SPYKER SQUADRON READY FOR THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS
Zeewolde, 21 May 2007 Spyker Squadron, the factory race team of Spyker Cars, is ready for the 75th run of the heroic 24-Hours of Le Mans. No less than 230.000 spectators last year and millions of TV viewers proof that the 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the best viewed and famous races in the world alongside the Monaco F1 Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500.
The annual event, organised by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), is held since 1923. Since 2002 Spyker challenges the establishment in the GT2 class. In that year the Dutch manufacturer of hand built sports cars entered one Spyker C8 Double 12 R. Last year it was the first time in the short history of Spyker Cars that two Spykers were entered in the famous race.
In 2006 the team had to withdraw one car after a few hours in the race while the other was running for a podium position. The Squadron 2006 Le Mans effort came to an end after 14 hours and 45 minutes when the Kane/Hezemans/Bleekemolen car retired while being in second place in the GT2 class with a six lap advantage on the number three.
This year the ACO again invited Spyker Squadron to enter two Spyker C8 Spyder GT2Rs. Like last year the C8 Spyders will carry the numbers `85' and `86'. The first Spyker factory car, the number 85, will be strengthened with the experience of Spyker customer team `Speedy Racing'. Speedy Racing Team- regulars Andrea Belicchi (ITA) and Andrea Chiesa (SUI) will be joined by former F1 pilot Alex Caffi (ITA).
Peter van Erp, Director Spyker Squadron; "We are very pleased to have a partnership with Alexandre Pesci of Speedy Racing, this further underwrites their commitment to continue to race the Spykers in the future. In our driver evaluation we clearly focused on experience and performance so am very pleased that we can announce today that we are being backed by the skills and know-how of the Speedy Racing Team drivers. Both Belicchi and Chiesa are talented drivers and have lots of experience. I knew that driving the 24 Hours of Le Mans was at the top of Andrea Belicchi's wish list and given his performance in the C8 Spyder I am convinced that he is more than ready for the race. Adding Alex Caffi to the team speaks for itself; he is a great and popular driver and brings lots of sportscar experience".
The second Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R, with number 86, will be driven by Jarek Janis (CZ), Mike Hezemans (NL) and Jonny Kane (GB). Peter van Erp continues: "Both Jarek and Jonny have been driving the C8 Spyder this season in the Le Mans Series and showed their speed" says Peter. "I am also very pleased that Mike, who competes with a Corvette C6R in the FIA GT1 class and drove for us at Le Mans last year, is available to reinforce the team".
With the last race -the Le Mans Series 1000km of Valencia- just a week behind us and the test weekend scheduled in less than two weeks from now, time is limited. The team is working hard on the final preparations of both cars before the trucks will leave the factory in Zeewolde mid next week. Both cars will come in action at the official test day, June 3, and will stay in Le Mans during the two weeks between the official test day and the 24 Hour race, 16-17 June.