Upgrades for Marc VDS in Portimao
The Marc VDS Racing team has left the misery of the Nurburgring in its tracks as it looks ahead to racing in Portimao with slightly more power at its disposal.
The team’s two Ford GT’s could only muster up 11th and 17th in the Championship Race last time out in Germany but thanks to FIA approval, both cars now feature an upgraded air restrictor in Portugal.
"The FIA was willing to allow us a change to the air restrictor – in fact a change much bigger than we actually made in the end, but that would not have made any difference to our small block", said Marc VDS Team Manager Jean-Michel Delporte. "However, this minor adjustment is accompanied by an increase of the weight of the car by 12kg, so it's not like we will be running circles around the opposition from now on. But since at this level everything is so close together, every little detail matters."
The minor upgrade should help the team close the gap to its rivals on track, but its star driver Bas Leinders is wary of getting too close to other cars after getting struck at Spa.
“This track should suit the Ford better than the previous two circuits we went to,” said the No.40 driver. “We ran very well at the Algarve circuit last year because we suffered a lot less tyre degradation compared to other cars.
“However, for once I wish that our cars do not suffer from wild behaviour of some of the other drivers like we did in Spa, for instance", Leinders recalls. "These are great races because there are a lot of great drivers, but there are also a couple of drivers that are not so great, and I hope things do not get out of hand.”
Renaud Kuppens, who drives the team’s No.41 Ford GT, is reluctant to get too carried away about the prospect of driving a slightly quicker car this weekend.
The Belgian said: “Despite the tweaked air restrictor we will still have a disadvantage power wise. In the curvy bits we easily close on the other cars, but when they accelerate it is very hard to stay close enough to be able to launch an attack. Very frustrating.
“However, this will be our third weekend with our own engineer. We go from strength to strength and I hope that we can finally get the result we know we can achieve and finish somewhere between 7th and 10th.”