SPYKER SQUADRON READY FOR FIRST LE MANS SERIES RACE
Monza, 12 April 2007 After a long winter the waiting is over. Spyker Squadron will begin their European race season this weekend with the 1000km of Monza, Italy. A packed field of 50 Le Mans Prototypes (LMP) and GT's will be a guarantee for fierce fights in each class but also proofs the popularity of the Le Mans Series, which, in its new format, will have a round in South-America for the first time.
For the Dutch `the road to Le Mans' started Mid-March when they kicked-off their 2007 race programme in Florida, USA. The team entered one C8 Spyder in the American Le Mans Series season opener; the famous `Mobile 112-hours of Sebring'. The Spyker had to start from the pit lane but after hours of racing the team got sight in a podium position. Sadly, after 11 hours of racing in a very competitive GT2 field 17 cars, the team had to give up their fourth position due to a broken water pipe.
After Sebring the car was transported to Spyker Squadron's workshop in Zeewolde by air. In Zeewolde another team of engineers just finished the preparation of the Speedy Racing C8 Spyder for the official Le Mans Series test day, held at the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet, France, on 25- and 26 March. Spyker Squadron jointly tested the Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R with Speedy Racing Team, the first privateer team that enters a Spyker racecar in the Le Mans Series.
After the official test days both cars were prepared for the Monza 1000km race. Early this week the completely rebuilt Speedy Racing Team C8 Spyder had its shakedown at the circuit of Lelystad, the Netherlands, where the new power steering system was successfully tested.
This weekend both teams will enter one C8 Spyder in the 1000 km of Monza; the #85 Spyker Squadron car will be driven by Jarek Janis (CZ) and Peter Kox (NL) and the #94 Swiss Speedy Racing Team-C8 Spyder will be driven by Andrea Belicchi (IT), Andrea Chiesa (CH) and Jonny Kane (UK). Both cars will be fitted with Dunlop tires. Spyker Squadron tested several tires at Paul Ricard and one compound in particular matched the C8 Spyder well.
Peter van Erp: "It will be a tough race for us in Formula 1 the 5.793 km Monza circuit is known by the fact that the drivers are on full throttle for a higher-than-average percentage of the lap due to its long straights. The key to success here at the `National Autodromo' is raw engine output and, although our engineers are currently working hard to further improve the performance of our engine, all we can do is focus on continuity, strategy and pit stops. Our car will certainly perform better at Valencia."
Two free practice sessions are scheduled for Friday. Qualifying is held on Saturday and the 1000km race is scheduled for Sunday 13:00 and will be broadcasted live on MotorsTV.