Hexis AMR: Paul Ricard jinx strikes again!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The HEXIS AMR team has won on the other side of the world in Argentina and in Abu Dhabi, as well as at the Sachsenring in front of two German teams. But this weekend, its Paul Ricard jinx struck again! For the third year on the trot, its home race proved to be a frustrating event for the FIA GT1 vice champions. However just as the cars set off for China it has two good reasons to be satisfied. Firstly, Andrea Piccini's and Christian Hohenadel's fifth place snatched against the odds, and secondly, the determination the whole team showed by repairing the damage suffered by the Dusseldorp-Piccione Aston Martin on Saturday, and getting it onto the grid 24 hours later.

Second time unlucky!

In 2009, the year in which the team won the FIA GT3 European title, the no. 3 HEXIS AMR Aston Martin DBRS9 was in the lead when it went off at the entry to the Mistral straight and slammed into the wall. Two years later, Stef Dusseldorp got caught out in the same spot on the same lap. The driver was unhurt but the car was heavily damaged. Things didn't look good, but the team's expert mechanics driven by their heartfelt passion got down to work on the DB9 and pulled off a miracle. On Sunday shortly before 15h00, the V12 roared into life! Clivio Piccione and Stef Dusseldorp put in a sterling effort and brought the car home in eleventh place.

Heroic fight backs

In 2010, the year the team filled the runner-up spot in the FIA GT1 World Championship, one of the HEXIS AMR Aston Martin DB9s started eighteenth and finished eleventh in the qualifying race, after which it fought its way up to sixth place in the championship round. A year later, Piccini and Hohenadel were in sixteenth spot on the grid for the qualifying race following a mix-up in tyre management during practice. They fought their way up to sixth place in the 60-minute race, and were then pushed back to eighth on the grid for the championship event after being hit with a controversial penalty. On Saturday, Andrea exceeded the track limits for safety reasons; he came into the corner last and emerged in last place but the stewards were adamant. Despite this, the brio of the drivers and the skills of the mechanics, who once again carried out the best tyre change in the field, helped the team to finish its weekend on a positive note. The points Christian and Andrea scored for fifth have kept them in third place overall in the world title case.

Happy Birthday Philippe!

Just before starting a long night's work the whole team wished their team manager, Philippe Dumas, a happy 32nd birthday. He gives his opinion on the weekend's events in the seventh round of the world championship. "Overall, the weekend got off to a good start until there was the mix-up with the tyres in qualifying, which really handicapped us. It's obvious that had Andrea and Christian started in sixth instead of sixteenth place, a podium finish was within our grasp. As for the penalty in the qualifying race, it's totally out of proportion in terms of sanctions. The message that the stewards have sent to the drivers is that missing your braking or behaving like Stefan Mücke boils down to the same thing. Stef Dusseldorp's crash is his first major mistake after so many superb performances in his maiden season in GT racing, in which he is making his debut on several circuits. Paul Ricard isn't the easiest! Finally, I'd like to congratulate my team for keeping a cool head when they had to fix a car that seemed beyond repair. Clivio was able to start and Stef finished the race and scored a point in the teams' championship. Who knows? Perhaps it will be worth its weight in gold at the end of the season!"

Two hundred guests including Hexis Group employees, partners of the company and the team turned up to cheer on the squad, which is carrying French hopes in the FIA GT1 World Championship. The two Aston Martins will now be packed into the containers in which they will travel to the next two rounds where the team is hoping to put on some stunning performances. While awaiting battle in China on 3-4 September, HEXIS AMR will race in its very first 24-Hour event on the Spa- Francorchamps circuit in Belgium on 30-31 July.
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