Definitely one of the ‘ones to watch’ in this seasons Blancpain Endurance Series, Belgian prospect Frédéric Vervisch (pictured on the left above) has endured a difficult start to his GT career so far in the Boutsen-Ginion McLaren. However, Frédéric is looking to continue the momentum of a promising test at Paul Ricard in March to show his true pace and potential in the black and orange McLaren.
How would you assess your 2013 season in Blancpain Endurance Series so far?
“First of all, Monza was not a great weekend for us. We did not have the speed and we had some problems with the engine, and then we had a gearbox problem after a collision and were not able to continue. We had a lot of hope for the second round because we did a test between Monza and Silverstone, which went very well. We were quite positive about the speed and the improvements we made with the McLaren MP4-12C. Unfortunately my teammate Koen (Wauters) crashed the car on the Saturday and it was not possible to repair so we could not do the whole weekend. It is not really the start of the season that I had in mind but we hope to do much better in Paul Ricard.”
How are you working with your teammates?
“We are all getting along very well. I am really happy that Boutsen gave me the chance to drive again after one year without driving anything. It is going well despite the results. We now have the main objective of targeting a great result for the Total 24 Hours of Spa because this is really important for our sponsors.
“Despite the bad luck and the problems, we are ready for the rest of the season and everybody is staying ultra-motivated and positive.”
This is your first year in GT racing, what do you think about the McLaren?
“Of course I like it because when you cannot drive during a whole year you would like to drive anything! I have the chance now to make a career in GT and this is much better than I expected, and I am really happy to drive. I cannot really compare with the other manufacturers but the McLaren goes well.
“After the pre-season testing at Paul Ricard I thought the car was really good actually. The McLaren has already shown its potential last season and even though now it may not be the fastest car of the field it still has big potential.”
What are your expectations for Paul Ricard next weekend? You did very well during the official test days in March, so it could be promising for you?
“I just hope we can drive the whole weekend! I also hope we will be able to gain some good speed but I don’t expect to be as fast as we were during the pre-season tests because you don’t know what the others were up to. We will do our best, we will do the maximum we can and I hope we can fight at the front, but not in the pack like in Monza.
“I also think that the weather will be quite hot, so it will be really different from the test days in terms of conditions and tyre-wear. Anyway, I am a positive person so I think we will do a good job at Paul Ricard.”
What do you make of the Blancpain Endurance Series this season?
“It is a great series and it is fantastic to be part of it. For me, this is the world championship of GT3 Racing really. There are many good drivers, and there are people that I know from the Superleague series and also Formula 3. I can meet again and race against them here too!
“There are so many cars, which is sometimes frustrating in qualifying but perfect for spectators and sponsors and the atmosphere is great. I think SRO did an amazing job with this high-level championship on these difficult times, when the economy is not at its best.”