Exim Bank Team China once again scores points in the FIA GT1 World Championship
SACHSENRING. 15th May 2011. This season SRT has taken on the responsibility of entering the Corvette C6.R for the brand new Exim Bank Team China FIA GT1. Up until now the team has scored points in each of the three championship races of the GT1 World Championship and headed off for Germany with high ambitions, where the Sachsenring circuit would surely be to the liking of the Corvette C6.R. Nicky Catsburg and Mike Hezemans proved this to be a correct forecast by clinching a first pole position for the Belgian-Chinese team and a sixth place in the championship race.
From three down to two and then one, this was the team’s advance during the free practice and qualifying sessions of this German round of the World Championship for GT1 cars on the Sachsenring. The circuit located in the former East Germany was definitely to the Corvette’s liking and on Saturday morning the Dutch duo comprised of Mike Hezemans and Nicky Catsburg brought the car on to pole position, the first for the team under the management of Patrick Selleslagh.
Mike Hezemans: “The car was exceptionally good, truly over the entire circuit and we felt that it had definite potential. Together with Nicky and the team we managed to grab the pole position, an incredible result both for us and SRT. Unfortunately it transpired later that when coming into the pit lane and stopping at our pit box we should in fact have driven to the parc fermé, and as such our time for the session was annulled as also our first starting place for the first race of the weekend. An absolute shame, but on the other hand we knew that we had the form and the speed, that’s for sure.”
During race 1 it was soon apparent that the Corvette C6.R was extremely strong, however a small error by Nicky Catsburg when accelerating ended in the sand trap.
Patrick Selleslagh: “He had just overtaken a Nissan and was just a bit over enthusiastic, gave too much throttle and that was it. An error, but seeing his brilliant performance up until now, we can but forgive him. Nicky is doing well in the team and has an enormous amount of potential, he has already proven that.”
The championship race on Sunday meant that the Corvette had to start from the back of the grid and this might well have been an advantage...
Patrick Selleslagh: “Indeed, because once again there was complete chaos at the start and we were able to avoid the carnage. This allowed us to move up through the pack and after a sound pit stop halfway through the race, Nicky was able to get back on track in sixth place for the second half. Once again he found himself behind a Nissan and remained there, because without taking risks it is highly difficult to overtake here on this super track. So we finished in sixth place and for the fourth consecutive time scored points in the World Championship, which all in all is a great performance.”
The GT1 World Championship is now taking a three week break up until the following round on the Silverstone circuit in Great Britain.