Positive test impression for Makowiecki and Hennerici
16.02.2011: Rain showers, high winds and a changeable track surface combined to hamper the Marc VDS Racing Team's first GT1 test of the season, which took place over two days at the Autodromo Algarve in Portimao, Portugal.
The conditions were particularly diffic
Rain showers, high winds and a changeable track surface combined to hamper the Marc VDS Racing Team's first GT1 test of the season, which took place over two days at the Autodromo Algarve in Portimao, Portugal.
The conditions were particularly difficult for the team's new drivers, Frédéric Makowiecki and Marc Hennerici, who were testing for the first time the Ford GT cars they will campaign in this year's GT1 World Championship.
Intermittent rain showers on the first day of testing left the Portimao circuit damp in some places and dry in others, causing inconsistency of grip around the 4.692km track. The second and final day of testing started wet but, with the welcome appearance of the sun and the assistance of high winds, the track started to dry out early in the afternoon.
All four Marc VDS drivers managed a number of laps in the drier conditions, albeit with water still running across the track in places, before the reappearance of rain brought a premature end to productive testing.
Despite the difficulties caused by the unpredictable weather, both Makowiecki and Hennerici left Portimao with a positive first impression of the Marc VDS Racing Team's Ford GT, which they will next drive in opening practice for the first race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Frédéric Makowiecki: Ford GT #41
"Despite the difficult weather conditions I'm very happy with the test, because it was important for me to at least try the car ahead of the first race next month. I only managed ten laps in the brief dry session we had, but I put in a lot of laps in the wet and my feeling with the car in both cases was good. Now I'm looking forward to the first race in Abu Dhabi and, after working with the team here at Portimao, I'm excited about the season ahead."
Marc Hennerici: Ford GT #40
"The weather may not have been ideal over the two days but, for me, this has been a very positive first test with the Marc VDS Racing Team and the Ford GT. The team is very professional in their approach and my teammate has a lot of experience with this car, all of which has accelerated my familiarisation with the Ford GT.
Of course, we could have used more dry track time here in Portugal, but I think we made the best of what we had and we're in a good position heading into the first race of the season in Abu Dhabi."
Jean-Michel Delporte: Team Manager
"Conditions were difficult yesterday, with the track drying out in places but remaining wet elsewhere, which made it hard for Fred and Marc to get a good feel for the Ford GT. This morning the track was fully wet, but the high winds helped to dry the track quickly once the rain stopped.
Unfortunately there were still places where water was running across the track, but at least we had some semi-dry track time. In reality, the first time Fred and Marc will drive our Ford GT cars in fully dry conditions will be in free practice for the first race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Not an ideal situation, but they are both experienced GT1 drivers and I'm confident that it won't take either of them long to get fully up to speed. We've made some refinements to the team set up this season and, I'm pleased to say that, we can see significant improvements compared to this time last year."
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