McLaren take double victory in incident-filled finale
Fred Makowiecki (FRA) and Stef Dusseldorp (NLD) delivered a victory double for Hexis Racing McLaren in a dramatic climax to the 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship at Donington Park.
The pair added the Championship Race win to their Qualifying Race success of the previous day in the No.1 McLaren MP4-12C.
The race was marred by an accident involving the No.38 All-Inkl.com Münnich Motorsport Mercedes of Markus Winkelhock (DEU) and the No.18 Vita4One BMW of Yelmer Buurman (NLD).
The collision happened as the Mercedes and BMW ran side-by-side at Redgate Corner soon after the mandatory pit stops.
The race was red-flagged with12 minutes remaining as the medical crew attended to Buurman. The Dutchman was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham for scans.
The incident meant that Winkelhock and Marc Basseng ended as provisional drivers’ champions with 147 points having picked up two points for being classified ninth in the race, although there is a stewards inquiry into the incident.
“Obviously the accident has to be investigated. As we all know the main thing is that Yelmer is OK, that is the most important thing,” Basseng said.
“Markus (Winkelhock) also went to the Medical Centre as it’s always good to make sure.”
Today’s win for Makowiecki and Dusseldorp elevated them to second place in the final drivers’ standings on 144.
Bartels and Buurman (143) earned one point for being classified 10th and are provisionally third.
“It was good to get two wins here at the end of the season but obviously we are thinking of Yelmer and we hope he is OK,” Makowiecki said.
“Our objective was to get two race wins for McLaren and Stef and I are pleased we could do that. To finish second in the championship was a good end to the season.”
Second in today’s race was the No.25 Reiter Lamborghini of Peter Kox (NLD) and Stefan Rosina (SVK) ahead of the second Hexis McLaren of Gregoire Demoustier (FRA) and Alvaro Parente (PRT).
Kox said: “The weekend was fantastic for us. Reiter did a great job, the pit stops were almost perfect and we got a good result. Fred (Makowiecki) was too quick for us but second was a great result, we did our best.”
“It’s been a very competitive series and we’ve had some good victories. We have not been competitive in the standings but on the track I think we showed good performance.”
In a torrid opening lap, the race was red flagged after a clash between the Ford GT No.10 of Laurent Groppi (FRA) and Nikolaus Mayr-Melnhof (AUT) in the No.17 Vita4One BMW at the exit to Redgate.
Mayr-Melnhof went on to the grass on the outside of the approach to Hollywood and on re-joining hit the left rear of the Ford sending both cars ploughing into the tyre barrier.
Mayr-Melnhof said: “It was a quite a heavy impact. I had a good getaway but as I was turning in it got a bit rough. I came back off the grass at a bad angle and unfortunately I hit the Ford.
“I am very sorry but we had to push at the start to help the No.18 car but it did not work out.”
Both cars were extensively damaged and repairs were required to the damaged tyre barrier.
All-Inkl.com Münnich Motorsport clinched the teams’ championship before the race was re-started after the initial incident between the No.17 BMW and the Ford.
The German squad finished on 247 points while Hexis (209), with their haul of 40 points today, climbed to second ahead of Belgian Audi Club Team WRT (203) and Vita4One Racing (199).
Vita4One’s Mathias Lauda summed up the final round of the championship for the German team. “This race was a very dark weekend, we lost our car (No.17) on the first corner and then the bad collision with the other car,” he said.
“The whole Vita4One team have worked really hard throughout the year and it’s sad to finish it like this.”
All results from today’s race remain provisional.