A 100 Percent Belgian Team Bound For Le Mans
The Automobile Club de l'Ouest has now confirmed that the #22 Lola Aston Martin entered by Kronos Racing will participate in the 79th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 11th and 12th June, following the withdrawal of the American Highcroft team's HPD LMP1.
"It's both a great relief and a great pressure," says Marc Van Dalen, team director of the operation. "There are only three weeks left to set up everything and the count down is going to run fast! But thanks to the excellent collaboration with the Marc VDS Racing Team from the preliminary practice and the unfailing support of Orbello Racing, the car owner, everything has been planned as if our participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans was in no doubt. We are happy that ACO has accepted our application and we are going to do our best to represent with dignity Belgium in Le Mans, in the tradition of the national Belgian team and in memory of the Francorchamps team."
The collaboration between Kronos Racing and the Marc VDS Racing Team will give three Belgian drivers the opportunity to contest the LMP1 class at the most prestigious endurance race in the world with a competitive package. For Vanina Ickx, Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin it will be a unique experience, as they battle for the podium with the other petrol-powered prototypes, such as the Pescarolos and the Orecas. The aim of the Belgian team is simple; to qualify close to tenth position and then take advantage of reliability and consistency to secure the best result possible in the race.
"This will be our second appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans," explains Jean-Michel Delporte, the program team manager. "Last year we raced our Ford GT, so we are still rookies really, as we move up to the LMP1 class this year with the Lola Aston Martin. Nonetheless we'll try and make a good race. We have reinforced the team in all areas over the winter, which has paid dividends for our GT1 campaign already, so we know we have a harmonious crew. The collaboration with Kronos Racing - who will manage the project and all communications, as well as the relationship with ACO and Michelin - allows us to focus completely on the technical development of the car, which is already a big challenge."
On the other hand, Count Marc van der Straten-Ponthoz, president of the Marc VDS Racing Team, showed his usual enthusiasm: "The chance to partner with Orbello and our friends from Kronos Racing on this project emerged spontaneously and we agreed right away, because the opportunity to be part of something that is both a great sporting and human adventure was too good to miss. Le Mans represents the height of endurance competition and to play a part in it with such an iconic car makes us very happy. We will be supporting our 100 percent Belgian crew throughout the 24 hours, wishing them a successful outcome, even if we are aware of the hazards of this mythical race."Kronos
-source: marc vds