Hexis AMR: A hectic end to the GT3 season

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Although the FIA GT1 World Championship is far from over, HEXIS AMR finished its 2010 season in GT3 on a high note. At the final rounds on the Zolder circuit, Fred Makowiecki and Manu Rodrigues finished second. This could well turn into a victory depending on the result of the appeal lodged by the team which was disqualified. A week later the French Aston Martin DBRS9s were back in action in the final round of the French FFSA GT Championship, a series in which the team had known success in the past. They were up against a top-class field but Mako and Manu scored another podium finish for the French squad.

FIA GT3 European Championship: 2nd on the track - a win in the courtroom?

The reigning European champions have been, through hard times this season. They had to wait until October to get back onto the podium again after being there at the first meeting of 2010 on the Silverstone circuit. After the disqualification of the Holzer-Van Splunteren Porsche as its brake discs were illegal, Mako and Manu are currently considered as the winners of the twelfth round giving them fifth place overall in the European Championship. The no.1 Aston Martin also set the fasted lap in both the weekend's races. "We're still alive and well in GT3", laughed team manager, Philippe Dumas. "We can't hide the fact that it's been a difficult year, but our team's strong and it's been able to bounce back. The FIA finally agreed to reduce the weight of the Aston Martin to 1290 kgs. It's a pity it didn't listen to us a bit sooner as I've been ringing the alarm bells since Brno. With a little less weight and a future ABS system, our car could still be on the pace. Of course, it's more difficult to drive than the others, but it's quick. It's well driven and with the whole team mobilized to get the best out of it, the results speak for themselves. We're strong and closely-knit and that's where this weekend's victory came from."

In Belgium, the Accary-Paillard Aston Martin was close to make it into the top 10. Philippe Dumas expressed his satisfaction with Luc Paillard's first season at this level in the HEXIS AMR squad: "The season didn't unfold as expected, but we found he's a really super bloke, and I'd like to thank him in the name of the whole team. I hope we'll be able to get together again and share a few podiums in the future."

The French FFSA GT Championship - a comeback podium

The successful streak in Belgium continued at Magny-Cours where the team hadn't raced since 2008. It was an exceptional one-off in every sense of the word with a Ferrari F550 Maranello for Philippe Dumas and Pedro Lamy! But the last appearance of the HEXIS AMR GT3 Aston Martins in the Nièvre went back to 2007. The "blue" car in the hands of Luc Paillard and Clivio Piccione did not have much of a race, while the "red" DBRS9 continued to surf on the wave of success that it has enjoyed since September. Manu and Fred finished third to the delight of the many guests that had come along to encourage the team. "This result at Magny-Cours is really great and means an awful lot from a personal point of view," smiled the team manager afterwards. "As I said to everybody before taking part in this race, we had more to lose than to win. Once again we took up the challenge with a lot of humility and we made a great job of it."

FIA GT1 World Championship round 8 preview

The final rounds of the world championship look like being the theatre of a thrilling battle. On 23rd-24th October, the teams will race on a new Spanish circuit in Navarra halfway between Pamplona and Logrono. It measures 3393 metres and has an up and down layout. It is fast with several blind curves and some tight corners. Then comes the South American tour that will bring the GT1 circus to Interlagos in Brazil and San Luis in Argentina. "We still have three very important races to go, and there again I'm counting on our team spirit to end up on the final podium in the world championship. That would be the best possible reward," summed up Philippe Dumas.
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