Marc VDS ready for battle in Baku

The race forms part of the FIA GT Series, which uses the same race format the team know from the FIA GT1 World Championship.

Baku, Azerbaijan - 21 November 2013: BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS travel to the Baku World Challenge this week, with their sights set on victory on the Asian city's streets. Sporting a distinctive new ICE Watch livery, the team's single BMW Z4 GT3 will be handled by team regulars Maxime Martin and Nick Catsburg.

Nick Catsburg, Maxime Martin
Nick Catsburg, Maxime Martin

Photo by: XPB Images

In a total change compared to their endurance-based season, the team take on two one-hour sprint races this weekend. The race forms part of the FIA GT Series, which uses the same race format the team know from the FIA GT1 World Championship.

The first is known as the qualifying race, which sets the grid for the main race, taking place a couple of hours later. There is a mandatory pitstop for a driver and tyre change in both races.

As well as the more frantic format, the team face a brand new challenge - the Baku circuit. The circuit is unique, and brand new for 2013, set on the streets of Azerbaijan's capital city. The layout features a mixture of fast turns and some very slow sections, all lined by unforgiving concrete walls. One mistake on this circuit will mean disaster for an unwary driver.

On top of managing the team for the weekend, team principal Bas Leinders will also brave the city's streets in a Fittipaldi historic F1 car in a supporting race.

The Baku World Challenge by Aztexnika races are live on the series' website, The qualifying race begins at 05:45 GMT and the championship race 09:00 GMT.

Bas Leinders, Team Principal: "The Baku World Challenge is a great way to end the season for us, and I'm excited to see what the race will bring for us. Of course, it's a unique event and one where every second of track time is crucial - there's precious little of it. It's the kind of track where there could be lots of nasty little incidents in the opening laps with such a big field and such a tight track. We'd love to mark the season with BMW Motorsport by taking home a strong result here."

Nick Catsburg, BMW Z4 GT3: "I can't wait to get started here. The track is going to be a huge challenge but I know that the team will work well together to learn everything quickly. We've got a great engineering side here and they will be very important with so little track time. Racing with Max again will be cool, because on our debut together we won - and that was when I was learning another crazy track, the Nordschleife. I'm over the moon to continue working with Marc VDS and BMW Motorsport!"

Marc VDS

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Bas Leinders , Maxime Martin
Teams Marc VDS Racing , Marc VDS Racing
Article type Preview
Tags baku, bmw, fia-gt, leinders, marc vds