|Review:||ALPINA wants defend championship-lead at Zandvoort|
ALPINA heads with tailwind to the second round of the ADAC GT Masters in Zandvoort/The Netherlands (4th to 6th May). After an almost perfect start into the season, with a victory in the first race, reigning champion Dino Lunardi (33, F) and Maxime Martin (26, B) travel as first 2012 ADAC GT Masters championship leader with their BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 to the Netherlands, as ALPINA leads the team championship.
ALPINA has great memories to the former Formula 1-track at the North Sea coast. Back in 1977, ALPINA won the Dutch round of the European Touring Car Championship at Zandvoort with Dieter Quester/Toine Hezemans in a BMW 3.0 CSL. Almost 35 years later, Lunardi/Martin wants to add another chapter to the rich ALPINA-success story in Zandvoort at the first start of the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 on the famous Dutch track. But after the successful season opener, Lunardi/Martin will have a 20 kg success penalty on board their BMW ALPINA, which is added to an already existing weight handicap of 60kg that the rulebook imposes for the high-profile driver paring Lunardi/Martin. Thus, the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 has to carry 80 kg ballast around Zandvoort, that is similar to a Co-Driver onboard the B6 GT3.
“The two races in the Netherlands will not be easy for us,” Lunardi says. “The track is not perfectly suited for your car, but the key for a good performance will be a perfect set-up for a constant run in both races. If we find the right set-up, we will be able to score two good results and maintain our championship lead.“
„Zandvoort will be thrilling,” predicts Maxime Martin, who has also been successful in the FIA GT1 World Championship and the European Endurance Series in recent weeks. „The track is very challenging for the tires and Zandvoort is a new track for the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3. There are a few quick corners, where we can take advantage of the good aerodynamics of the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3.
“We travel optimistic to the Netherlands, as the season opener showed that our BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 is quick and well-prepared,” ALPINA´s Andreas Bovensiepen says. „We used the break since the first round to improve the performance of the car on the 2012 tires. At Zandvoort, we expect the competition to be even stronger then at the first round. Some of our competitors will be better prepared and there have been also changes to the “balance of performance“, which equals the performance of the various cars entered. In Oschersleben, for example, Sebastian Asch/Maxi Götz in Mercedes AMG and former Formula 1-racer Heinz-Harald Frentzen and former ALPINA driver Andreas Wirth have been very rapid. We expect them to be quick at Zandvoort as well.”
A second BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 will be entered in Zandvoort by ALPINA customer team LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler for Johannes Leidinger and Florian Spengler.
ADAC GT Masters on TV: All races are shown live in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on kabel eins. The pan-European Motorsport Channel broadcasts both races from Zandvoort on a delayed base on May 9th, starting 20:45 hours with several repetitions the following days.
About ADAC GT Masters: Featuring more than 40 cars of 13 different brands including Mercedes AMG, Ferrari, Aston Martin, McLaren. Lamborghini, Porsche and Audi, the ADAC GT Masters is the most competitive GT-series in Europe. On each of eight race weekends, two races of 60 minutes are held. Two drivers share one car, with a mandatory driver change halfway through the race. ALPINA won the championship in 2011, the BMW ALPINA B6 GT3 is among the three most successful cars in series history.
For the latest standings in the ADAC GT Master's race please click Here