Late Pass Gives Marc VDS Season’s First Win


Martin completed Marc VDS' first Blancpain Series win of 2013 (Credit: V-IMAGES.com/Fabre)

hThe #3 BMW Z4 had been in the lead battle for much of the three hour race, Buurman having started from pole position though he lost the top spot to Maximilian Buhk starting the HTP Motorsport Mercedes SLS. Buhk, sharing the #84 with Alon Day and Luca Ludwig would finish fifth overall.

Following a middle stint from Leinders that kept the Marc VDS it was left to the team’s star driver Martin to pick his way through the podium places. He took second from Daniele Zampieri of the championship leading Kessel Racing team before chasing down Alexander Sims, anchoring the Hexis Racing team’s McLaren already driven in the race by Stef Dusseldorp and Alvaro Parente.

The decisive move came just 11 minutes from the end of the race when Martin passed Sims round the outside of the long Beausset left hander. The Belgian went on to pulled out a seven second advantage in the closing laps en route to victory.

Sims crossed the line second, spared any further potential pressure by a ten second stop-go given to Zampieri that he served late in the race and dropped him to fourth, allowing the JRM team of Lucas Luhr, Peter Dumbreck and Steven Kane to take a third place to add to their dramatic fourth at Silverstone a month ago.

Zampieri crossed the line fourth, the result still good enough to extend the Kessel Racing team’s – Zampieri, Davide Rigon and Cesar Ramos – points’ lead at the top of the championship, with the race winning Marc VDS trio now in second place.

Boutsen Ginion Racing pair David Dermont  and Frédéric Vervisch overcame a number of setbacks to win the Pro-Am class. Before the race intended third driver Koen Wouters was forced to withdraw through injury. Once the race started Dermont was punted into a spin by one of the Ferraris in the race, losing nearly twenty second. However, the pair rebounded to finish eleventh overall, the last team to complete the same 81 laps as the leaders.

Nissan GT Academy Team RJN, with drivers Alex Buncombe, Mark Shulzhitskiy and Steve Doherty finished second. Grasser Racing’s all-Austrian line-up of Gottfried Grasser, Hari Procyzk and Gerhard Tweraser completed the class podium.

JeanLuc Beaubelique, JeanLuc Blanchemain and Patrice Goueslard won the Gentlemens’ Trophy class for SOFREV ASP, finishing 29th overall.

The Blancpain Endurance Series paddock face a break of nearly a month before their next race, the small matter to the centrepiece of the season, the Total 24 Hours of Spa.