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Jul 27, 2014 - 05:44 AM
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Marc VDS Looking Strong at 24 Hours of Spa
Posted by: newsla on Jul 27, 2014 - 05:42 AM
Sports Cars
Marc VDS Looking Strong at 24 Hours of Spa


BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS avoided a multitude of heavy accidents in the opening four hours of the 24 Hours of Spa. Markus Palttala, Lucas Luhr and Dirk Werner lead the race in #77, while Jörg Müller, Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus were fighting back after an accident. However, just before the five-hour mark, a serious crash brought out a red flag, stopping the cars on the track. #77 was in fifth position, and #66 in 47th.

 

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The opening of the race was dry, and dominated by a series of lengthy safety car periods caused by heavy crashes, and the main target for the cars was to survive in good order. #77 did just that, with Luhr – starting 14th – able to end his first stint in ninth place. Good pitwork saw Werner move to 4th, and with strategies playing out, Palttala ended the hour leading the race.

For #77, the race start was good, with the car moving into the top ten – from 11th – after good work from Martin and Farfus. However, an unlucky incident saw Müller hit another car, and the BMW Z4 GT3 suffered frontal damage that took seven laps to repair, dropping the car to 51st. By pushing hard, they were making places, into 46th position as the dusk fell.

However, all the cars were brought to standing after another heavy crash, with the organisers deploying the red flag.

Sebastien Metz, Technical Director
“I’m really pleased with the work of the team. The strategy for #77 is working very well and clearly they have a good balance and set up for long runs, which is pleasing. I was also incredibly happy to see the teamwork when there was a problem with the #66. Both sides of the garage pitched in and that’s real team spirit.”

Jörg Müller, BMW Z4 GT3 #66
“I drove into the back of a slower car. It was green for half a lap, and I was fighting a Nissan, and I came across the start line trying to pass. I looked to the right to see where he was, looked up and the cars were all slow in front of me. I had no warning of the safety car. I’m sorry for the guys, and also to the car I hit. It’s pretty disappointing.”

Markus Palttala, BMW Z4 GT3 #77
“I’m pleased with the progress, because obviously from P14 to P1 is very good! The car feels nice, there’s good consistency over the run, and that’s a good sign, but I think we’re missing a little out-and-out pace. The race has been crazy – I’ve never seen so many big crashes, and back-to-back as well. It’s frustrating to always be behind the safety car, and it was made worse by being stuck behind a lapped car. He is faster in a straight line, and blocked in the turns, disrespecting the blue flags and track limits. We have to fight so hard for every overtake anyway – the straightline speed difference is huge – and to have to do it with traffic is tough.”


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