Three weeks after making history at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the Belgian Audi ClubTeam WRT will rejoin the FIA G3 championship this coming weekend. The penultimate event of the series will be held at the Slovakia Ring, a circuit unknown to mostteams. It is in this unpredictable context that Grégory Franchi and Enzo Ide willattempt to improve their current second position in the overall standings! On the otherR8 LMS of the Belgian squad, Frenchman Didier André will be associated this timewith local hero Jirko Malcharek.
With two wins and a third, Grégory Franchi and Enzo Ide have had a pretty successfulcampaign so far, and two rounds from the end of the season, they lie second in the FIAEuropean GT3 standings. «Still, we aim at taking the lead this weekend», says Greg Franchi.«Very few drivers have already raced on the Slovakia Ring and I believe this is not bad at allfor us. Generally, I adapt quickly to new tracks and that is Enzo’s case as well. We want toscore a maximum of points ahead the grand finale at Zandvoort, a circuit we know verywell.» A leader in the Blancpain Endurance Series’ driver standings since his victory at the24 Hours of Spa, the Liège-born driver can aim at two international titles this year: «For sure,it would be great to win both, but it is a little bit too early to think about that. I take one eventat a time, but I am obviously very motivated!»
Associated with Greg Franchi in the continental series for GT3 cars, Enzo Ide has beenfollowing closely the Spa odyssey of his friend and of the WRT team. «I am sure thateverybody in the team has learnt something by working closely with the Audi Sport staff », hereckons. «The experience gained will be extremely valuable and I am very happy that Gregwon, as he is a real good friend. Now the objective is the GT3 title. I hope that I can adjustfast to this track that I have been exploring thanks to the internet and on-board footage.Following our podium finish at Paul Ricard, we will have to serve an extra 5 seconds duringthe pit stop, but I hope this will not penalize us too much.»
On the team’s other Audi R8, the #32, Frenchman Didier André will have as team mateSlovakia’s Jirko Malcharek, a gentleman-driver with over 20 years of experience and aformer … Minister for Industry in his country, who obviously knows the Bratislava track verywell. «I hope he will be able to give me some hints since the beginning of the weekend»,says André. «The team has been boosted by the Spa success and is determined to continueon the same winning path. I hope we’ll be competitive and that we can help our team matesin their title bid, by stealing points to their rivals. I really look forward to this Slovak event!»No doubt that it is with full determination that the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is headingeastwards. «There are only two rounds to the end of the season and we absolutely need tobe fighting at the top if we want to aim at the title», underlines team manager Vincent Vosse.«The fight is close and fierce in this championship and the gaps are minimal, with seventeams within 21 points. When you know that a win is worth 25 points, you see that nothing isreally done! I trust that we can benefit from Jirko Malcharek’s knowledge of the track and findquickly the right set-ups, and I am confident on the competitiveness of our two teams.»
Participants will have 2 hours of free practice on Friday to discover the track. On Saturday,qualifying will take place at 9:45 and Race 1 at 11:45. The second 60-minute race isscheduled on Sunday at 11:15 and both races can be followed live on gt3europe.com.