ALD Automotive heads off to the Ardennes with great ambitions.
ALD Automotive with four Maserati MC 12 GT1 and two Ferrari 430 GT2 in 24 Hours of Spa
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS. It has become a tradition and a great story, between ALD Automotive and the 24 Hours of Spa. For ALD Automotive Belgium their sporting adventure saw the light of day right at the beginning of the GT era in Spa together with Eric van de Poele and after three victories in seven participations ALD Automotive could well be in for the greatest motor sport weekend ever. This coming weekend the international mobility organisation is supporting no less than six cars, namely the four Maserati MC12 of respectively Triple H and Team Vitaphone and the two AF Corse Ferrari 430 GT2. The Maserati are entered in the FIA GT1 World Championship, whereas both Ferrari 430 will compete in the 24 Hours of Spa. And in 2010 Eric van de Poele is no longer the sole Belgian driver bearing ALD Automotive on his racing overall, as also the young Brussels based Nico Verdonck and the experienced Bert Longin will be defending the black-red colours of the company.
Matthys Hoffmann (Director ALD Automotive Belgium): For us Spa is a highly important event, not only from a commercial point of view as also a customer event, but also on the sporting front in the races themselves. Over the years we have not only won here three times but also clinched various podium places and the challenge this season is truly special. For us motor sport is important and our partnership with the drivers and the teams, and as is the case for all of our activities, are built up with a long-term vision in mind. This is the reason why this season not only two top cars will be defending our colours in the 24 Hours of Spa, but we are also supporting the two Maserati-teams in the FIA GT1 World Championship, with as cherry on top of the cake in one of the Triple H Maserati cars an entire Belgian team, with Nico Verdonck and Bert Longin. The very same Bert Longin will also be sharing the wheel of a Ferrari 430 GT2 in the 24 Hours of Spa with Eric van de Poele, our in-house driver and the Ferrari drivers Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander. Our entire company is fully backing 'our boys' this coming weekend and we all hope that especially the ALD Automotive drivers will be uncorking the champagne bottles at the end of it."
During the weekend ALD Automotive will be hosting some 800 guests in the best conditions.
Eric van de Poele (Ferrari 430 GT2 #1): "This time around there are quite a few favourites in these 24 Hours of Spa, and we're part and parcel of them. It definitely won't be an easy race, but with a great team and excellent team-mates we're going all out for it. Bert knows Francorchamps like the back of his hand and is always fast here and the two works drivers, Vilander and Bruni require no introduction. I'm also delighted that once again I will be defending the ALD Automotive colours, because that company exudes pure motor sport."
Nico Verdonck (Maserati MC12 #34): "For me to be at the start of the GT1 World Championship together with such a stalwart as Bert is tremendous, it's a highlight in my career and I can only but thank ALD Automotive for having been offered this opportunity. I want to make something really special of this weekend and together with Bert it should be feasible. He has an exceptional amount of experience and he'll definitely help me to find my way within the team as also behind the wheel of our car. So fingers crossed!"
Bert Longin (Ferrari 430 GT2 #1 en Maserati MC12 #34): "I'm competing in the 24 Hours of Spa with a Ferrari 430 GT2, a model straight out of the stables of the most successful GT2 team in recent years, AF Corse. I'll be joined by Gianmaria Bruni, FIA GT2 champion in 2008, Toni Vilander, FIA GT2 champion in 2007 and 2008 and Eric van de Poele, five-time winner of the 24 Hours of Spa.... AF Corse won the FIA GT2 category of the 24 Hours of Spa in 2006 and 2009, so with such a dream team one can but utter superlatives. I'm especially delighted to have reached an agreement and for that I would like to truly thank all my sponsors from the bottom of my heart."