FIA GT3 Paul Ricard HTTT preview

Monday, October 05, 2009

HEXIS Racing AMR, which is used to carving up European roads far from its base in the Gard, will have to travel no more than 172 km to the superb “High Tech Test Track” at Le Castellet. For this home circuit Philippe Dumas and his team will want to forget the disappointment in Portugal, where both Aston Martin DBRS9s had to abandon the race when they were well in the hunt for victory. The aim will therefore be to consolidate the lead in the Teams class in the FIA European GT3 championships and to position themselves once again for the final dash to the line for the Drivers title. All of this without losing sight of a 2010 season holding out great promise in, possibly, three race categories.

For HEXIS Racing AMR, the magic initials HTTT could well stand for “Hot Trophy Trail Time”. The fact is that a home race always has a special meaning for a team. They can look forward to great local support. The fact that a HEXIS Racing AMR DBRS9 is starring on the poster is a source of encouragement.

The race takes place three weeks after a Portuguese outing which proved a great letdown for HEXIS Racing AMR. Flashback: Over the first half of the season, the Aston Martin No. 3 of Julien Rodrigues and Thomas Accary achieved a podium position at Silverstone and a victory at Oschersleben. The Aston No 4 of Manu Rodrigues and Frédéric Makowiecki secured 3rd and then the top podium place at the night meeting in Adria and went on to secure another 3rd place finish in Germany. Provisional results: the pairings occupy 2nd and 3rd places respectively in the European championship; all four drivers have their eye on the title and the team has an eight point lead over its nearest rival in the Teams class. At the end of this 2009 season there is still so much to play for.

Team manager Philippe Dumas has this to say on the disappointments suffered in Portugal: “We were hit by several technical problems. My hope is that they all occurred on the same weekend and on the same circuit and that they’ll leave us alone at Paul Ricard! I just think that the Portimao track is particularly hard on our style of car mechanically, with too much emphasis on sudden compression at high speed. But we need to be aggressive and take some risks if we are to compete in these hotly contested championships."

The team, FIA GT3 European vice-champion for the 2008 season, wants to prove that it has moved up a notch this season. “It’s in the difficult times that the true metal of a good team can be seen”, Dumas went on to say. “At Portimao we proved that we are a strong and closely knit unit. It’s got heart. People understood the team’s commitment and passionate desire to succeed. Despite the bad result and the failure to score a single point, the weekend was strangely the best of the season from the technical and sporting standpoint. The men and one woman comprising the team worked fast and well and Aston Martin Racing complimented us on the team’s performance. The drivers did their job perfectly. I have to congratulate everyone concerned on the commitment and spirit shown. It is this attitude which makes for a great team and is consistent with the view of racing which we share with Clément and Michel Mateu. In the end, it’s all about people. We need to stay positive and remember that we’re experiencing a fantastic sporting season and performing very well and that there’s still a third of the way to go! The Paul Ricard circuit is certainly a determining factor in terms of our objectives. We’re ready for the battle and for the points count at the end."

GT3, 2, 1… HEXIS Racing AMR’s countdown to the future

If the end of the 2009 season promises to be exciting, 2010 won’t be a bad year either for the Lédenon team. Clément Mateu has this to say regarding the latest developments: “We’re continuing to work increasingly on our future with Aston Martin and on a few other more or less familiar projects. The FIA GT3 is as always on the agenda and we plan for major development work so as to keep up with the competition. We are thinking about contesting a national championship as well as Europe, using the same cars. We might also enter the Nurburgring 24 Hours with our third DBRS9 GT3 model, in an endurance version. This year has seen our first venture into GT2 racing and a first podium position in the FIA GT class. Since we’re very interested in the Le Mans 24 Hours, why not enter a V8 Vantage GT2 next June? Our participation in the FIA GT1 World Championships is still very much on. We’re very keen to know more about the schedule and the TV coverage since these factors are vital to our budgeting and expenditure and revenue estimates. A meeting with the SRO operator is scheduled this weekend at the Paul Ricard circuit. Whatever happens, we should like to thank partners and drivers, who have placed their trust in us, and both Aston Martin Racing and Aston Martin Lagonda. We’re only just at the beginning of a great adventure."

AMR Teams
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