ALD Automotive experience an intense motor sport weekend in Spa
Spa-Francorchamps. ALD Automotive enjoyed a high quality motor sport weekend in Spa. Together with the three Belgian drivers it was a weekend with a few brilliant high points for ALD Automotive; however the hard reality of motor sport also reared its head during this race weekend. The brilliant performance set up by the Belgian duo Nico Verdonck and Bert Longin at the wheel of the Triple H ALD Automotive Maserati MC12 in the FIA GT1 World Championship must surely be underlined. In addition the pole position of the Vitaphone ALD Automotive Ferrari 430 GT2 in the 24 Hours of Spa could also count on a fair amount of attention. The dramatic retirement of the Ferrari just after five o'clock in the morning, just when the red- black power beast was leading the race was a turning point in these 24 Hours of Spa.
Eric van de Poele was in the lead of this 63rd edition of the 24 Hours of Spa when fate struck this five times winner. A race incident, in which his immediate rival and countryman Anthony Kumpen was also involved, put an end to the race.
Eric van de Poele: "It was a heavy crash. Anthony was just ahead of me and in front of him was a slower Porsche. Upon exiting Stavelot the Audi overtook him on the right, whereas the Porsche thought he was on the left, but I was on that side of the track. The Audi was hit from the back and swerved sideways on. I was unable to avoid him and careered straight into him. The wheels and suspension were completely destroyed and retirement was the inevitable outcome."
Up until then the Ferrari 430 GT2 had played a star role in the race. From pole position Gimmi Bruni took an unbelievable start, after which a minor accident created an unforeseen stop. But Bruni, Vilander, van de Poele and Longin drove a solid race, climbing back up through the pack and finally taking the lead once again. Up until fate struck...
The Ferrari 430 GT2 of the American Nascar star Michael Waltrip, Nicola Cadei, Robert Kaufmann and Marco Cioci drove an exceptionally spotless race finally finishing third in the FIA GT2 European Cup.
Prior to the GTs taking on what was most probably the longest and hardest race of the year; spectators in their droves were entertained to a round of the FIA GT1 World Championship. Nico Verdonck together with Bert Longin completed an excellent qualifying session giving them a fourth place on the starting grid.
Bert Longin: "Nico not only drove well during the qualifying session, our fifth and eighth place in the two races would not have been possible without his input. He adapted extremely quickly to the high level in this World Championship. I truly believe that there's a place for Nico Verdonck in this championship. I would certainly see myself completing the remainder of the season with him."