A difficult race at the Nürburgring
After the magnificent win of the Dutch Mad Crocs Xavier Maassen and Jos Menten in Spa, the Dutch pairing showed up at the German Nürburgring for the sixth round of the FIA GT1 World Championship with high hopes, just as the Finish paring Mika Salo and Pertti Kuismanen.
But sport is not only about success, but also about fighting back after a defeat. “And that’s what we will have to do in Portugal for the next round of the FIA GT1 World Championship”, explains Patrick Selleslagh, team manager of the #12 Mad Croc Corvette C6.R of Mika Salo and Pertti Kuismanen. “We can not be satisfied with a 15th and 23rd position in the races, that’s for sure. “So can’t we, with two 18th places”, tells a very honest Xavier Maassen in the black and red box of the Mad Croc Racing Team after the German weekend.
Like every race weekend, things get serious in qualifying. “And that’s where our weekend started to go wrong”, says Jos Menten. “I made a little mistake in the last chicane during my last fast lap and so we lost the opportunity to go to the third and final qualifying session. We looked at the data and my mistake was the difference between a tenth spot and a place in the top-8… And it’s the top-8 that battles for pole position… So what can I possibly tell you more? Of course I’m disappointed, for myself, the team and Xavier.”
Meanwhile, the #12 Mad Croc Corvette C6.R was already eliminated in the first session. “We will have to change the set-up, as this was not the direction to go”, told Mika Salo right after the session.
The first race was another difficult chapter in the German GT1 book. The #11 Mad Croc Corvette, with Jos Menten at the wheel took a good start, “but the first corner was a real chaos. I got hit from all sides and the race was over, we lost four laps in the pitlane and that was it… And what’s more, race 1 settles the grid for the Championships Race on Sunday and our place on Sunday was the back end of the grid. That was another bitter consequence of it.”Salo and Kuismanen raced from 21 to 15, “a rather good result, given the fact that we got a drive through penalty for pitlane speeding, as Mika came in”, says Kuismanen.
Another race, another race incident… “Indeed, that’s right”, agrees Xavier Maassen. “After making a good start, I was 11th or 12th, I got hit again and that was it… We finished 18th and that was it…” Mika Salo took a relative good start in the #12 Mad Croc Racing Corvette, but a brake problem slowed the car down, resulting in a 23rd position.