VAN DER STEUR COUNTING DOWN DAYS TO RADICAL DELIVERY, DEBUT Braselton, Ga. - Gunnar van der Steur can hardly contain his optimism for the 2006 season. It's only natural given the news of van der Steur Racing's newest purchase, a Radical SR9...
VAN DER STEUR COUNTING DOWN DAYS TO RADICAL DELIVERY, DEBUT
Braselton, Ga. - Gunnar van der Steur can hardly contain his optimism for the 2006 season. It's only natural given the news of van der Steur Racing's newest purchase, a Radical SR9 that will compete in the American Le Mans Series' LMP2 class later this year.
Van der Steur, who started the team with brother Erik in 2002 and debuted in the Series in 2004, recently announced the switch from a Lola B2K/40 to the Radical P2 chassis. Gunnar says the new car will be mated with the familiar AER turbo and will make its American Le Mans Series debut at Petit Le Mans followed by the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Until then, the team will continue to campaign the Lola in select Series events.
"In looking at everything, Radical presented us with the best offer and best package," he said. "The final decision came two or three weeks ago. I saw everything I needed to see and knew then that's what we wanted to go with. The tub itself and the crash test data were very impressive. It had every safety margin there and more. That's what sealed it."
The team will take delivery during the summer and will test the car at West Virginia's Summit Point Raceway in between the Road America and Mosport rounds of the Series. The Radical will run on Dunlop rubber with the van der Steurs and Ben Devlin returning as the team's driving tandem.
"Hopefully this will take us to the next level and get us up with the pack a little and improve my driving ability," Gunnar said. "By the time this comes along, it will be a big jump.
"(The AER engine) was a no-brainer," he added. "We have good experience with the engine. We've never had an engine problem. We ran a full season with just one issue, which was our issue. They've done a lot for us in return. They're very quick engines, too."
The van der Steur chassis will be the first Radical SR9 to compete in North America. It is the fourth such car constructed by the UK company and will benefit from testing and development of earlier cars that will compete in Europe.
"Ultimately, the first two will have been shaken down and some of the bugs will be worked out in ours," Gunnar said. "That's what we are expecting."