Marc VDS looking to extend championship lead at 24 Hours of Spa

#3 Marc VDS Racing Team BMW Z4 GT3: Markus Palttala, Bas Leinders, Maxime Martin
#3 Marc VDS Racing Team BMW Z4 GT3: Markus Palttala, Bas Leinders, Maxime Martin

Photo by: Ed Fahey

Spa Francorchamps, Belgium - 23 July 2012: This weekend's Total 24 Hours of Spa is once again the showcase event of the Blancpain Endurance Series, with the Marc VDS Racing Team heading to the Spa Francorchamps circuit determined to continue the run of form that has seen the Belgian team win four out of the last five races in the series.

So far this season Bas Leinders, Markus Palttala and Maxime Martin have racked up two wins and a second place in the #3 BMW Z4 GT3, giving them the lead in both the driver and team championship standings.

The Marc VDS trio head to this weekend's 24 Hours of Spa with their sights set firmly on increasing their lead in the championship, but they are under no illusions as to how difficult it will be to finish on the podium in front of their home crowd, as they face competition much stiffer than at a normal Blancpain round.

Also looking for a good result at Spa this weekend will be Henri Moser, Mike Hezemans and Bert Longin in the #4 BMW Z4 GT3. The Marc VDS trio had a difficult start in the first two races of the 2012 season, but put in a strong performance last time out at Paul Ricard to finish a creditable sixth.

Currently lying eighth in the championship standings with just two rounds to go after Spa, Moser, Hezemans and Longin have nothing to lose and will go all out for the win this weekend.

The 2012 edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa will be the 64th running of the endurance event, which has a history that stretches back to 1924. The 24-hour event was created by the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium as the Endurance Grand Prix and over the years has become one of the greatest races on the international motorsport calendar with a prestigious roll of honour.

The Total 24 Hours of Spa gets underway at 16.00 on Wednesday 25th July, when the competing cars will be driven from the circuit to the Place Royale in the centre of Spa. Fans will have the opportunity to mingle with the drivers, grab a photo or an autograph and get a close look at the cars that will contest this year's race. At 19.25 the cars will be fired up once again for the drive back to the circuit.

Bert Longin: #4 BMW Z4 GT3
"This is my 12th or 13th time at the 24 Hours of Spa and I've been on the podium, but I've never won. I was so close in the last three years! I've led this race many times, and been in the fastest car, but I've done enough endurance racing to know it's not always the fastest car that wins the race. I've won 24-hour races before, and I know Spa. With the Marc VDS Racing team, the car, the drivers, everything is in place. I think that if we don't make a mistake, we can be very close to victory. My teammates are fast, and Mike has won this race - we are confident. I think both cars are in such a strong position to win the race and honestly, I don't mind if it's #3 or #4. We just want to be at the top."

Bas Leinders: #3 BMW Z4 GT3
"The competition this weekend at Spa will be much fiercer than at a normal Blancpain Endurance round. We'll be lining up against the factory Audis and a number of other teams whose only aim is to win this weekend. We also want to win, but we need to think about the championship, which we are leading at the moment. We need to race intelligently, to push as hard as is necessary, but to keep in sight our main goal of winning the championship at the end of the season. That doesn't mean a win is out of the question; if we pick up good points at the six and 12-hour stages then we may well make the decision to go all out for the win in the final half of the race. We will have to see. Either way, it's going to be a tough race, like any 24-hour event, but I'm confident we can come away with a good result and an even bigger lead at the top of the championship."

Source: Marc VDS Racing Team

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About this article
Series Endurance
Drivers Mike Hezemans , Bas Leinders , Bert Longin , Markus Palttala , Maxime Martin , Henri Moser
Teams Marc VDS Racing
Article type Preview
Tags ;einders, blancpain, bmw, hezemans, longin, marc vds, martin, moser, palttala