rodrigues warmed up by taking 3rd place in Race 1 before going on to win Race 2, which for the very first time was being run at night. Julien Rodrigues and Thomas Accary were busy too, bagging points in both races.
"This circuit is not really the best for big front-engined cars like the Aston. It puts a lot of strain on the vehicle components, particularly the brakes. We weren't amongst the fastest during open practice but we quickly adapted to the situation and changed quite a lot of things on the car, seeking the best possible race set up," said Philippe Dumas. Manu and Mako drove car No. 4 to the 17th and 5th best times, and No. 3 qualified with the 9th and 19th best times. Finding the right set up during practice enabled all four drivers to put in solid race performances.
Race 1 gave cause for satisfaction on two counts. Firstly, getting car No. 4 in the top three and secondly seeing Manu Rodrigues standing on the podium for the first time in FIA GT3 racing! Crossing the line in 5ème place, Thomas Accary and Julien Rodrigues picked up some very useful points. "If you ask me, this night race was one of the best we've seen since GT3 racing began," said Philippe Dumas. "Fred's stint in Race 2 was an amazing demonstration of swift, controlled driving. Our race strategy worked like a dream, it all fitted together perfectly. Manu finished the job well. A cool head was needed to stave of the pack snapping at his heels in the final laps after the safety-car had come out. Nothing got past him; bravo Manu!"
This first victory of the season for Fred and Manu shot them to 2nd in the European championship standings, just one point behind the leaders. Breathing right down their necks one point behind are Julien et Thomas in the other Hexis Racing Aston Martin AMR, which came 7th in Saturday night's race. The team from the Gard region of France now holds a fairly comfortable 11-point lead in the Team standings.
This was a marathon day's racing! The drivers had to be out on the track for qualifying at 11am; Race 1 began at 4pm and Race 2 at 10pm. Hexis Racing AMR took it all in their stride. The performance levels were there and consistency was never a problem. All this bodes well for the meeting in Oschersleben (Germany) next May 20-21!