Baarn, January 24, 2002 Spyker Cars of Baarn, the Netherlands, announces that it has signed up Dutch racing driver Peter Kox, the reigning European production car champion, as the number one driver of its Spyker Squadron factory team. Victor ...
Baarn, January 24, 2002
Spyker Cars of Baarn, the Netherlands, announces that it has signed up Dutch racing driver Peter Kox, the reigning European production car champion, as the number one driver of its Spyker Squadron factory team.
Victor Muller, Spyker's CEO commented: "We are very proud that Peter has joined Spyker Squadron. Peter will join Hans Hugenholtz during the 12 Hours of Sebring, to be held in Florida USA on 15 March, the first outing of our brand new Spyker C8 Double12R." Spyker Squadron has engaged Hans Reiter Engineering of Kirchstein, Germany to build two such cars (chassis numbers 006 and 009) for the purpose of entering at Le Mans in June 2002. In order to meet the regulations of the Le Mans organisation, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the Spyker C8 Double12Rs shall have to enter in one race prior to Le Mans. The 12 Hours of Sebring is the first race of the 2002 American Le Mans Series which are governed by the same regulations as Le Mans.
As early as October 2000, when Spyker introduced its C8 Spyder at the Birmingham Motor show where it won the prestigious 2000 Motor Show Award for Engineering excellence, Spyker announced its intention to engage in active racing. The Spyker C8 Double12R was unveiled at the Internationale Automobil Ausstellung (IAA) in Frankfurt on 11 September, 2001. The car is fitted with a Spyker-Mader 4 litre engine boasting 620 BHP without restrictors and 503 BHP with Le Mans restrictors.
During recent windtunnel testing at BMW's test centre in Munich, the car proved its excellent aerodynamics, its drag amounting to a mere 0.276.
Peter Kox: "I am very happy to be part of the Spyker Squadron factory team. It is a great challenge to compete in the worlds toughest race with this outstanding Dutch car manufacturer. It will be a steep learning curve, but I am convinced we have all the ingredients to perform well."
Peter Kox, a versatile racing driver
After winning countless races and titles in karting, Peter Kox' motor racing career started in 1983. He immediately made his mark as the first winner of the Marlboro Challenge. The talented Dutch driver became succesful in single seater classes such as Formula Ford, Formula 3, Formula Opel-Lotus and Formula 3000. In 1989 he won the European Opel-Lotus title as well as the Benelux championship.
Gradually Kox moved to `tin tops', became Dutch touring car champion in 1993, and was offered a drive with the works BMW team. The Dutchman proved his worth in the German and British touring car series, but his finest triumph came in the gruelling 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, 1995.
Good performances in the GT world championship with the McLaren-BMW resulted in victories at the Nürburgring and Silverstone. A solid drive during his Le Mans debut in 1996 saw him finish fourth overall in the McLaren. The next year he made it to the podium on the Sarthe circuit. "I love Le Mans. It is the most intrigueing race I have ever been in. After the finish you feel totally worn out and your initial thought is you will never want to drive here again. But the next day you realize what a unique event this is and you know you will come back to compete after all..."
Returning to touring cars with Honda, Peter Kox grabbed his first BTCC-win in 1999 and also showed excellent results in the European Super Touring Series a year later, finishing second. Proving his versatility, Kox managed to be a front runner with various teams, in different cars and series during the 2001 season. In the FIA GT championship he won behind the wheel of a Ferrari 550 run by Prodrive and on another occasion he charged through the whole field in the Reiter Engineering prepared Lamborghini. The FIA GT races were run in the same programme as the European Super Production Championship, which was dominated by... Peter Kox. In a BMW the Dutchman won this prestigious title, rounding off one of his strongest seasons to date.
Peter Kox (37) lives in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, is married to Esther and has one daughter.
- Spyker Automobielen B.V.