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Category: FIA GT – GT1

Dörr MotorsportThe Dörr Motorsport team from Germany is now complete and ready for the first race in the FIA GT Series in Nogaro, France. The two German drivers Arne Hoffmeister and “Paul Green” will compete in their McLaren MP4 12C GT3 #17 in the Gentlemen Trophy rating. Niclas Kentenich (DEU) and Daniel Keilwitz (DEU) in car #16 intend to score points in the strong Pro Cup rating.

The drivers will get their first chance to race their GT3 car on the track on Friday. A two-hour first free practice session is scheduled for the afternoon. The team and the drivers will use that time to optimise the McLarens and to make themselves familiar with the racetrack. There will be another two-hour practice session on Saturday morning before the first real trial, the qualifying in the afternoon, when the start positions for the one-hour qualifying race on Sunday will be determined. The results from that race will determine the start positions for the one-hour championship race on Monday.

Team Manager Uwe Isert: “We worked very hard in order to be able to take part in the FIA GT series. Now we are here with two cars. And we will see how the weekend goes. At the moment I cannot say where we stand, we will know more after the start of the free practice sessions. Our first goal is for the drivers to make themselves familiar with the car and the track. Our second goal is for both McLarens to finish the race on Monday.”

Team Principal Rainer Dörr is looking forward to the first event of the new FIA GT series: “After a great many races at the Nordschleife we will now compete on an international level, in the new series of Stephane Ratel (founder and CEO of S.R.O.). The McLaren MP4 12C GT3 is definitely a great car, which has previously competed successfully in GT series all over the world. We are a young team in the GT series and we will have a lot to learn. Therefore, we cannot set ourselves ambitious goals for the race in Nogaro. We do not know yet what our competitors have to offer.

I am pleased with the media coverage for the FIA GT series. All championship races will be broadcast live by RTL Nitro, with RTL showing highlights of the GT races right before the Formula 1 broadcasts. This is great for both our sponsors and our McLaren branch office in Frankfurt where we sell the street versions of the McLarens. We are the only McLaren retailer in the world who also manages a race-team.”

Schedule for Nogaro (FRA):

Friday, 29 March 2013
3:10 – 4:30 p.m. Free Practice Session

Saturday, 30 March 2013
10:05 – 11:25 a.m. Free Practice Session

Sunday, 31 March 2013
2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Qualifying Race

Monday, 01 April 2013
2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Championship Race (live on RTL Nitro)

Darryl O'YoungHong Kong pilot Darryl O’Young had a successful debut in the FIA GT1 World Championship in his new Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+, took P7 in Championship race on Easter Monday, and scored World Championship point with his Dutch teammate Peter Kox in Nogaro, France.

The duo placed P10 on Saturday 3 stage qualifying session, O’Young started in Q1 and had no problem in the top 12 to enter into Q2. However, a faulty control unit of the gearbox caused problems for Peter Kox in Q2. In Sunday Qualifying Race, they were able to moved up to P8 for start position Monday Championship Race, the duo were more successful than on the previous day and won P7 finally and scored World Championship point, sitting joint P8 out of 34 drivers in Drivers’ Championship.

O’Young commented after the race: “My debut in the FIA GT1 World Championship has been a successful one as we scored World Championship points. We faced many challenges as a team as I was learning a new race car and it was the first time we all worked together as a team. We dealt with everything well as a team and improved throughout the weekend. I’m very pleased with the results we achieved here in France and we will move to Belgium in two weeks time looking to bring stronger results.”

The championship will resume for round 2 in Zolder, Belgium from the 20th to 22nd of April. The season’s will visit Beijing and Ordos in China for 2 rounds in August.

Please visit www.gt1world.com for more GT1 information and www.darryloyoung.com for the latest updates about Darryl.

Darryl O'YoungHong Kong race driver Darryl O’Young, embarks on the greatest journey of his career to date by entering two FIA World Championships in 2012, the FIA World Touring Car Championship and the FIA GT1 World Championship. This is a major milestone in his career and for Chinese motorsport as he will be one of the only drivers in the world to compete in two world championship categories in the same season. The FIA WTCC and the FIA GT1 World are the two most prestigious and competitive touring car and GT racing series’ in the world.

Having previously driven a Chevrolet Cruze for Bamboo Engineering for the past 2 seasons, O’Young makes a switch to a new SEAT Leon 1.6 Turbo for British Team, Special Tuning Racing. O’Young enters his 3rd season in the WTCC and is determined to take his experience from the previous 2 years to challenge for the independents world title and take his first overall victory in the series.

His entry to the FIA GT1 World will be his rookie season in this world championship. He is partnering experienced Dutchman, Peter Kox in a Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+ on his maiden season with the German outfit, Reiter Engineering. The action packed one hour races feature pit stops and driver changes, which will count on a strong team effort to give the experienced duo race victories this year.

This extensive program will see the Hong Kong race driver compete in 18 different countries in 22 weekends, adding up to a grand total of 44 races this season. His global race schedule is highlighted with a stop in Shanghai and Macau in the WTCC and two stops in Mainland China in Beijing and Ordos for the FIA GT1 before closing the season out in India in December.

On WTCC: “My move to compete in the SEAT Leon 1.6 Turbo is something I see as a long term development. With support from SEAT Sport coming back to the WTCC this year, I feel there is a real chance to fight for race victories during the season. Although it is a new engine and a new team, we are all working hard to take big step forward as the season progresses. Special Tuning Racing is a team with many years experience working with SEATS, and my team mate Tom Boardman has also driven these cars a lot, so it is a great situation for me. I have to thank LKM, A-Ha Coffee, and SEAT for making this all possible.”

On GT1: “In the FIA GT1 World Championship, it is an exciting move for me this season. The Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+ is a very competitive race car and together with an experienced team like Reiter Engineering, I feel we can really fight for race wins this season. My team mate, Peter Kox is very fast and he is a proven driver, so I can firstly learn alot from him, but also match up against him to push myself as a driver. Without all my sponsors, this isn’t possible so again, thank you to all that are involved in this project.”

On his 2012 race program: “I’m super excited about the 2012 season. I was already very happy to be back in the FIA WTCC this season, but to add the FIA GT1 World Championship to my racing calendar is simply amazing. This is something I never imagined possible and I feel blessed to have the chance to be one of the only drivers in the world to compete in two FIA World Championships. These opportunities don’t come along every day and I intend to capitalize on this unbelievable chance and help Hong Kong and China shine on the motorsport world stage.”

The Saleen S7R of the Austrian Full Speed Racing-team with which Dutch racing driver Carlo van Dam raced in the Spa 24 Hours this weekend, retired on Saturday night after 128 laps. “It seemed the engine just did not pick up fuel anymore, which was a bit strange as it happened at the start of what was our last lap before our next scheduled pit stop”, Carlo explains. “There was no fuel alarm light coming on either, the engine just cut out at once. A pity of course, but I look back satisfied and with pleasure at racing in this event nevertheless.”

A short-circuit in the wire loom kept the Full Speed Racing-team in the pits throughout most of free practice and the qualifying sessions leading up to the race, but the problem was solved before the start. “The team asked me to do the start”, Carlo says. “In the race things went nicely, actually. I spent a lot of time in the car and especially when it rained it just went well. We may not have had the best car out there, but compared to the fastest Maserati’s and Corvettes we performed quite reasonably I think. The team was pleased with my speed and in the paddock I got some good reactions to my driving, so I am happy to have been given the opportunity to race here and that I took it. We lost a lot of track time in practice and qualifying due to the short-circuit problem we had, but despite that, in the race the car was fine. One time the team put me on slicks a bit too early maybe, so I had a brief off as the track was still wet, but apart from that things went well. This was one of those races in which you move up automatically as long as you just keep on running, because a lot was happening on the track and many cars crashed out or ran into trouble. Unfortunately we too retired, but all in all for me this was a great race and valuable experience.”

Carlo van DamDutch racing driver Carlo van Dam and his team mates will tomorrow (Saturday) start from 32nd position (9th in the GT1-class) in the 61st Spa 24 Hours, after the Full Speed Racing-team for which he drives, completed only very few laps in the qualifying sessions held yesterday (Thursday) at the Belgian circuit. Since the Saleen S7R of the Austrian team first went out to qualify when it had just started to rain, competitive lap times could no longer be set on the wet track. During the handful of laps that Carlo did, however, he managed to make a strong first impression.

“I got to grips with the car pretty quickly”, Carlo says. “During free practice I only did three laps, but when I got out of the car I was in fifth place, so that wasn’t a bad start. The team, though, was plagued by electrical problems all day yesterday and the alternator and the battery failed several times. Consequently, the car couldn’t do more than two or three consecutive laps and so we spent a lot of time in the pits. At the start of the first qualifying session it was still dry and that was when the fastest times were recorded obviously. As our car went out by the time it started to rain, we will of course have to start from the back. I did the second qualifying session, when it was still raining. It went well, in the first sector of my first lap I was one second quicker than the fastest time in GT1 set in that session until that moment. At the end of that same lap, however, the battery went flat again. That was quite an interesting experience; all the lights going out just when I was heading for Blanchimont while it was dark and wet…”

Starting from the back will not be too big an obstacle given the duration of the race, but Carlo recognizes the importance of the Full Speed Racing-team solving the problems that occurred yesterday if it does not want to retire early in the race. “Yesterday we could do two, maybe three laps before things broke down again, so there must be something short-circuiting somewhere in the car. One battery even exploded. Fortunately, today there will be no running here, so the team has some time to locate and solve the problem. Lets hope we can sort it out, because in the wet we were quite quick, especially because Pirelli’s wet weather tyre seems to be working well.”

Saleen S7RDutch racing driver Carlo van Dam will this coming weekend compete in the 61st edition of the Spa 24 Hours, the most important 24 hour-race for GT-sports cars as well as round four of the 2009 FIA GT Championship. Carlo will drive a Saleen S7R entered by the Austrian Full Speed Racing-team that runs in the GT1-class, the category for the fastest cars in the race.

Carlo concluded the deal with the Full Speed Racing’s team owner last week in Vienna and he is looking forward to making his debut in the Spa 24 Hours: “Since I decided to leave the Kolles & Heinz Union Formula 3-team last month, I have had several offers that I considered carefully. I very much welcomed the question to race the Saleen at Spa. It is a serious car and a wonderful, important event that fits in nicely with my GT-experience with Toyota and Subaru last year in Japan and my participation for Volkswagen in the 24 hour-race at the Nürburgring earlier this year.

The 600bhp S7R of the American sports car manufacturer Saleen has proven itself in the GT1-class in both Europe and the US over the past few years. Full Speed Racing has entered one Saleen for Spa, where Carlo will form a team with Italian Ferdinando Monfardini and the Dutch brothers Rob and Arjan van der Zwaan. “They all have experience in GT1 and with the Saleen, so that is good. For me it will be a case of getting to know the team and the car quickly. The competition in the GT1-class will be fierce, as there are many renowned teams and drivers racing in it and, apart from the Saleens, cars from Maserati and Corvette. It is a 24 hour-race so that means we just have to give everything without expecting anything. I am happy to be in it and I look forward to experiencing the race and the car, and contribute to the team’s performance as much as possible.”

First practice for the 61st Spa 24 Hours is held this coming Thursday, the race starts on Saturday July 26 at 16.00 hours.

Christian MontanariChristian Montanari ended up his trip to Zolder by ending up in a solid 5th place, in a race that crowned team-mate Thomas Biagi as the 2007 FIA GT Champion. The #2 Maserati MC12 driver was forced to recover from an initial incident after a close call with Andrea Bertolini. Montanari shown a strong pace, getting better and better, but eventually had to settle for 4th place in standings. A bit of disappointment was balanced by a great seasonal scoreboard, ended, together with Miguel Ramos, as the sole crew able to score points in every single race. Montanari impressed with the fast adaptation to a nearly unknown racing style, matching the great value of the car and team.

“At lap 1 I had to end up in the runoff area to avoid making contact with Bertolini, and the race’s steward only allowed me to rejoin after all the GT1 and GT2 cars. At that point, we did all we could to recover quickly than possible but the incident, together with the 60 Kilos of extra weight, the incident seriously jeopardized our chances. Despite the little regret for the 4th place in standings, we have to recognize the high value of this season’s performances. We were the only drivers to score points in all races, and that helped Vitaphone Racing and Maserati to clinch the team’s and the constructor’s championships. It’s a sum of the great job made by the team, the huge technical qualities of our cars, and the great progression of our results, also thanks to Miguel’s pace. This great season allowed us to learn a lot of useful things, that’ll help in the preparations for 2008”.