Interlagos: Marc VDS preview

HOT FINAL FOR THE MARC VDS RACING TEAM The FIA GT1 World Championship has entered its final stages. The final two rounds of the season are held in Brazil (Interlagos, 28th November) and Argentina (San Luis, 5th December). A great opportunity for...

HOT FINAL FOR THE MARC VDS RACING TEAM

The FIA GT1 World Championship has entered its final stages. The final two rounds of the season are held in Brazil (Interlagos, 28th November) and Argentina (San Luis, 5th December). A great opportunity for the Marc VDS Racing Team and its Ford GT pairings of Leinders-Martin and Palttala-Bobbi to finish the season on a high note.

The South American tour is the end of the 2010 season of the FIA GT1. With the opening round in Abu Dhabi these are the second and third races overseas this year. And the trip across the equator started only a couple of hours after the finish of the previous round in Navarra. "On Sunday night all our equipment was put into our two containers: one for the cars, one for the parts and tools", explains team manager Jean-Michel Delporte. "On Monday the entire GT1 fleet sailed towards South America. Last weekend 12 of the 23 persons (drivers and staff included) that will form our team during this fortnight left for Brazil. Those guys will pick up the containers and install our gear on the Interlagos track. The other members of the team arrived in Brazil on Wednesday morning."

The Brazilian meeting has a traditional schedule, with free practice on Friday, qualifying and the qualifying race on Saturday, and the Championship race on Sunday. In San Luis all is compressed into two days, however. "It will be very intense in between the two meetings, because on Sunday night we have to pack everything again and load the containers onto trucks, who will make the journey of 4 nights and three days towards San Luis", Delporte continues. "Because everything will arrive only arrive in San Luis on Thursday, SRO preferred to have the meeting over two days."

It's the kind of event that requires a big effort on the organizational side. "But that has its advantages", says Bas Leinders, closely involved in all things logistics of the team. "For example, all teams leased some 380 volt-generators together. During a F1 Grand Prix, that is the organizers' task, but here we do it ourselves. Most of the time, this works very well and it improves the atmosphere in the paddock. We fight on track, but once the racing is over, we help each other. The same goes for the catering. Rather than staying in our own booth all the time, SRO organizes a common catering unit, which is so nice that everybody dines together. A pleasant experience."

On the sporting side, the Marc VDS Racing Team will try to end the season on a high note. "Navarra was not that bad for us, even though the tire wear gave us some problems", Leinders states. "We've discovered a possible solution, which we will try during practice. But there are two other key factors that will play: the altitude of the Interlagos track and the long climb at the end of the lap. Both are not really an advantage for the power of our engine. I hope we can make up for the lost time of the last sector by using the excellent qualities of our Ford chassis on the other parts of the track. In San Luis as well, there is a long climb, but there the difficult part are the twisty bits. Only a couple of inches next to the ideal driving line there will be a layer of dirt and rubber, which might cause a lot of precarious moments and even crashes. We will have to be very careful on the unique Argentinean track. I think we should perform better in Brazil that in Argentina, but both races will give us an excellent opportunity to create a surprise. Let's hope we can end the 2010 season on a high!"

-source: marc vds

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Bas Leinders
Teams Marc VDS Racing