What drivers say after GT1 Championship race at Navarra
27.05.2012: FIA GT1 NAVARRA, Spain: CHAMPIONSHIP RACE27 May, 2012
At the third round of the championship at Navarra, northern Spain
FIA GT1 NAVARRA, Spain: CHAMPIONSHIP RACE27 May, 2012
At the third round of the championship at Navarra, northern Spain, it was the Hexis McLarens which dominated just as the Lamborghinis had done in 2011.
After Reiter Lamborghini No.25 claimed pole position, the remainder of the weekend belonged to the Hexis Racing McLarens with Fred Makowiecki and Stef Dusseldorp (pictured above) recording wins in both the Qualifying and Championship Races.
Here’s what the GT1 drivers and team managers had to say about the weekend …
Fred Makowiecki (FRA), Hexis Racing, McLaren MP4-12C No.1 (1st) “It is very positive for us to come back like this, and now we can use this to be positive for the rest of the Championship battle. The team, Hexis McLaren did a really good job. We just need to keep near the front, and then we can be in the hunt for the Championship.”
Stef Dusseldorp (NLD), Hexis Racing, McLaren MP4-12C No.1 (1st) “Today was a maybe a little easier than yesterday. Fred (Makowiecki) did a perfect start, a perfect pitstop considering the problems that we have had. After the stop we were able to bring it home despite some cooling issues on the car.
I am really happy for myself, for Fred and for the team. It brings us to the top of the Championship, Slovakia is a new track for us, and we do not know how it will suit us yet.”
Markus Winkelhock (DEU), ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Mercedes SLS AMG No.38 (2nd) “We have to congratulate the Hexis team. It was not easy out there, the tyres were quite hot and so was the track and the tarmac, so I started to struggle at the end with oversteer but I think most of the drivers had that problem.
It was not easy because I was pushing quite hard all the time because of the cars behind me, so I could not really back off or slow my pace at all. It was quite easy to make a mistake, but fortuantely I didn’t. I was a really good weekend, after struggling in Free Practice to now be standing on the podium, in P2 and P3, as a team, I am really happy.“
Thomas Jager (DEU), ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Mercedes SLS AMG No.37 (3rd) “It was very difficult to keep the McLaren behind me because we didn’t have the straight-line speed and the car was very difficult under braking especially into turn one.
We managed it and we are happy to finish one-two for the team. We didn’t really expect this result as the Mercedes is not really strong at this circuit.”
Nikolaus Mayr-Melnhof (AUT), Vita4One Racing, BMW E89 Z4 No.17 (6th) “The performance was good today. Yesterday we had a disastrous pit stop but today we were the quickest. Mathias (Lauda) did a terrific start which put us in a great position.
When I went out for my stint I tried to hang on to the Mercedes and save the tyres and attack at the end because this track is about good tyre management. We scored some good points here for the team which is important. It was a good weekend for us.”
Darryl O’Young (CHN), Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo No.25 (7th) “The key was definitely the loss of positions on the start. We have had a lot of problems on the start, all of us over the weekend, the whole team. We are just not getting off the line very well, and it is something we need to look into.
Our car was quick after that, but got stuck behind Toni Vilander in the Ferrari (AF Corse) during Peter ’s (Kox) stint. In the second stint we had a good pace, but not enough to be able to make up the time we had already lost. It is not the best result, considering the pole position we had at the start of the weekend. We had the pace, and it shows the improvements we are making as we go. We just need to work on our race pace now.”
Frank Stippler (DEU), Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, Audi R8 LMS ultra No.33 (8th) “It was a very difficult weekend for Audi. We lost out to the other competitors on the straights who are quicker than us. It’s not too much fun to finish where we did in both races. I have won races easier than fighting for this eighth place. Our Qualifying was not very good and that ruined our weekend.”
Filip Salaquarda (CZE) AF Corse, Ferrari 458 Italia No.3 (9th) “Similar to yesterday, our pace was not that brilliant especially for the last part of the race for me as I had a lot of oversteer. P9 is not what we expect. I have will go to the simulator and prepare for Slovakia and hopefully we can have a better race weekend there. We are working hard to improve our race pace, that is what we must focus on.”
Maxime Martin (BEL), Valmon Racing Team Russia, Aston Martin DBRS9 No.7 (DNF) “We had a great start from 14th to 8th and I was able to run at the pace at the front. But soon after I had a lot of handling problems with the tyres and the brakes. The Aston is not really suited to this track at all.
“At the end of my stint I had a problem with the throttle so we decided to stop. That’s racing but it’s difficult as well. We hope to have the new car for the fifth round Portimao so we hope it will be better.”
Bernhard Mühlner (DEU), Exim Bank Team China Porsche 911 R, Team manager “We start here with a blank sheet of paper having never been to the Circuito de Navarra before. We improved the car a lot in the Free Practice sessions, so during qualifying we were able to get P5 for the Qualifying Race grid. Contact at the beginning of the Qualifying Race pushed us out of the front, so we finished only 11th, and to start from 11th for the Championship Race makes it difficult.
“Both drivers have been very competitive. Mike (Parisy) has been pushed, and that has meant we are totally out of the points, but we know we have the speed and the performance - these are the positives we have to take. On the track we have the pace, the car is good, the car is fast. The drivers are good, the car is fast.”
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