Podium joy for Marc VDS BMW team at Paul Ricard

BMW Team Marc VDS stood on the podium for the first time in the 2015 European Le Mans Series, at the 4 Hours of Le Castellet. Henry Hassid, Andy Priaulx and Jesse Krohn took the #52 BMW Z4 GTE to second place at the Paul Ricard track.

Qualifying on Sunday morning was a disappointment for the team. With track conditions cooler than than practice, Priaulx suffered. The car and tyres didn't match up well in the lower temperatures, and the Briton was stranded in eighth place.

However, it was a different story in the race, as track temperatures rose under the French sun. Hassid, racing at a track he's very fond of, was able to avoid a spinning Porsche at the first turn and make heaps of progress in the opening stint. Over the course of the hour, he moved from eighth to second.

Priaulx took the second hour, and was moving into position to challenge for the lead when the safety car intervened. The field was split, leaving the leading - and eventually winning - Ferrari with an unassailable lap advantage. Both Priaulx and Krohn, who drove the final two hours, were faultlessly fast and consistent, but nothing could be done about the gap to the leader. Krohn was able to comfortably see out the race and claim the team's first ELMS podium of the year.

The result sees Marc VDS move into second in the teams' standings, and Hassid, Krohn and Priaulx also to second in the drivers' standings. The margin in both is 19 points, with 26 on offer in the final round, at Estoril.

It is Marc VDS' third podium at Paul Ricard in three visits - a win here in the Blancpain Endurance Series in 2013, and a third place earlier this year in the same championship preceded today's result.

Source and Photo: Marc VDS Racing