Exim Bank Team China experience difficult weekend in French round of the FIA GT1 World Championship
PAUL RICARD. 17th July 2011. This season SRT has taken on the responsibility of entering the Corvette C6.R for the brand new Exim Bank Team China FIA GT1. The French round of the World Championship, held on the fast Paul Ricard circuit, and following on from the Spanish round a fortnight earlier, was once more a disappointment for Patrick Selleslagh’s team. In neither of the races of the seventh round of the GT1 World Championship did the Corvette C06.R see the chequered flag, notwithstanding the fact that the intrinsic speed was definitely there and that the team had deserved to score points.
Mike Hezemans and Andreas Zuber were back together following a strong weekend at the Sachsenring and during the free practice and qualifying sessions it looked as though the Belgian run Corvette C6.R GT1 would once again be playing a major role.
Mike Hezemans: “During the second session of the free practice we ended in third spot, which proved that we were on track. Our car was good and during qualifying we had no problem in getting through to the third and final session. We finished here in seventh place, a mere seven tenths for the pole position.”
During the first race Mike Hezemans and Andreas Zuber had no trouble in slotting in with the top-5 and once again they had points within their sights.
Mike Hezemans: “Unfortunately something went wrong with the Corvette, whereby we were forced into early retirement. Very rarely does anything go amiss with the Corvette, but this time it did. The team did discover the cause of the problem and during the warm-up on Sunday we finished in second place, which notwithstanding our starting position near the back of the grid, was a definite boost.”
Patrick Selleslagh: “Mike took an excellent start in the main race, but was hit from behind which sent him flying over a raised kerbstone whereby the car was damaged and once again we were left by the side of the track. A great pity. We still have three races remaining in the World Championship – two in China and the final round of the season in Argentina – and we’ll do our utmost to put in a strong performance to finish off the season.”
The World Championship GT1 is now taking a two months break up until the following round on the Ordos circuit in China.