Raphael van der Straten and Stephane Lemeret on the podium in the SP2 GT3 Class!
Having completed the gruelling 24 Hours of Zolder with the Ford Mustang FR500 GT3, the VDS Racing Adventures team headed off for Budapest, to compete in this Saturday's 12 Hours of Hungary, event organised by Creventic. Entered in the SP2 GT3 category, the American muscle car was part of the show throughout the long race, notwithstanding an unexpected handicap. In fact it was a 'flu riddled Raphael van der Straten since Friday who was sharing the relays with Stephane Lemeret. " Bad luck, obviously, but having opted to compete with just two drivers there was nothing else to do but to grin and bear it and get on with the job, the owner-driver commented. " Because of that I was obviously slower than Stephane, but once again we carried on through to the end with our adventure, something which has become a hallmark for our team with this Ford Mustang FR500 GT3... "
A power beast which retained its place, notwithstanding further problems with the axle, setting the Belgian team back at least one hour. " This is undoubtedly the car's weak point, Stephane Lemeret continued. Everything had been carefully prepared, but it didn't hold out. Just before the half- way mark it broke, and we repaired it. Following on from that the problems reappeared, but we managed to finish the race still clocking up reasonable lap times. Solutions do exist, namely from the United States, and we'll definitely need to look into matters seriously prior to competing in the 24 Hours of Dubai. Its all the more maddening as apart from that the Mustang ran like clockwork throughout the entire event as also the practice sessions. As for Raphael, what he managed to achieve with his rather poor condition, is quite simply brilliant. By the end of the race his lap times were similar to some of the Porsche drivers ranked ahead of us. Congratulations! "
Finally ranked 13th overall, the Mustang FR500 GT3 VDS Racing Adventures can pride itself with a 3rd place in the SP2 GT3 category, allowing Raphael and Stephane to climb on to the Magyar podium. " A result which could have been far better, Raphael continued. In fact the Brokernet, of Hungarian build, which won the category, is in fact a Silhouette which should have been entered in another class. Due to the limited number of entries in that category, it was re-entered in SP2 GT3, and all comparisons end there. As for the Ferrari F430 Challenge, which finished just ahead of us, it broke its engine last year just before the finish. We kept up the pressure right through to the end, but this time around the Italian engine held on. All the better for that team! So climbing up on to the podium in such a context we can honestly state that we fulfilled our assignment, notwithstanding my state of health as also the absence of Alain, our mechanic, who had a slight but not too serious road accident on Thursday whilst travelling to the Airport. Our thoughts are with him and we are dedicating our trophy to him ... "
The following rendezvous for the VDS Racing Adventures team: the final round of the Belgian GT Championship to be held at Circuit Zolder on 24th and 25th October, during the FIA GT Championship, and with ... the competitors of the European FIA GT3! We are in for some great sport, that's for sure ...