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Top Four for Marc VDS in Austria

Marc VDS Racing Team, Spielberg, Austria, July 12th 2015: BMW Team Marc VDS took a fourth-place finish at the 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring. Andy Priaulx, Jesse Krohn and Henry Hassid move up to fourth place in the European Le Mans Series GTE standings with the #52 BMW Z4 GTE.

In sweltering heat, qualifying was tough for the Belgian squad. After an electronic issue severely limited running time on Saturday, Priaulx’s 15 minutes on Sunday morning were a step into the unknown. The Briton was able to qualify within a second of the leaders, in a creditable sixth place.

Hassid took the start, and was able to climb as high as fourth place, maintaining focus and consistency despite several safety car interventions in the first hour. His performance was all the more remarkable as this was his first visit to the track, and he had seen little of it on Saturday.

Priaulx’s race stint was serene compared to several competitors, with more safety car interventions interrupting his drive. He moved as high as second, before handing to Krohn.

The Finnish pilot took the final two hours of the race. He dropped behind several GTE cars, defenceless against the more powerful Ferraris on the straight. However, his pace was good and with bold strategy calls, the team were able to secure a fourth place finish.

The 4.4 litre V8 powered BMW Z4 GTE has now finished in fourth position in every four-hour round of the European Le Mans Series. Both team and drivers sit in fifth place in their respective championship standings.

Bas Leinders, Team Principal
“This is the best we could do here. We could see clearly that the Ferrari was extremely strong, and I’m proud of the team as they achieved the maximum possible. All three drivers drove very well, and I’m very pleased particularly to see that Henry was strong despite having had so few laps here. We’ll keep fighting.”

Jesse Krohn, BMW Z4 GTE #52
“I found the first few laps of the stint really tough, because I only got three timed laps in practice and one of those was under a full course yellow! I got faster throughout, even on worn tyres, because I was finding so much time. That’s work you normally do in practice! Then again, with the situation as it was, I don’t think any amount of practice could have got us a podium today. This was the absolute maximum we could achieve.”

Andy Priaulx, BMW Z4 GTE #52
“Today, we did what we could. We have no answer to the Ferrari with the current situation, but the team did a fantastic job. The pitstops were sensational, Henry and Jesse both drove superbly and the strategy really worked in our favour. The important thing is that we finished, and we’re still in with a good shout for the title. Two rounds to go, anything can happen.”

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Original article published by Marc VDS Racing Team, 12th July 2015

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