Valencia: Spyker Squadron race report

Valencia, 6 May 2007 -- Today Dutch Spyker Squadron entered one Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R in the second round of the Le Mans Series (LMS). The race this week was held at the 4 km long Valencian track `Circuit Ricardo Tormo'. The Spanish sun was...

Valencia, 6 May 2007 -- Today Dutch Spyker Squadron entered one Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R in the second round of the Le Mans Series (LMS). The race this week was held at the 4 km long Valencian track `Circuit Ricardo Tormo'. The Spanish sun was shining today and a light wind made it bearable enough for the spectators to watch the race from the grandstands.

Dutchman Sandor van Es made his debut with Spyker Squadron this weekend as Peter Kox was driving one of the Lamborghini's this weekend at Silverstone. Sandor was joined by Squadron regular Jarek Janis who drove the C8 Spyder before at Sebring (Mobil-112-Hours of Sebring) and Monza (Le Mans Series 1000 km of Monza).

In the early stages of the 1000 km race the team had some difficulties with the tires the car was understeering and Jarek, who started the race, had to come in earlier than planned after his front tires were wearn out and overheated. The team decided to change the tire compound when Sandor took over and this proofed to be a good move.

Sandor van Es: "Jarek started the race this afternoon and came in early in his stint with underperforming tires. For me it was sort of a warming not to push the tires to the limit to avoid `drop-off' but the team put me on another harder compound and I was able to complete my stint until we ran out of fuel. My lap times were good; I was even a bit quicker than Jarek". Sandor continues: "My second stint was really good it felt like there was less traffic and I could stay in the low 1:41 range. I was even able to keep Jonny [Kane, driving the Speedy Racing Team Spyker C8] behind me for about 15 laps".

Due to the tight, curvy and crowded track, filled with many quicker Le Mans Prototype (LMP) and GT1 cars, it was expected that we would see the safety car out many times in today's six-hour race. Fortunately this did not happen but in the one situation the safety car did come out as some liquids made the track slippery and the team managed to win two positions with their pit strategy.

In the final stages of the race the Dutch team managed to move up the ladder until Jarek, who was running in a respectable sixth position, suddenly felt that the engine lost power. Jarek: "It is really sad. The car felt pretty good in the last stint and I could push much harder with the other compound. Just 15 minutes before the end of the race the engine gave up and I had to park the car at the side of the track it is a pity".

Peter van Erp: "It is a real bummer so close to the 24 Hours of Le Mans we should have seen better results. The guys worked so hard and put lots of energy and time in the car, it is sad that their hard work is not being paid off. The race itself was not that bad. We lacked some speed but we managed to stay out of trouble and both drivers did a great job which resulted in a sixth position with just 15 minutes to go".

Peter continues: "It would have been good for team spirits to finish 6th as we are about to finalize our Le Mans preparations with the official test day just weeks ahead. We will try to get the car back to our workshop as soon as possible as there is still plenty of work to be done before the test day".

Sandor van Es: "Although we did not finish it was a really great experience to race the Spyker C8 Spyder. I am satisfied with my performance; fortunately I did not make any mistakes and the traffic and pitstops were okay. I could do two full stints of over an hour and only in the last stint Jarek was a bit faster than me. I would like to thank the team for all their support and the car they put on the grid today".

The next race for the team will be the 24-Hours of Le Mans mid-June. The team will take part in the official 1-day test the first weekend of June.

-credit: spyker

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Peter Kox , Jarek Janis