Optimism rules over disappointment at Spyker Squadron
Le Mans - 19 June 2005: The Spyker Squadron was out for a unique outing. Not only would it be the first time that a car manufacturer entered an open top car in the GT class, but it was also the first time that an all Dutch driver line up was entered by the Dutch Spyker Squadron. Tom Coronel, Donny Crevels and Peter van Merksteijn drove the Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R, prepared by the team of Technical Director Peter van Erp and Team Manager Hans van Rennes.
After a promising start to the Le Mans 24 hours the Spyker Squadron was forced to abandon the race just before midnight after nearly eight hours of racing. Donny Crevels was behind the wheel when an oil line broke. The oil was sprayed out on the exhaust pipe and the rear tyres causing the car to spin and catch fire. The engine was still running, but the flames from the exhaust pipes caused too much damage to the car to continue. Despite the premature exit the atmosphere at Spyker was upbeat.
Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars:
"The car was running like clockwork. This is just the third race outing of the car. We are only in our first race season with the C8 Spyder GT2R and the potential is obviously there. We can easily keep up with the cars in our class. Therefore we are extremely confident that we can successfully run the car in the remaining races of the Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES)."
Tom Coronel, driver:
"The car feels very solid. It was handling very well and we were able to maintain a quick and steady race pace. I was really enjoying myself when I was out there. This car certainly has the potential to be in the top 3 of the GT2 class."
Donny Crevels, driver:
"At the Indianapolis corner the car suddenly snapped away from me. Apparently an oil hose broke and put oil on my tyres. The engine was still running, but the oil caught fire on the hot exhaust pipe so I was forced to abandon. It's a shame as the car was handling well so far. "
Peter van Merksteijn, driver:
"It is great to race at Le Mans with this car. Step by step I was improving myself every time when I was out on the circuit. There is a lot more to come from this car, that's obvious. "