THE BELGIAN AUDI CLUB TEAM WRT TO DEFEND GT SERIES LEADERSHIP AT ZANDVOORT

THE BELGIAN AUDI CLUB TEAM WRT TO DEFEND GT SERIES LEADERSHIP AT ZANDVOORT

04/07/2013

There is no rest for the world’s GT élite: only one week after the Blancpain round at the Ricard, the FIA GT Series is back with its third round of the season, which will take place at Zandvoort. The historic Dutch track nested in the dunes along the North Sea represents almost a second home race for the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, who will arrive to the popular summer resort as leader of both the Drivers’ and Teams’ standings of the FIA GT Series. Maintaining and possibly improving those positions will be the main objective of the Audis R8 LMS ultra of the Belgian squad. At the moment, Stéphane Ortelli – Laurens Vanthoor have a 2-point leadership over Frank Stippler – Edward Sandström, while also Nicky Mayr-Melnhof – René Rast, are in an excellent position (4th) in the Drivers’ standings. In the Teams’ ranking, the Belgian squad enjoys a 15-point advantage. The excellent start of the season, with two overall wins and further five podium finishes in the first two rounds at Nogaro and Zolder, left the ladder quite high not only for competitors but also for the Belgian Audi Club itself!

“I see Zandvoort as a crucial weekend”, admits Team Principal Vincent Vosse, “It is important to keep the team focused and motivated, after the disappointment in the Blancpain last weekend and ahead of the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the most important event of the year. In the FIA GT Series, we have enjoyed good success so far and we want to keep up the positions we have at the moment. It will be a challenge, given the current balance of performance, but we can count on our strengths: an excellent car, great drivers and a strong team. On the paper, Zandvoort is a relatively favorable circuit, as it has a relatively short straight and long fast corners, but theory is one thing and reality another, as we have seen recently.”

The team is traveling straight to Holland from Spa-Francorchamps where it took part, yesterday, to the testing session prior to the 24 Hours. Despite the light rain, everything ran smoothly.“The track got never entirely dry”, explained Vosse, “but we could perform the foreseen work programme and we now definitely have enough data on wet set-ups!”

Stéphane Ortelli, who shares with Laurens Vanthoor the wheel of the car on top of the Drivers’ standings, is definitely a Zandvoort fan: “It’s a track that has the taste of history and very interesting from a driver’s perspective, with quite fast sections. It has also its own peculiarities that always need to be taken into account, like the possibility of sand on the surface, if the wind blows in a given way.”

Frank Stippler, who co-drives with Edward Sandström the currently runner-up car, feels also eager to be at Zandvoort: “I haven’t been racing there for some years, so my first objective will be to re-acquaint as quickly as possible with the track. What we can expect there in terms of competitiveness is difficult to say, especially after what we have seen at the Ricard, last week, but the objective remains to strengthen what we have achieved so far.”

Also among the front-runners, Nicky Mayr-Melnhof – René Rast, now confirmed in the Pro category, have good chances to play. “I am looking forward to being at Zandvoort, a circuit I like a lot and where we should perform well. We had a very fast pace in the first two events and are determined to continue on this trend. We are ready to push and go for it! René is a sensational driver and team mate and I am learning a lot with him at every outing!” says Nicky, the Austrian member of the team.

Once again, the Belgian Audi Club’s other members Anthony Kumpen and Enzo Ide will drive the Audi R8 LMS ultra of Phoenix Racing, with which he is conducting an excellent FIA GT Series campaign.

The Zandvoort event will follow the standard FIA GT Series format, but the two one-hour races will have early starts: 13:45 on Saturday for the Qualifying race and 11:45 for the Main race on Sunday.

FIA GT Series - Round 3

Zandvoort, the Netherlands

6-7 July 2013

Timetable

Friday 5th July 2013

10:00-11:20 Free Practice 1

15:40-17:00 Free Practice 2

Saturday 6th July 2013

09:00-10:00 Qualifying

13:45-14:45 Qualifying Race

Sunday 7th July 2013

09:35-09:55 Warm-up

11:45-12:45 Main Race

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT

#11 Stéphane Ortelli (MC) - Laurens Vanthoor (BE) (Pro)

#12 Nikolaus Mayr-Melnhof (AT) - René Rast (DE) (Pro)

#13 Edward Sandström (SE) - Frank Stippler (DE) (Pro)

Drivers’ (Pro) Championship Standings after Race 4 of 12

1. Vanthoor-Ortelli 44 points

2. Sandström-Stippler 42

3. Kox-Rosina 32

4. Rast – Mayr-Melnhof 31

5. Ide-Kumpen 24

Teams’ (Pro) Championship Standings after Race 4 of 12

  1. Belgian Audi Club Team WRT 60 points
  2. Loeb Racing 45
  3. BMW Team Brazil 37
  4. HTP Gravity Charouz 28
  5. Seyffarth Motorsport 14
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14 hours ago

VICTORY IN THE DARK AND CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD FOR TEAM WRT AND VANTHOOR-WEERTS ⠀ Read more >> https://t.co/vJm0CSWKTy ⠀… https://t.co/yq2iYkWu9R

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