Report: Race 1 Quotes, Algarve 2011

Round 1 Driver Quotes

Edward Sandstroem
Nr6 Need For Speed Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3
 “I’m very happy to be a member of team need for speed and to have a great result just as the season started. The car is much more competitive than last year, it’s very easy compared to last year where we struggled a lot, and we had to fight, but have the tyres that helped us a lot last year, now we have a complete package. It makes it easier. Also a big thank you to team Schubert; I’ve been down to their workshop where they’ve been collecting cars for the Netherland car, the French car and also the mechanics have been working flat out for the last month, day and night, and it’s a big effort for them. I think it was a little bit my fault when I got mobbed at the start. I thought I was controlling the field, but as soon as we got quicker and quicker, I was still thinking about the rule of 90km, and didn’t want to break it. When I was breaking, the others were on top of me and it was all gone, so I had to fight back. I like that,  it was no problem for me. If I had to change one thing this race, it would’ve been that my mechanic called me in 2 laps earlier, because I was losing so much time, and they were coming out and blocking me. It’s a very good car, and with the Dunlop tyres that work very well, we had a great package. BMW further developed the car from last year, and we’re now on the same level as the others and can play in the same league.”

Abdulaziz Al Faisal
Nr6 Need For Speed Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3
 “When I came out, I didn’t know that the car I came out ahead of was the car I was competing against. As soon as I realised that it was, I got on the radio to ask the engineer if that was the car we should be in front of. He said yes, and after that, we picked up the pace. There wasn’t much pressure. The car was easy to drive, Edward did a really good job to save the tyres and I had to push at the beginning. I just really brought the car home. The problem is, you don’t know how fast you’re going. I came on the radio a few times, and asked if I should push it, and they said no, keep it as it is. I had a few issues with cars that I was over-lapping, and they wouldn’t move on the blue flag. I was concerned that they might move. But really, I just brought it home. This win is extremely important to my region, because the sport is growing in the region, and it’s a new sport. It all really started in 2004 when F1 came to Bahrain. I did 2 years in the eastern championship in the Porsche and won last year, and this year came second, so it’s a step up coming here and winning. I didn’t expect that to be honest. We’ve got a good team, a good team mate and a really good car. Thanks to the team and the sport and everything they put into it. Hopefully tomorrow we can do a similar effort.”

Csaba Walter
Nr7 Need For Speed Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3
 “The qualifying wasn’t so good for me, unfortunately. I couldn’t run a clear lap, so we were in 11th. We had to start the race from there. In the beginning, I was a bit too careful and some cars passed me. It took a while until I could overtake them. It was interesting, but unfortunately cost a lot of time for us. Later when I could pass them, it was very good. I could do some good laps, and then the team called me to the pit to change, because it was time. Last year our car wasn’t as competitive as this year, but I don’t think we’re above the other cars. I think we’re at the same level, so I don’t feel that it’s much faster or better. If you see our overtaking manoeuvres you’ll see that in a straight line, it was very hard for me to overtake. I think now we’re at the same level.  On the other hand, the team is working, professional. We had a brand new car, and the car is working without any problems. I think we’re now in a position to fight.”

Claudia Huertgen
Nr7 Need For Speed Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3
 “I got the car in the middle of the race, and we were in the first ten. It was a good race for me, because in the end we finished 2nd, which was the most important for me. We are all happy that we are really competitive this year. I think that all the other new cars, Ferrari and Mercedes are also really fast cars on the track, but I think the team and the drivers did a very good job. Today the biggest point is that the team worked really hard the last 3 or 4 weeks, and that’s why we’re here.”

Hoevert Vos
Nr 35 Faster Racing by DB Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3
 “The car was perfect. The team did an exceptionally good job. It was the first time we ever raced with this car. This week we just got the car, so we had a very little possibility of testing, but it went great. This was the first race, this first weekend, this first time on this circuit, and DB Motorsport did an exceptional job. The start was a little messy, and I didn’t want any damage, so I was very careful . I was pretty quick, I followed the leaders. But then the safety car came in. The Lamborghini in front of us, had a big gap in front of me, and the Mercedes overtook me under yellow in the safety car period. I was locked up, there was no escape, that’s why I stopped as quick as possible at the pitstop. Perfect result for the team, can’t imagine a better start.”

Jeroen den Boer
Nr 35 Faster Racing by DB Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3
 “I came out and Hoeveret came in with the Mercedes very close to his rear wing, and when I went out, the Mercedes was way in front of me. I was only one second out of the pitstop window, so it was strange that it was so far away. The Ferrari came out of the pit lane in front of me, and he was 2 or 3 seconds slower per lap, but I couldn’t find a gap to pass him, and the Ferrari is much quicker on the straight, we are quicker in the corner. I was struggling for 4 or 5 laps, and suddenly, Claudia came up, and she got a better exit at the last corner and could pass me on the straight. After 2 laps, the Ferrari made a big mistake, and after that I could just continue. This is a great result. We saw last year, it’s not so easy to be at the front with the different cars and different tyre brands; we have to learn a lot. We’ve had a good start.

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