Spa 24: Jos Menten Racing race report

The Total 24 Hours of Spa 2007 promises to be one of the most exiting editions in its history. With their sixth spot on the grid there are great race perspectives ahead for Jos Menten, Peter Kox and Jeroen Bleekemolen. The traditional Spa...

The Total 24 Hours of Spa 2007 promises to be one of the most exiting editions in its history. With their sixth spot on the grid there are great race perspectives ahead for Jos Menten, Peter Kox and Jeroen Bleekemolen. The traditional Spa weather conditions on Saturday morning give the HD GIGAWAVE Reiter Engineering team the opportunity to experience wet track conditions. Not wishing to take any unnecessary risks Jeroen Bleekemolen takes the warm-up session: "It seem opportune for us to take in as many laps as possible in the rain. We did have a small problem with the drive shaft, but that was soon sorted out", Jos Menten tells us. "The latest weather reports tells us that rain will put in an appearance as from midnight. This is why Jeroen tested out various types of rain tyres, and we now know which rubbers we need to use. The older type seems to perform better, and we're fully prepared for a wet race . so bring on the rain!"

Just before the start the clouds appear, but it remains dry over the Ardennes' circuit. Jos Menten is at the wheel for the start given at 16:00hrs. The 26 year old driver form Dutch Limburg even manages to outwit Pedro Lamy, at the wheel of the Vitaphone Maserati #1: "I had a great start. I immediately got past Pedro, but we were fully aware that our top speed at the end of the straight was inferior to that of our immediate competitors", the young Dutchman continued. "When Bert Longin tried to overtake me on the inside I obviously opened the door for him. But then things went wrong. I had only just reached the bus stop chicane when I couldn't get any power on to the track. In fact one of the drive shafts had given up the ghost."

For safety reasons the HD GIGAWAVE Reiter Engineering pit crew replace both drive shafts . but one hour later the problem reoccurs: "The car's set up was too low, whereby the pressure on the drive shafts was becoming too heavy. This was the reason for the drive shafts breaking. In fact this costs us 22 laps . let's just hope that we have now had our share of bad luck and that we can now bring this race to a positive ending", the Limburg driver told us after his first stint. Peter Kox took over and experienced no problems during his stint prior to handing on to Jeroen Bleekemolen. The A1 GP-driver is well into a good stint until, just as in Silverstone, fate reappears, with a problem arising from the emergency switch resulting in a further loss of time. When 'Bleek' enters the pitlane it is Jos Menten's turn to get behind the wheel again: "I was just completing my first lap when at the end of the Kemmel straight a support for the rear wing loosened. Metal fatigue .! Luckily the team were quick to react. A new support was fitted, but here again what with the emergency switch and the rear wing problems we lost a further seven laps."

For the Kox-Menten-Bleekemolen trio a good result is out of the question: "With such a backlog two safety-car periods are not going to help us. It's now a question of finishing the race, hoping that we might gather a few points at the half-way mark", Menten commented around midnight. The Dutchmen are ranked in 28th place. At approximately 02:00hrs Menten once again gets behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT: "During my stint I still managed to climb up into a 23rd place, and finally everything seemed to be running perfectly. I came in for the scheduled driver change- over and Peter took off . only to be hampered by a drive shaft problem. All that Peter could do was to park the car on the side of the track. It was over and out. We all knew beforehand that it was going to be a difficult race."

For HD GIGAWAVE Reiter Engineering the Total 24 Hours of Spa 2007 finished after thirteen hours of racing. For Jos Menten this is his first retirement in four entries.

-credit: jmr

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ENDURANCE , BSS