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Mar 30, 2014 - 04:25 AM
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Marc VDS Open 2014 With Double Top Five
Posted by: newsla on Mar 30, 2014 - 04:21 AM
Sports Cars
Marc VDS Open 2014 With Double Top Five

BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS earned a double top five in their first race of the season, the first round of the VLN series. The #26 BMW Z4 GT3, with Bas Leinders and Nick Catsburg, finished fourth after a late fuel stop denied them a podium. #25, with Jörg Müller and Marco Wittmann, was fifth.


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In picture perfect spring conditions, with bright blue skies and warm sunshine in the Eifel, the race got underway with the Marc VDS cars sharing the second row of the grid. Müller got a great start and was swiftly second, but Leinders was unfortunate as the lights went green. The second place car made a sluggish getaway, baulking Leinders’ start, and he lost ten places.

Over the course of the race, however, solid and consistent pace was a hallmark of the team’s race. After #26 suffered an early slow puncture, they continued to lap with good speed. Though it didn’t cost too much time on the track, the puncture forced the team to pit ahead of schedule, leaving it just short of fuel at the finish. The car made a stop with just six minutes – less than one lap’s time – to go at the end.

#25 suffered a puncture on the Nordschleife, losing them a lot of time, and was also the recipient of a brief stop and go penalty. Despite the best efforts of the two BMW Motorsport drivers aboard, they couldn’t quite claw back a podium. However, fifth was a more than creditable result in difficult circumstances.

The team are next in action in just one week’s time, at the ADAC Qualifying Race.

Sebastien Metz, Technical Director
“I’m very pleased. OK, we missed out on the podium but we said all weekend that the result was not too important here, getting data and experience was the goal. We had very good running, and did a lot of set up work. That really pushed us forward. Not only that, but the drivers are happy, Jörg and Marco are fitting in really well and both cars finished in pretty good condition.”

Marco Wittmann, BMW Z4 GT3 #25
“I’m really happy. It was nice to work with Marc VDS for the first time on a race weekend. We were third in the qualifying, and finished fifth despite two punctures and the stop-go penalty. We took it as a test race, more or less – especially after the punctures – and in the end we could finish the race. We got lots of laps in, and now we can focus on the next race. I think we’re getting into a good position for the 24 Hours. From a personal point of view, I’m really feeling comfortable with the track now, especially in the dry conditions.”

Nick Catsburg, BMW Z4 GT3 #26
“We had some bad luck in the beginning with a slow puncture. In the end, that adjusted the strategy and probably just cost us a podium, but I’d still say it’s a good race. The car is running great, I got loads of mileage and experience for next time, so I’m happy. Our main goal is just to work toward the 24 Hours, and we got a lot of good work done this weekend.”

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