Spyker Squadron 24H preview

Zeewolde, 13 June After last week's official Le Mans test day part of the Spyker Squadron crew returned home while the rest of the team stayed in Le Mans. The team in Le Mans focused on the essential preparations for this weekends race. The crew...

Zeewolde, 13 June After last week's official Le Mans test day part of the Spyker Squadron crew returned home while the rest of the team stayed in Le Mans. The team in Le Mans focused on the essential preparations for this weekends race. The crew members who returned to the Spyker factory at Zeewolde (The Netherlands) worked on several modifications on the car that could only be made in its fully equipped workshop.

The crew in Le Mans organised the pitbox and race trailer in such a way that all spare parts can be easily found when needed during the race. The team brought a complete set of spare parts and bodywork panels to make sure they can continue the race in case of an accident. In Formula 1 a race is lost when a car gets damaged in a race accident. At Le Mans, however, these accidents are quite common. With four different race classes on track at the same time, including the very quick and late braking Le Mans Prototypes (LMP's), driver fatigue and the darkness at night there is a fair level of risk to get in trouble. Drivers are allowed to fix their cars when having stopped at the track but if possible they prefer to drive the car back to the garage for repairs.

"Staying out of trouble is key to win the 24-Hour race. Should an accident occur, then you would better be prepared" says Peter van Erp, Director of Spyker Squadron. "The guys fitted all spare parts and bodywork panels on the respective cars to be absolutely sure that all parts fit and to be sure that we do not lose time in case we need to make repairs during the race. Some major parts, such as the wheel suspension, were installed and completely lined-out ready for usage".

In the post test review of last week's official test some modifications were proposed by the crew. Most of the updates worked perfectly but the mechanics also found a few things, such as the engine compartment cooling, that needed a bit more attention. The crew that returned to the Spyker factory in Zeewolde worked on these changes and also prepared the engines for the race.

On June 11 the race week was kicked off with the traditional `pesage' (scruteneering) at Place des Jacobins in the city centre of Le Mans. The two-day scruteneering process is an event by itself and attracts massive crowds trying to get a glimpse of their favourite cars and drivers. That same day the Spyker pitbox and fuel rig were checked by the ACO. On Tuesday June 12 both cars were transported to the city centre for the official checks.

Both Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R's will come into action tonight at 7:00 pm in the first of four two-hour qualifying sessions. Peter van Erp explains: "We are going to start where we finished last weekend. Last weekend we tested our new components and gave the drivers some time to familiarise themselves with the track. Tomorrow we will test various settings, from wings to suspension, to find a good setup for the race. We clearly need to stay out of trouble and if everything goes smoothly we might fit some qualifiers and go out for a few quick laps".

After a one-hour brake a second (night-)session follows at 10:00 pm till midnight. On Thursday the last set of qualifying sessions is scheduled at the same times. On Friday the pit lane is open to all fans. The French national weather service forecast a fair chance on thunderstorms troughout the week including the race day.

-credit: Spyker Squadron

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Le Mans