SRT with four Belgians in Spa!
MERCHTEM. In a few weeks time the Belgian Selleslagh Racing Team will for the fifth consecutive time be competing in the 24 Hours of Spa with a Corvette C5-R. This Belgian team was the first private-entrant in the world to race Pratt & Miller's fearsome weapon and to celebrate this fifth anniversary in the appropriate manner SRT has called on the services of four Belgians.
"One of my major ambitions this season was to come to the 24 Hours of Spa with an entirely Belgian team", Patrick Selleslagh explains. "The final choice fell upon Damien Coens, Marc Duez, Maxime Soulet and Steve Vanbellingen and together they form a strong and homogenous team. Moreover they come from various regions of our country which further strengthens the team's overall Belgian identity. We're fostering some pretty healthy ambitions. Let's just say that the top-10 is a must and each place that brings us closer to the top-5 is a triumph in itself."
In fact the team is comprised out of two duos; on the one hand the Leuven based Steve Vanbellingen and Damien Coens from Brussels, and on the other Marc Duez and Maxime Soulet.
Vanbellingen and Coens together make up the KS Motorsport-top duo in the Belgian Touring Car Series and have quite a number of 24 Hours of Spa races under their belts. "On the one hand we have Castalia Springs Limited to thank for our project, Damien's personal sponsor, and on the other the Belgian Grand Prix Champ Car, which is being held at circuit Zolder on 24th, 25th and 26th August, with whom I reached an agreement. On top of that DHL is also putting in an effort to make this project a success." Steve explains the reason for Champ Car's interest in the 24 Hours-project. "Champ Car believes in this project due to its unique combination of one Belgian component - the team and the drivers - and an American component - the Corvette C5-R.
This entente is entirely the same as theirs: An American top product, the Champ Car on a Belgian circuit, with a Belgian top driver" Steve Vanbellingen explains.
"Damien and I are on the same wavelength, this definitely manifests itself in our joint efforts in the BTCS and together with the other duo, Marc Duez and Maxime Soulet we should go a long way at the end of July. In the begin phase we mustn't try to follow the tempo of the top FIA GT drivers, but we'll drive sensibly and slowly work our way up."
Both Marc Duez and Maxime Soulet are extremely satisfied. "We have both driven numerous times for SRT and not without some success", the experienced Duez laughed. "We won the 24 Hours of Zolder together in 2006 and personally I finished seventh in the 2005 edition of the 24 Hours of Spa. I'm really pleased that we can give this a try once more, not forgetting the support provided by Gordon finest Beers. On top of that Gordon is a Belgian sponsor, which fits perfectly in the picture. This really is a top of the range Belgian story and I truly hope that we can count on the full support of the Belgian spectators. It's not that often that entirely Belgian teams are brought together in top cars!"
Maxime Soulet is the junior in the Belgian team. "Together with Marc and SRT I won the 24 Hours of Zolder last season, which was an incredible experience. My ambition is to cross the finish line on Sunday afternoon in a pretty strong position and further strengthen the ties I presently have with the team!"