Points in Italy for Marc VDS Racing team

Points in Italy for Marc VDS Racing team

15.04.2013: The Marc VDS Racing Team scored seventh place in the Blancpain Endurance Series




The Marc VDS Racing Team scored seventh place in the Blancpain Endurance Series Pro class at Monza.  Bas Leinders, Yelmer Buurman and Maxime Martin endured a difficult weekend to score vital championship points.  Despite strong early promise, Henri Moser, Markus Palttala and Nick Catsburg finished outside of the points after mechanical issues.


At a track which did not suit the team's BMW Z4 GT3 cars, the #3 car remarkably qualified in seventh place with Martin.  The #4 car qualified 28th, after trouble in the final session for Catsburg meant that Moser's time from the second session set the grid time.


At the start, caution was shown.  With 59 cars on the track, the first few laps of the race were extremely busy.  Despite the caution, car #3 finished the first hour in fifth place and #4 ran as high as second place before its first stop.  The pace of both cars was more competitive than expected.


However, the first pitstop for #3 was a catastrophe.  With so many cars in the pitlane, Leinders had no space to park.  The car needed pushing into place and dropped to 14th place.  Pitting a short time later, there was no traffic for #4 and a fantastic pitstop saw it start the second stint fifth.


Two safety cars in quick succession brought the field together and #4, driven by Palttala, was able to finish his stint in sixth.  For Buurman in #3, however, there was a slow puncture.  Despite this he climbed to 11th place, before the tyre blew just in advance of his stop.


That puncture caused the team to pit the #3 early, and though Martin did all he could, the need to save fuel as well as a handling issue at the rear of the car meant he could not improve on sixth in the Pro class. 


However, a post-race appeal from the WRT Audi team incurred a 30 second penalty, dropping the car to seventh in class.  After stopping on the circuit after the flag, #3 was pushed back to the garage.  Because members of the team lent a hand in moving the car to the marshals, the team were adjudged to have breached parc fermé rules.


Catsburg started his stint strongly but soon found that he had a braking problem.  With the situation becoming dangerous, the Dutch driver pitted to address the problem and, at reduced pace, rejoined to take 17th in class.


Nick Catsburg, BMW Z4 GT3 #4


"First of all, I have to say that the guys did a great job.  The pitstops were fantastic and my team mates were incredible.  When I got in the car, I thought the car was pretty good.  OK, the brakes were not great but I thought this was usual for Monza because there is a lot of heavy braking here and the brakes were already two hours old. 


But it got worse and worse and worse.  At one point I had no brakes at all.  It was too dangerous to drive; my main worry was hitting other cars.  Even after the pitstop I had very little braking power.  I hope we can learn from this."


Yelmer Buurman, BMW Z4 GT3 #3


"We have to keep a couple of things in mind.  Firstly, this isn't our track; we have the slowest top speed in the series.  Qualifying was a nice surprise, and even though the start was chaotic Bas did a great job.  The car felt alright for me at first but pretty soon it started to act a bit weird. 


Then we noticed we had a drop in tyre pressure on one wheel.  We tried to finish the stint on the tyre, but it blew a couple of laps before the scheduled stop.  Some points are at least a positive."



Bas Leinders, Team Principal


"Today was a tough start to the season for the team. Both cars had fought their way through into the top six in the final hour of the race, only for the #4 car to drop back with brake problems and finish outside the points. It was a cruel blow after a sterling job by all three drivers and their crew.


In the #3 car we were forced into making the final pitstop early because of a puncture, which meant that fuel was an issue for Max's final stint to the chequered flag. He made it to the end sixth in class, to pick up valuable points, but we were demoted to seventh as a result of a 30 second penalty imposed after the race for a Parc Ferme infringement.


 Not the way we wanted to start the season, but at least we've got some points on the board at a track that really doesn't suit our BMW Z4 GT3."

                                     
- Marc VDS also photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/bes-italy-points-marc-vds-racing-team-moser-palttala-catsburg---109841.html

15.04.2013 / MaP

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