NEW BELGIAN MOTORSPORT TEAM SPLITS ITS PASSION BETWEEN CARS AND BIKES!
The Belgian motor racing scene is set to enjoy a new addition to its community with the creation of a brand new structure regrouping several professional racing teams which are joining forces under the "Marc VDS Racing Teams" banner.
Spurred on by long time racing enthusiast Count Marc van der Straten, who's Marc VDS Racing Team entered a Ford GT in this season's FIA GT series with its beautiful Ford GT, the joint platform comprising four different teams will be headquartered in Gosselies, within a technical industrial park located near Brussels' South Charleroi Airport.
The Marc VDS Racing Team will enter two Ford GTs in the new GT1 World Championship, while Eric De Doncker's concern will contest the European FIA GT3 Championship with a couple of brand new Ford Mustangs developed together with Multimatic. Furthermore, a new team dedicated to the new Moto2 World Championship is being set up by former rider Didier de Radigues, while rally driver Stephane Henrard will spearhead an effort on the rally raid front with his usual buggy racers starting next month at the Dakar. All four groups will race in their respective categories under the "Marc VDS Racing Teams" banner. The endeavor appears original as it unites racing cars and a motorcycle team. With regard to the latter, Didier de Radigues' new Moto2 team (ex-250cc) will be based around Kawasaki's former MotoGP entity managed by Michael Bartholemy.
"This is the start of a new adventure," commented Marc van der Straten. "It all came about after an informal discus- sion I had one evening with friend and former racer Pascal Witmeur, who informed me about very strong local projects encountering some difficulties because of a lack of infrastructure and resources. In the end, this effort brings together under one common platform the projects initiated by Didier de Radigues, Stephane Henrard and Eric De Doncker. By adding our energies together and putting everyone in the same dedicated building, we've managed to create synergies and gateways between each team while also achieving significant economies of scale. What started as a casual conversa- tion between a few petrolhead individuals has led to an enterprise of shared expertise. I'm happy to be the initiator of such a dynamic project where unity is a strength !"
Taking into account the GT1 and Moto2 world championship, Le Mans Series races for the Ford GTs, the Mustangs' GT3 program and the Henrard's efforts on the rally-raid front, the "Marc VDS Racing Team" will be contesting over 100 events in 16 countries in 2010 !
Didier de Radiguès : "A great opportunity"
Former motorcycle rider and driver turned TV commentator Didier de Radigues is a well known figure in international motorsport. Runner-up in the 1982350cc world motorcycle championship, Didier previously gathered experience as a team manager when he supervised the efforts of his Belgian team in the 250cc category in 1993. "Jean-Michel Bayle was just starting his career on the tracks, remembers de Radigues. Actually, things went so well that at the end of the season, he left our team for Aprilia and took our sponsor with him ! That experience sort of hung me out to dry and ever since, I've been waiting for the right opportunity to come along. It has now presented itself and I'm a firm believer in the future of Moto2 and in our association with the Marc VDS Racing Teams as well as in the synergies it will bring. Our ambition is to put Belgium at the forefront of motorcycle racing."
Michael Bartholemy : "Ideal context for a private team"
As the manager of the works Kawasaki team in Moto GP for the last seven years, Michael Bartholemy is one of the rare Belgians who has been active at the highest level of his category, and one who considers the new Moto2 format as an appealing challenge. "Moto2's aim is to replace the 250 category while also reducing costs. Everyone will have the same Honda 600 four stroke engine, while Moto2 bikes' chassis and swing arm will be completely free to develop. Evidently, this is the area that will provide the difference between the teams. I must admit that the prospect of working with Didier de Radigues within the context provided by Marc VDS Racing Teams is very appealing, as it will allow me to focus entirely on the bike's development and exploitation. Our team will also field two riders which we will soon