Yas Marina Race 1
MAD CROC IS PART OF THE FIA GT1 LEGEND
ABU DHABI – YAS MARINA 17/04/10.
This weekend took place the first round of the brand new FIA GT1 World Championship. The FIA GT1 World Championship is a competition between the most famous sportscar brands in the world and for the first season Corvette, Maserati, Nissan, Ford GT, Lamborghini and Aston Martin will compete the FIA GT1 World Title. Each brand has to enter two teams of two cars. One of the two teams representing the American brand Corvette is Mad Croc Racing. The team enters two Corvette Z06 GT1 for Dutchman Xavier Maassen and German Alex Müller (#11 Corvette) and Pertti Kuismanen and former F1-driver Mika Salo (#12 Corvette) from Finalnd. The first round in Abu Dhabi on the Yas Marina racetrack was a fantastic event, with the Mad Croc Corvette finishing in 10th and 15th position.
The FIA GT1 meetings start with two 80-minute free practice sessions, followed by a qualification session identical to the F1 system: a first round of 20 minutes, than 15 minutes for the top-16 and a final session of 10 minutes for the top-8. The final outcome is the start grid for the first race.
Xavier Maassen: “But it all went wrong when another competitor had a heavy crash during the first part of the session and the clerks of the meeting decided to stop the session and freeze the results as they were on the moment of the accident. Luckily we were already in a good position, 4th with our car and our team mates qualified in 6th.”
“We were in a good position to fight for the podium when another competitor hit us out”, explained Mika Salo. “The result of the first race is also the starting order of the Championship Race, so this outcome was a major handicap for us.”
While the Mad Croc mechanics were repairing the #12 Corvette, Xavier Maassen and Alex Müller were fighting for 3rd position. “Suddenly the engine broke and our race was over as well”, said Alex Müller. “So we were both at the back end of the grid for the Championship Race…”
The 60-minute Championship Race was very intense and the Mad Croc team did a good job, getting both cars home in (#11) 10th - thus scoring a point - and (#12) 15th position.
“A 10th and 15th place in the Championship Race might not be the result we aimed for, but when you are starting with both cars from the back of the grid, you know that you are in a difficult situation”, told Xavier Maassen after the race.
“My car was a bit oversteering and not always easy to drive, but we learned a lot”, is the conclusion of Mika Salo. “I’ll do two more rounds of the World Championship and for the other races, Corvette factory driver Oliver Gavin will be driving with Pertti Kuismanen.”
All that remains now is for the teams to enjoy some down time in Abu Dhabi while they wait for the international air space to re-open so they can fly home to prepare the next round on the 1st and 2nd of May in Silverstone, UK.