Spyker open LMS racing season with 8th place finish

News from Spyker Squadron follows, with video.
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SPYKER SQUADRON PAUL RICARD RACE REPORT

  • Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2R eighth in openingrace LMS season
  • Collision with Ferrari costs Spyker Squadron top classification
  • Team optimistic after good performance at Le Castellet

Le Castellet, April 10, 2010 – Spyker Squadron had mixed feelings finishing the opening round of the Le Mans Series in eighth place. After Peter Dumbreck was hit by another GT2 car in the first hour of the race the team had to work hard to get the car back in the race. Chances of a decent finish were gone by then. In the remaining hours of the race the car improved and all three drivers set faster lap times.
During the first few laps of the race Peter lost a few places but the Scot started coming back soon. His efforts came to nothing when he was hit from behind by Dominik Farnbacher’s Ferrari 45 minutes into the race. With a damaged left rear suspension Peter returned to the pit and the car was pushed into the pit box. The Spyker Squadron mechanics rushed to work and fixed the problem in fifteen minutes. With Tom Coronel behind the wheel the number 85 car returned to the track in last place in the GT2 category.

2010 Spyker Squadron Paul Ricard LMS Onboard from Spyker Squadron on Vimeo.


The report continues after the jump……


Despite the large gap to the rest of the GT2 field the team showed that there is enough potential in the Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2R. Tom, Jeroen and Peter drove lap times equal to the top five in the race. A stop-and-go for not respecting the track limits and a pit stop to replace a damaged front splitter and wheel nut caused even more delays, but these setbacks did not prevent the drivers from getting into the right rhythm and setting faster lap times.
After the last pit stop, to check the car after bodywork damage caused some smoke, and a few drops of rain Tom went out again and posted the fastest race lap for Spyker Squadron on the last lap. With this lap he again demonstrated that a top finish had been possible.
Peter van Erp, Managing Director: “I think we have driven a very good race. Unbelievable. The drivers got everything possible out of the car, especially considering the bad luck we had. The Farnbacher Ferrari hit us from behind. The rear wheel suspension was crooked and we had to change it. Later in the race we had to make a stop to replace the front splitter and to solve a problem with a wheel nut. We lost 17 laps due to these problems, so a top four position was very much possible. The last four hours of the race we had one of the fastest cars on the track. We really have a nice set of drivers and with some further development and testing I predict that we could win races.”
“Towards the end of the race we had to make one more stop. The crash Peter had early in the race had torn the bodywork and during the race a fender came loose and made contact with the wheel. All of a sudden Tom saw white smoke coming from his car and thought he had an engine problem, fortunately the piece of bodywork flew off on the straight. To be certain we brought him and for a quick check, but we could send him out again almost immediately and after that he even set the fastest lap. It’s good to hear that the drivers are confident in the car. Something we saw last year as well; the car is getting better during the race. That is something we have to learn from, as we should get our advantage at the start of the race. All in all we had a good race, but had our share of bad luck. Everyone will have some during the season, if we have had ours now it will be fine. Yet we’ve learned again and I am happy to be part of such a competitive series.”
Tom Coronel: “I think we have shown that the car is capable of taking a top five position and I would not be lying if I said we could have sprayed some champagne if we had stayed out of trouble. There is much potential left in this car, I realized that the car was getting better and better. For us drivers it was easy to notice that when there is a little bit more grip we can set top five lap times, which means you should be able to finish inside the top five. I really enjoyed myself this afternoon. After the problems we had, which caused a big delay, we were fortunate enough to get the best out of it and show were really are. I think it is important to measure what you know that you can do and that is what we did fortunately. I know where we are now and I think we could well surprise at some point this year.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen: “I’m actually quite pleased. We were really on the pace. It’s just unfortunate that we had this collision early in the race and we lost time there. The car went very well, it was getting better and better and at the end we were really competitive. We have to work hard, as everyone else will do as well. But things area really looking good for the rest of the year.”
Peter Dumbreck: “I think considering we had no testing prior to this and not even turned the wheel of the car before this weekend it is all together quite encouraging. It’s very unfortunate I had contact with Farnbacher and his Ferrari. I still maintain that he hit me and I didn’t hit him. From my point of view I didn’t really do anything wrong. Without this problem we certainly could have been in the top five without any trouble at all. The pace of the car in the last few stints was really good. So as the track rubbered in the car improved, as we saw last year. It is encouraging, we need to do some more work and think about how to get the front end working more on a track that is a little bit green, but apart from that the car ran well and even the very last lap Tommy did the fastest lap. I’m looking forward to working together with Tom and Jeroen for the rest of the season.”
About Spyker Squadron
Spyker Squadron was founded in 2001 to underwrite the performance of the highly exclusive hand-build Spyker sports cars. Spyker Squadron is a dedicated team consisting of engineers, drivers and supporting personnel that develops, builds and supports the Spyker GT2 race cars. The team is based in Zeewolde, the Netherlands, where it has a high-tech workshop to support its operations.
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