HEXIS AMR: Top 5 at Magny-Cours

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A month after the two French-entered HEXIS AMR Aston Martin DBRS9s saw the flag in the Spa 24 Hours, the team’s cars raced in the French round of the Blancpain Endurance Series on the Magny-Cours circuit. Fred Makowiecki, Gilles Vannelet and Henri Moser came home fifth overall in the general classification in no.4, but no. 3 was badly damaged in an accident after a brake disc shattered when it was in front of its sister car.

Philippe Dumas, the team manager of the French squad, talks about what he has learned from this fourth outing in endurance: “We should have finished this race in fifth and sixth places; we came away with fifth and a huge accident caused by a shattered front brake disc. It’s the first time an incident of this kind has happened on the DBRS9s we’ve been running for five seasons. We’ll have to analyze things very thoroughly. Julien Rodrigues is doing well and that’s the main thing. We finished where we deserved to and the team did an almost perfect job. You must never set yourself unrealistic targets so we can be satisfied with our Magny-Cours weekend. This being said it’s not at all what we wanted. It’s a great experience from a human point of view, but we’re winners and only first place interests us. When we get our hands on a new generation car, we’ll give our rivals something to think about!”

In the wake of the French round, Dumas also has a few comments to make about the Blancpain Endurance Series, the championship launched this year by SRO (St├ęphane Ratel Organization). “I believe in this championship as it’s attracted a high level of teams and drivers. But there’s no way this kind of meeting without any real promotion will enhance its reputation. I’m fully behind St├ęphane Ratel’s concept of championships, but it’s also necessary to think about the spectators and the media.”

After its fourth top-6 finish in the GT3 Pro Cup category in the same number of endurance races, the whole team is now concentrating on China where round 8 of the FIA GT1 World Championship will take place. “We’re happy to be back with our four great drivers and our two beautiful GT1 Aston Martins. Our aim is to fight to the very end to win the world championship title; we’ve got the car, the team and the drivers to do it. It’s up to us to optimize each detail, and to be even more on the ball to make up for our lack of resources compared to our rivals’. It’s our only weapon, but in the end isn’t it the most important one?”

As the end of the season approaches the strategic aspect assumes considerable importance. What involvement for the future, with which cars and in which championship (s)? “Our team, Hexis Racing, finds itself in an unusual situation, a tricky one even, but not all that disagreeable,” says Dumas. ‘I’ve had a lot of interest from manufacturers for some very exciting programmes. We just have to make the right choice taking into account the sporting and financial aspects, and see a bit further than the end of our nose if we want our small French team to be one of the best on a long-term basis.”
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