After its 2002 debut Spyker returned to Le Mans this weekend to participate in the Test Weekend. Spyker Squadron, the factory race team, has formed a cooperation with Orange which cooperation -entered into for a 3-year period- was announced on...
After its 2002 debut Spyker returned to Le Mans this weekend to participate in the Test Weekend.
Spyker Squadron, the factory race team, has formed a cooperation with Orange which cooperation -entered into for a 3-year period- was announced on April 28th last. (press release attached)
Team Orange Spyker's aim of the 3-year campaign is to win a top 3 position by 2005 in GT class. Today the 2003 version of the Spyker C8 Double 12R featuring a large number of improvements over the 2002 model ran very successfully in the tests.
Hans Hugenholtz and Norman Simon (curriculum vitae attached) crewed car number 85, Tom Coronel having other commitments in Japan.
Chasisnumber 009 still runs with the 2002 penalties of a 15% smaller restrictor and 70 kilo's of ballast .
In spite of the penalties the car came in 10th place out of 15 competitors in GT class.
Victor Muller, Spyker CEO and Team Manager, commented: "For most of the day we held 6th position in class. In the last hour of the afternoon test session Dunlop provided us with excellent qualifiers to improve our time substantially. Unfortunately a red flag situation as well as heavy traffic prevented Norman Simon from taking more than half a second of his best time.
We had to settle for 4.18.232, half a second faster than last year, but --as all competitors in GT class- with a 10% smaller restrictor than in 2002.
We experimented with set-up and wings and it was an exceptionally useful day. All the lessons learned at Sebring in March have been incorporated into the car and the car ran very well except for a faulty alternator."
Norman Simon added: "Driving the car back at Le Mans one year after our debut shows the lessons we have learned in the past year. We have improved tremendously on road holding and are very competitive in corners. Were we lose out, however, is in accelerating out of corners. This is where the penalties really make themselves felt. It is running the marathon with a backpack and breathing through a straw. Bearing all this in mind I think we have performed very satisfactorily. There is still much to be gained in terms of aerodynamics and we will be back in the wind tunnel prior to Le Mans."
Team Engineer Peter van Erp: "The production of Spyker C8 Double12s is in full swing and we are committed to produce 10 road cars prior to Sebring 2004. This will cause the loss of 1 penalty since we will not be running more than 10% of production. Moreover homologation is in progress and we anticipate the car to be homologated prior to Le Mans 2004, causing the loss of another penalty. For this year our objective is clearly defined: finishing the race.
We have worked very hard on making the car as reliable as possible and we are convinced that our efforts will pay off."