Gosselies, Belgium - 4 September 2015: BMW Team Marc VDS resume their European Le Mans Series (ELMS) campaign at Paul Ricard this weekend. The Belgian team's BMW Z4 GTE will be crewed once again by Henry Hassid, Jesse Krohn and Andy Priaulx.
Paul Ricard is a track the Marc VDS Racing Team have fond memories of. In their last two races here, both in the Blancpain Endurance Series, they've been on the podium. The team won in 2013, and took third despite starting behind more than 60 cars earlier this year. Though the circuit's long straight doesn't ideally suit the BMW Z4 GTE, the sweeping mid and fast paced turns do. All three drivers will look to make the most of the car's capabilities in the four-hour race, especially as the car has received a small balance of performance (BoP) adjustment for the French race.
It's been an ELMS season of frustration for the team so far - three fourth places are all the team have to show from a trio of races, despite improving in relative pace each race. The team missed the podium in Imola by less than a second despite starting from the back of the grid, and managed to earn fourth in Spielberg despite engine trouble meaning they had no meaningful practice running.
Both teams' and drivers' titles are still well within reach, however. Hassid, Krohn and Priaulx are 12 points off the top of the drivers' standings, with BMW Team Marc VDS also 12 points from the top. There are 52 points available from the final two races, with 25 points for a race win and a single point for pole position.
The race begins at 13:00 local time on Sunday September 6, and is live on europeanlemansseries.com
Jesse Krohn BMW Z4 GTE #52
"We're still in the title fight - we're not too far away. We've got a chance, and a bit of a boost from the BoP. We need to eliminate any mistakes, stick to our task, and hopefully avoid some of the bad luck that has affected us a little this year. There's a strong driver level in this championship, great respect between the competitors, and that feels great. It's been a pleasure to race in ELMS this year. This is an awesome track for drivers, there's a lot of variety, and I'm really excited to get back on track."
Andy Priaulx, BMW Z4 GTE #52
"We are still in with a chance of the title and have it all to go for, so this is an important weekend and race for us. I think it’s fair to say that the circuit, with the very long straight, is not the best for us, but we have shown over the last few races some great team work, consistency and race speed, so I am still very optimistic that we can fight for the title. We just need some luck now and some solid pace.”
Sebastien Metz, Technical Director
"It's been a tough year in ELMS, that's for sure. We've had to work very hard to even get close to the competition. We'll be a little closer with the adjustments in the BoP for this round - that's a positive. The team is high on confidence after the victory at Spa, and I know we've got a very good driving team. We know that we have to score a lot of points here, and we're focused solely on that."