Engine supply issues mean that the four Ford GT cars of the Marc VDS and Belgian Racing teams could be absent from the grid for the seventh round of the GT1 World Championship at Paul Ricard next weekend.
Both teams have suffered engine reliability issues this season, with the #40 Ford GT of the Marc VDS Racing Team requiring four engines since the opening round of the championship at Abu Dhabi.
Replacement engines were ordered from engine supplier, Roush Yates, in June but due to a public holiday in the United States, the engines weren’t shipped to Europe until 7th July.
To allow them to be fitted to the Ford GTs of the Marc VDS and Belgian Racing teams before the teams depart for Paul Ricard the engines need to arrive in the Marc VDS workshop by Monday 11th July. If the engines don’t arrive by this date then both teams will have no option but to withdraw from the seventh round of the GT1 World Championship, leaving no Fords on the grid.
“The situation we find ourselves in now is completely unacceptable,” declared Jean-Michel Delporte, General Manager of the Marc VDS Racing Team. “We ordered and paid Roush Yates for these replacement engines in plenty of time to have them shipped, delivered and fitted in the cars ready for Paul Ricard. Now we find out they’ve only just been shipped because of a public holiday in the United States.”
“The world, especially the racing world, doesn’t stop for public holidays and as an excuse this is one is pretty poor. The situation is simple; unless the engines arrive with us by Monday at the latest then we will not have time to fit them before the four cars leave the workshop for the South of France. In this instance we would have no option but to withdraw from the race, meaning there would be no Fords on the grid. The situation is made worse by the fact that, for the first time in the GT1 World Championship, Ford Europe will have a heavy presence at Paul Ricard for the race weekend.”
“All we can do now is keep chasing the shipment company and hope that the engines aren’t delayed further in customs,” concluded Delporte.