The Marc VDS Ford team notched up its first FIA GT1 World Championship victory in the qualifying race in Abu Dhabi today.
The Ford GT driven Frederic Makowiecki and Maxime Martin just edged out the best of the four Nissans, the JR Motorsports entry shared by Richard Westbrook and Peter Dumbreck. Third place went to the second JR Nissan of Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr.
Makowiecki ran second behind Darren Turner in the Young Driver AMR Aston Martin for the first half of the race. The Ford emerged from the mandatory mid-race pit stops ahead of the Aston (which then slowed with a loose wheel) and just behind Dumbreck. The Nissan went wide at Turn 4, allowing Martin to take a lead he would hold to the end of the one-hour race.
Martin said: "Fred did a good job in the opening stint and then I had a good fight with Peter. The victory is good for the whole team, because last year was not so easy for us."
Luhr overcame Enrique Bernoldi's Sumo Power Nissan to claim the final podium spot. Clivio Piccione and Stef Dusseldorp's Hexis Aston finished fifth on the back of a super-fast pit stop.
Young Driver's Tomas Enge triggered a first-corner accident when he missed his braking point, touched Makowiecki and spun. He was tagged by Dominik Schwager's All-Inkl Lamborghini and was then hit square-on by the DKR Engineering Chevrolet Corvette driven by Jaime Camara.
Qualifying race results - 31 laps:
Pos Drivers Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Martin/Makowiecki Marc VDS Ford 1h00m11.256s
2. Dumbreck/Westbrook JR Nissan + 1.476s
3. Luhr/Krumm JR Nissan + 18.069s
4. Bernoldi/Zonta Sumo Power Nissan + 21.514s
5. Piccione/Dusseldorp Hexis Aston Martin + 22.460s
6. Winkelhock/Basseng All-Inkl Lamborghini + 23.049s
7. Hezemans/Catsburg Exim Corvette + 37.828s
8. Brabham/Campbell-Walter Sumo Power Nissan + 43.637s
9. Hohenadel/Piccini Hexis Aston Martin + 48.575s
10. Wendlinger/Kox Swiss Lamborghini + 49.454s
11. Hennerici/Leinders Marc VDS Ford + 55.779s
12. Matzke/Pavlovic Belgian Ford + 1m07.877s
13. Nilsson/Janak Swiss Lamborghini + 1m08.866s
14. Leclerc/Giroix Belgian Ford + 1m49.703s
Mucke/Turner Young Driver Aston 15 laps
Muller/Enge Young Driver Aston 1 lap
Schwager/Pastorelli All-Inkl Lamborghini 0 laps
Camara/Rossi DKR Corvette 0 laps