Matech Racing has announced their plans to enter three Ford GT cars in the 2007 season of the FIA GT3 European Championship. This project is in the hands of Martin Bartek, owner of the Matech Concepts Company, located in Switzerland. The Swiss team has called on Christian Schumacher, of Belgium, to prepare the Ford GT cars for thei homologation with the FIA. Andreas Hainke, who worked with Race Alliance last year in the FIA GT Championship, has also joined the technical team, and will be heading up the management and organisation of Matech Racing.
After its first test at Dijon, Ford’s most premium super car looks to be ready to compete against the best Europe has to offer. The Matech Ford GT posted a time of 1’20.611, finishing .185 behind the overall fastest tester, the Ascari KZ1-R. Driver Christophe Bouchut tabbed the GT as "easy to drive" and called the car "well built".
The engineers concentrated mainly on the aerodynamics, prior to Christophe Bouchut, the official driver of the European FIA-GT3 championship, getting behind the wheel. And even though he admitted being regularly hindered during his fast laps, the Frenchman clocked up the best lap of the GT3s by the end of this second test day. Enough to confirm the potential of this Ford GT, which has been written and talked about with great insistence in the international press and numerous websites during these last few weeks.
"Christophe reckons he could still knock off another second per lap on a clear track «, Christian Schumacher, the man in charge of Matech Racing commented.”Nonetheless the competitive level is excellent, and after having completed the technical control held on Tuesday at the end of the day we are now awaiting the verdict of the FIA Technical Bureau.
These equivalency tests are aimed at placing the various cars on a level footing when it comes to performance. The car
will then be modified and adapted as per the directives prior to the first round of the FIA-GT3 season at Silverstone."
Whilst waiting to introduce the definite colours of the two Ford GTs, which will be entered in the RAC Tourist Trophy at the beginning of May, Matech Racing revealed the teams. In fact the first car will be driven by the German Thomas Mutsch, one of the stars in the German V8 Star competition, now an experienced professional driver, appreciated for his speed and skills at fine tuning. He will be joined by the Swiss driver Martin Bartek, founder of Matech Concepts, in fact the man who made this great Ford GT adventure possible. A regular driver of fast machinery, competing in the Club Europa competition, he has for many years put his trust in Christian Schumacher for the preparation of his racing cars.
Romain Bera gained his experience in the French Grand Tourisme as also the French Porsche Carrera Cup. In Dijon, this Frenchman drove some 8 laps in the Ford GT Matech Racing, and his best lap time augers well for the future. It also proves his excellent adaptation skills. He will share the drive with the Swiss driver Yvon Gindre, who has also evolved from the Club Europa competition. His first laps at the wheel of the Ford are scheduled for Magny-Cours this coming weekend.
Having completed this final test in the Nièvre region before the start of the FIA-GT3 season the Matech Racing team will be fine tuning their cars with a view to the two races at Silverstone. For the first time in its very young history the Ford GT will be coming face to face with its competitors, during an FIA-GT3 European Championship that promises to be highly explosive.