A promise is a promise: when a few weeks ago MARC VDS Racing Team announced their entry in the top category (GT1) of the FIA-GT championship, the famous Belgian team still had to choose the car with which it would address this challenge.
That decision has been made now: it will be the Ford GT Matech.The German-based Swiss team has recently developed the GT3-version of the Ford and has now taken on the development of the GT1-version as well. Matechwill enter one car, while the other car will run in the colours of MARC VDSRacing Team. The drivers of the ‘Belgian’Ford will be the experienced duo Bas Leinders-RenaudKuppens.
“2009 will be a transitional year for FIA-GT, before the championship will start a new era in 2010”,Bas Leinders explains. “The appeal of the Ford is not only the enormous potential of the GT1-version, but also the fact that the car is being developed with the new 2010 rules in mind. We will use next season as a preparationfor 2010. That does not mean that we will be doomed to fulfil the role of backmarkers, far from it, but everything we do will have a positive effect on our 2010 campaign. That is not the case for all of our competitors, since they are driving cars which are at the end of their development.”
Even though Leinders and Kuppens will be entered under the MARC VDS Racing Team banner, there will be a close cooperation with Matech, the team which conquered the GT3-title in 2008.
“We will contribute to the development of the car, with the aim to make it one of the best in 2010”,Bas Leinders continues. “Because we do not have the most powerful of engines in comparison with those of the competition, we will be at a disadvantage on some of this year’s tracks. But I’m sure that we can perform well on others, always keeping in mind that 2010 is our main target.”
Even during this transitional year no effort will be spared, which is the reason for an extensive test in Magny-Cours, before the team will attend the official FIA-GT test at Le Castellet. “After these tests the organiser of the FIA-GT championship will evaluate the performance levels of the different cars, which could lead to some technical alterations”,Bas Leinders concludes. “It is after all the aim of the organisers to keep these levels as close as possible, to ensure some exciting races during the upcoming season.
”The car of Marc VDS Racing Team –with its new silver and scarlet colour scheme –will also participate in Belgium’s most important races: the Spa 24 Hours (25-26 July) of course, but also the penultimate round of the FIA-GT calendar in Zolder(11 October). For the 24-hour race Leinders and Kuppenswill be assisted by a third driver, whose name will be announced shortly.