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Jun 18, 2014 - 06:59 AM
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Marc VDS Prepared for Greatest Endurance Challenge
Posted by: newsla on Jun 18, 2014 - 06:57 AM
Sports Cars
Marc VDS Prepared for Greatest Endurance Challenge


BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS will take on the fearsome 24 Hours of Nürburgring this weekend, with two BMW Z4 GT3 machines. #25 will be crewed by Uwe Alzen, Maxime Martin, Jörg Müller and Marco Wittmann, with #26 seeing Dirk Adorf, Nick Catsburg, Bas Leinders and Markus Palttala share the duties.

 

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The team are looking to build on a solid fourth place on debut in 2012, followed by a stunning podium in 2013. Marc VDS have also scored three wins on the Nordschleife since last year’s 24 hours, including two in 2014 during their intense preparation in the VLN series. On top of this, the team haven’t suffered any major reliability issues with the BMW Z4 GT3 during their season so far.

The race is arguably the world’s toughest, with the narrow, unforgiving, fast 26km of Nordschleife circuit just the first problem. A small mistake here can mean disaster in an instant. The chances of an error – or bad luck – being a factor is increased hugely by the fact the track is shared by nearly 200 competing cars, from tiny hatchbacks to the GT3 monsters in the top SP9 class. They’re increased further still by the Eifel region’s infamous weather. Last year’s race was suspended for much of the night due to rain and fog that rendered the track undriveable.

Marc VDS have assembled a crack team to take on the challenge. They are the reigning Blancpain Endurance Series Pro Cup teams’ champions, and their engineering strength made them a natural fit for the BMW Sports Trophy Team status. Their race build-up has left no stone unturned, to ensure that nothing is left to chance.

On the driving side, there’s huge experience with Germans Alzen, Müller and Adorf, who each have thousands of laps here – both Alzen and Müller are previous winners of this race. Belgians Martin and Leinders, and Finn Palttala, have all spent many hours on the Nordschleife since debuting in 2012 and have plenty of circuit knowledge. German Wittmann, meanwhile, has not only taken on this race before, but has also starred in the DTM this season, arriving as championship leader. Dutchman Catsburg will make his debut in the 24 Hours here, but has raced several races with Marc VDS on the Nordschleife, and has a mature head on young shoulders.

Sebastien Metz, Technical Director

“We couldn’t have hoped for better preparation for this race. We’ve run strongly and reliably, we’ve experienced every weather condition, and we’ve won races. The BMW Motorsport package is excellent, and though we’re still a little short of single lap pace, the car is consistent. This team has worked incredibly hard – we couldn’t have done anything else to be ready for the race. Of course, you can never be sure of anything in 24-hour racing, but we’re ready for just about anything. Let’s go and challenge for the win!”

Markus Palttala, BMW Z4 GT3 #26

“The long build up is over – it’s been successful, but now it’s the real thing, the 24 Hours of Nürburgring. I’ve been waiting for this since the snow melted. This is such a huge race for all of us – a demanding challenge, but one I know we’re ready for. I know this team inside out, we all know each other very well, and the team bonds are hugely strong. I have total confidence in my teammates, and I know we’ll be right up there. On a personal side, I feel like the Le Mans 24 Hours was optimal preparation. I’m just waiting for the engines to start now!”

Jörg Müller, BMW Z4 GT3 #25

“This is the most amazing race. It just fills me with excitement! So far, my racing with Marc VDS has been fantastic, and we’ve gone from a fresh group at the start of the year to a great team. I feel at home here already, and that will help us. We’ve worked on the set up at every VLN weekend and now the car is fantastic –smooth and easy to drive, but fast. That’s perfect for this race. You don’t want to fight the car as well as the track and your competitors. We’re as ready as we can be – bring on the race!”


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