Marc A. Hayek in the Gallardo Demonstrating Strength under Challenging Conditions
Swiss Marc A. Hayek arrived at the 4.326m (2.688 miles) long Red Bull Ring in Austria this weekend with four victories in this season and 143 points in the ADAC GT Masters amateur class under his belt. The racing series and Hayek celebrated their debut at the Austrian Ring.
Both free practice sessions on Friday took place in dry conditions and Hayek was able to use his stints to make himself familiar with the route of the track. He started his qualifying session late in the afternoon and demonstrated a fantastic speed. However, his fasted lap was deleted. Race control showed in the timing system that Marc A. Hayek had driven across the track markings with his Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+ and immediately penalised the pilot. The narrow field made a fast lap impossible later on. Therefore Hayek started the race on Saturday from P24. In the second qualifying session, the team secured start position 24 for the second race on Sunday.
At the start of the first race the weather conditions were good. However, after ten minutes it started to rain. The race was declared a “wet race”. Hayek managed a good start and gained three places in the first lap, handling the deteriorating conditions well. Despite driving with slicks like almost all pilots he kept his car on track even when the rain got worse. After the pit stop window opened many of the cars immediately went into the pit lane for a driver and tyre change. The downpour caused the water to flood the pit lane entry. Consequently, some of the racing cars with slick tyres without tread, driving at 60 km/h (37 miles/hour), immediately lost their grip and fell victim to the aquaplaning. This also happened to Hayek’s Lamborghini. He spun, crashed into a sign and got stuck. The Reiter Engineering team came running to get the car to drive again. This took up valuable time and he lost a few positions. During a quick pit stop his partner Peter Kox (NL) took over the Lambo in P30. He showed an excellent performance and managed to push the car forward reaching P24. After all, Marc A. Hayek scored 6 points in the amateur class.
The second race on Sunday took place under a clear blue sky. Peter Kox started the Gallardo from P15, showed a great performance and managed to pass Thomas Jäger (Mercedes Benz SLS) and Christopher Mies (Audi R8 GT3 LMS) in the first few laps. At the mandatory pit stop after about 34 minutes Hayek took over from the Dutch. The Swiss got back on the track in P9 and was able to hold off the cars behind him at first. However, by the end of the race he had lost a few places, scoring 12 points.
Marc A. Hayek is still leading the amateur class with 161 points.
The next race will take place at the Eurospeedway in Germany in three weeks time.
Marc A. Hayek:
“The track is great and driving here is a lot of fun. I was unlucky in my qualifying session. According to race control I drove across the track markings and the consequence was thatthe time of that lap was not recognised. Unfortunately, it was my fastest lap which would have resulted in P13. After that there was a lot of traffic and I did not manage another satisfying lap time. Therefore, I only reached P24. The first race was a challenge because of the weather. I kept my slick tyres up until the
mandatory stop and it worked pretty well. Unfortunately there was aquaplaning in the pit lane entry which caused my car to spin and crash into a sign. I was stuck there for a while. That was not so great. The weather was fantastic during the race on Sunday. However, I had problems handling the car and I am not happy with the result.”
“My qualifying session was not very good, we did not have the right setup and with this strong field it resulted in a bad place. I am not happy at all with P15. Marc drove very well. Unfortunately, his fastest lap was deleted. On Saturday the downpour caused problems for many cars in the pit lane entry. The aquaplaning was an unpleasant surprise for Marc (Hayek). However, it is remarkable that he showed such a great performance on slick tyres under these conditions. In my opinion it is not a good thing that they do not modify the track even though the same problems occurred during a recent DTM event when it rained as well. Today, on Sunday, the weather was good and I was able to gain a few places for Marc (Hayek). When I wanted to pass Christopher Mies (Audi R8 LMS) I had some difficulties because he changed lanes a few times. However, I still managed to pass him. It is a pity that we did not reach the podium in the amateur class.”
Hans Reiter, team principal Reiter Engineering:
“Again, Marc showed a great performance and the decision to continue on slick tyres in this weather was the right one because the few cars with wet tyres were not faster. Parts of the pit lane were flooded causing many cars to skid. It was unavoidable. Some were lucky. Marc was not and got stuck on a sign. Under these circumstances we are happy with 6 points in the amateur class. On Sunday we had a better setup. Unfortunately we did not manage to get Marc (Hayek) on the podium. However, he scored 12 points after all.”