This Week in Ford Racing Eric de Doncker, driver of the No. 1 Ford Mustang FR500GT4 and co-driver of the No. 22 Ford Mustang FR500GT3, is preparing for double-duty in this weekend's GT4 European Cup and FIA GT3 European Championship races ...
This Week in Ford Racing
Eric de Doncker, driver of the No. 1 Ford Mustang FR500GT4 and co-driver of the No. 22 Ford Mustang FR500GT3, is preparing for double-duty in this weekend's GT4 European Cup and FIA GT3 European Championship races at Nogaro Circuit in France. De Doncker, who is the defending GT4 champion, leads the GT4 standings and looks to wrap up another championship in this weekend's GT4 finale.
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU IF YOU WERE ABLE TO REPEAT AS CHAMPION? "Nothing is settled yet, but if I am able to repeat as champion it would be fantastic for my team and for myself. I think it would also be great for Ford to be back in Europe with the Mustang and beat all the big sports car brands such as Aston Martin, Nissan, BMW and Porsche. It's very special, especially two years in a row. Motorsport98 worked hard and in a very professional way, as usual, and with a very small budget compared to some of the other teams like Aston Martin, BMW and Nissan. Again, I have to thank Ford Racing and Multimatic for their support this season."
COMING INTO THE SEASON, DID YOU FEEL THAT YOU HAD A GOOD CHANCE TO REPEAT? "My goal was to win it all again, but I knew it would be more difficult because the opposition was stronger. There were a lot of Aston Martins with fast drivers, the factory Nissan with a very fast, young driver and the BMWs as well. So I knew that I would have to be very consistent and avoid crashes and mechanical failures. When I was not able to win, I've scored the maximum amount of points and when I had a car that was good enough to win, I pushed hard. I think my driver experience and my team experience have made the difference. I really have to thanks my head mechanic and tuner, Robert Daivier. Also, the Mustang has been strong, fast and fantastic as usual."
WAS THIS SEASON ANY MORE CHALLENGING SINCE YOU WERE PULLING DOUBLE-DUTY WITH GT3 AND GT4 AT NEARLY EVERY RACE? "Not really. It was a bit busier, but it wasn't a problem with GT4. It was more difficult to jump from GT4 to GT3. The cars look almost the same but are very different in terms of driving, seat position, sequential gearbox with very different gears ratios, different brakes and downforce. Scott Maxwell is the primary driver in the GT3 Mustang, so I did not have a lot of seat time in the car during practice and sometimes I started races with only a few laps of practice. But I was really focused on retaining the GT4 title. I think Scott and I did a good job in GT3 this year."
YOU FINISHED THIRD IN BOTH RACES AT NOGARO LAST YEAR. THERE ARE A LOT OF TIGHT TURNS, WHICH USUALLY MEANS IT'S A TOUGH TRACK FOR A MUSTANG. "Nogaro is not a very good Mustang track since it's quite twisty and short, but I think I can fight for podiums there. If it rains I think I can compete for a win because the Mustangs have such great torque that it can actually become a very good track for Mustangs when it's slick. I'll try to seal the title in the first race, and then I'll see if I can celebrate in style in the final two races."
-credit: ford racing