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Jul 22, 2014 - 04:30 PM
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Marc VDS Look to Impress on Home Soil
Posted by: newsla on Jul 22, 2014 - 04:25 PM
Sports Cars
Marc VDS Look to Impress on Home Soil


BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS head to the world-famous 24 Hours of Spa this week, with the Belgian outfit keen to show their form and take a strong result. Two BMW Z4 GT3s are entered, with Augusto Farfus and Jörg Müller joining Maxime Martin in #66, while Lucas Luhr, Dirk Werner and Markus Palttala share #77.

 

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Marc VDS veteran and local favourite Martin has just scored his first DTM victory in his debut season, while Farfus raced to second in the series’ points standings in 2013. Müller is one of BMW Motorsport’s most long serving and successful racers, with plenty of 24-hour race victories behind him. In #77, Luhr is a multiple American Le Mans Series champion, as well as an FIA GT1 World Champion too. Werner has huge experience, forming part of BMW Motorsport’s works program for several years, including being a key driver in BMW’s DTM return. Palttala is also a long term Marc VDS racer, having earned the Blancpain Endurance Series vice-champion title two years running. He’s currently also starring in the Tudor United Sportscar Series, America’s premier sportscar racing series.

Spa Francorchamps is one of the world’s great racing circuits, listed by most drivers among their favourites. Situated in the Ardennes, it is a theatrical venue, with undulating terrain providing plenty of elevation change around the circuit. It also has some of the best corners, including the famous Eau Rouge – a near-flat uphill left, right, left sequence – and the devastatingly fast Blanchimont.

The 24-hour race is the most competitive GT3 race in the world, with over 60 entries and a plethora of international stars spread around the grid. A good result here requires intense preparation, strong teamwork and relentless fast racing – as well as luck! The race is the team’s only entry into the Blancpain Endurance Series in 2014, and they arrive with the mantel of team champions after the 2013 season. Marc VDS also led the race with two different cars last year, before bad luck scuppered their challenge. They also produced a strong performance at the 2014 24 Hours of Nürburgring, where both cars unfortunately retired with crashes.

The race starts on Saturday at 16:30 local time, with a special qualifying session on Friday – for the top 20 qualifiers – to decide the grid.

Jörg Müller, BMW Z4 GT3 #66
“Spa is a great track – possibly the best in the world. Last year I was supposed to race here with Marc VDS but I had to sit out with an injury, so I’m glad to get the chance to race with them at their home event. We had a good run at the Nürburgring, but that race showed you need luck to be successful in these 24-hour races. The guys have worked incredibly hard to make sure we have a strong package this weekend and I’m just really excited to get going. Let’s race!”

Markus Palttala, BMW Z4 GT3 #77
“24 Hours of Spa is one of my favourite races, and I’m thrilled to be returning with Marc VDS and BMW Motorsport. Last year has some huge highs and disappointing lows, but it’s only made me more determined to come here and show what this team can do. We know we’re capable of winning this race, even with such a strong field. This circuit will suit the car and I know that everything is in place from the team’s side – and from my side, I couldn’t be more ready. This will be my fourth 24-hour race already this year, third with the BMW Z4 GT3, and it means that I feel very at home. I’d love to be able to win this race for Marc van der Straten, because I’ve been racing with his team for a long time and his passion for this sport deserves a good result.”

Marc van der Straten, Team Owner
“I love this race, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m proud of all the work the team has done, they’ve made a phenomenal effort since the Nürburgring. I’m pleased with the direction of our relationship with BMW Motorsport – that direction is forward! I hope that we can put on a fantastic show for all the home support here, because it is always amazing, and for our partners and the whole Marc VDS family. I’m really excited for the race!”


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