WRT have produced another high quality video, this one documenting their difficult weekend at the second round of the 2012 World GT1 Championship. Alongside the highs, you have to deal with the lows: the team suffered a reversal of fortunes at their home track of Zolder in Belgium after their blitzing of both races in France last month. Variable weather conditions made things even more difficult at a track which is challenging enough in the dry. Narrow and fast, with vicious chicanes, Zolder looked like a skating rink in the wet.
The wrong choice of tyres in the Qualifying Race on Saturday destroyed the team’s chance of a podium (check out the drivers’ reactions around the five minute mark); a collision between the two Audis in the Championship Race on Sunday again compromised their race (10:40 in) and the cars could only finish sixth and 10th – though at least still in the points.
The in-car shots in this video show just how hard the drivers have to work to keep these heavy GT cars pointing in the right direction – and to avoid other cars that aren’t, of which there were many. And is that Stéphane Ortelli going one-handed into one of Zolder’s chicanes at about two minutes in?! Push, push!
Despite the results in Belgium, WRT still hold a strong lead in both the teams’ and drivers’ championships ahead of the third round in Navarra, Spain, at the end of May. In the meantime, the team are changing their focus to the Nürburgring 24 Hours: after three races in three weekends WRT will be looking forward to a brief respite to regroup before the big one, and I’m sure they’re hoping for the first dry race of the year as much as we are. Will it ever stop raining in Europe?
2012 FIA WORLD GT1 CHAMPIONSHIP
Positions after Round 2:
1: Laurens Vanthoor/Stéphane Ortelli (WRT Audi R8 LMS) 41 points
2: Mike Parisy/Matt Halliday (Exim Bank Porsche) 31
3: Nicky Pastorelli/Thomas Jäger (All-Inkl Mercedes-Benz SLS) 30
4: Michael Bartels/Yelmer Buurman (Vita4One BMW Z4) 27
5: Oliver Jarvis/Frank Stippler (WRT Audi R8 LMS) 25