Marc VDS BMW wins the French Round of the 2011 Blancpain Endurance Series
Maxime Martin took the chequered flag at the end of the 3-hour Blancpain Endurance Series race in Magny Cours, to give himself, Bas Leinders, Marcus Paltalla, the Marc VDS Racing Team and BMW their first victory in the series. Martin finished ahead of the nr9 AutOrlando Porsche of Paolo Ruberti after the Italian overtook Marcel Fassler's Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 four laps from the flag to keep the driver's championship alive until the last round at Silverstone in October. Third place was enough to secure the Team's Championship for WRT. The win for BMW means that four different manufacturers have won the four rounds held so far with Prosche winning at Monza, Ferrari at Navarra, Audi at Spa and now BMW at Magny Cours.
The nr2 ALD Vita4One Ferrari 458 Italia of Louis Machiels, Paul van Splunteren and Niek Hommerson secured victory in the Pro-Am Class after Machiels overtook the nr20 SOFREV ASP Ferrari after the Safety Car period 10-minutes before the chequered flag.
Georges Cabannes secured his third win of the year alongside Gregory Guilvert and Fabien Michal, finishing a lap ahead of their nearest rivals.
The GT4 Cup battle was won by the RJN Motorsport Nissan 370Z of Jordan Tresson, Alex Buncombe and Chris Ward after a close battle with the nr62 Lotus Driving Academy Lotus Evora of Andrina Gugger and Matthias Gamauf. The nr70 Lotus of Greg Mansell, Edoardo Piscopo and Leo Mansell finished 3rd to keep their championship hopes alive for the season finale at Silverstone in October.
Nr40 MARC VDS RACING TEAM BMW Z4
"I got a good start and managed to move up to third behind Ortelli and Salaquarda, who were having a real battle at the front. I didn't want to get too close, but I didn't want to hang back and let them think that I'd back off if they tried to block either. I pushed and that meant I was close enough to capitalise on mistakes from both of them to take the lead. Battling for the lead at the start of the race was good fun, as was fighting my way through the traffic; I like traffic! I'm happy to have handed over the race lead to Markus, and that he and Max were able to defend the lead until the end, to give the team and BMW Motorsport a first win in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Let's hope it's the first of many!"
"This was my first race in the BMW, so at the beginning of my stint I was still trying to learn the car, which allowed the Ferrari to close on me. At the end I was able to hold him off and hand over the lead to Max, so I'm relatively happy about that. I have to say a big thank you to Bas, to Max, to BMW and to the whole team who did a great job today. As for still being in with a chance of winning the championship, well, it's nice to know, but it's not something I'm going to be thinking about ahead of the final round at Silverstone."
"My two teammates did a great job before I jumped in the car, which made it much easier for me. When I joined the race I didn't really know where we were in terms of position, so I pushed hard for a few laps just to be safe. After that I just tried to keep a good pace, stay consistent with the lap time, and try and maintain position. After the safety car I pushed again, just to make sure, but anyway, there were quite a few cars between me and the car in second place. I'm happy; this was only our second race with the BMW and we took our first win in the series. It doesn't get much better than that!"