The Paul Belmondo Racing team ventures to the Hungaroring this weekend aiming to put the nightmare of Le Mans - and the early part of the FIA GT series - well and truly behind it.

The three-car Viper squad sent two of its machines to La Sarthe for the sportscar endurance classic, but retired both well before half distance - echoing the misfortune it has suffered in the first five rounds of the FIA championship.

Although the team is currently third in points, with 21, it trails both the leading Larbre Viper and the best of the Lister Storms by a significant margin, and is pinning its hopes of a revival on a repeat of last year's victory in Hungary.

"The team has an awful lot of work after Le Mans," driver Boris Derichebourg, who did not contest the 24 Hours with the team, said, "although, luckily, we went to the Spa tests, which allowed us to check a few things before Budapest.

"It is true that we are a long way behind Larbre at the moment, so we're hoping to score well at Budapest, and then really try hard for Spa. Budapest was excellent for us last year, as we won, and obviously we'd like to repeat that result. We don't have too much penalty weight any more. However, the big problem is likely to be the heat - we will have to find a solution to keep the car cool. The track is quite nice, very technical, although it's hard work as there is no time to relax. Tyre wear will also be a big factor."

Derichebourg currently ties with co-driver Vincent Vosse for fifth place in the individual driver's points standings, while the other Belmondo pairings lag behind, outside the top ten. Claude-Yves Gosselin and team boss Paul Belmondo are next best placed, despite both having had to miss races owing to business commitments.


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