Gillet Vertigo Streiff in FIA GT Brussels/Gembloux - After months and months waiting the Belgian Racing team of Tony Gillet unveiled their plans for the 2005 season with the exceptional Gillet Vertigo Streiff. A limited but exotic FIA...
Gillet Vertigo Streiff in FIA GT
Brussels/Gembloux - After months and months waiting the Belgian Racing team of Tony Gillet unveiled their plans for the 2005 season with the exceptional Gillet Vertigo Streiff. A limited but exotic FIA GT programme in the G2 class. Renaud Kuppens and Bas Leinders are named to drive the car.
With the major successes of last years 24 Hours of Spa and the Bahrain exhibition GT race Tony Gillet started to look out for a new challenge with his Vertigo and he found one in the FIA GT Championship. This step towards the FIA GT championship is a huge leap for us but a logical one. It would be unwise to stay in Belgium with this beautiful car and the potential that he has. Race fans all over the world know our car and the time has come to show the car to the rest of the world on the circuit. We competed several times in the 24 Hours of Spa and so we know quite well what to expect of the FIA GT championship. The main target for the team is to take part with the magnificent Gillet Vertigo in a magnificent race, the 24 hours of Le Mans and the participation on the FIA GT Championship is the best possible way to achieve this dream for a small team like ours.
Five events are scheduled for this first year in FIA GT. More in concrete: Italy (Imola), Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps), China (Zuhai) and Dubai and the season-closer in Bahrain. To compete a full season is not realistic at the moment but with this limited program we have the opportunity to attract new partners and Asia and the Middle East are also interesting countries from a commercial point of view to attract potential buyers of a road version of the Vertigo.
In the mid-season the Gillet underwent quite a few modifications in order to meet to FIA GT rules and to challenge the championship to the fullest. Italian tuner Ellegi Motori signs for a totally revised Alfa Romeo 3 litres engine. This is the same block as used in last years 24hours of Spa. Probably the most important change under the bodywork is the new gearbox. The Belgian Racing team also signed a contract with tyres-manufacturer Dunlop.
Renaud Kuppens and Bas Leinders are named to race the Vertigo this season and probably Sébastien Ugeux will join them for the Spa-Francorchamps' twice around the clock race. Kuppens and Leinders are both very experienced and they are familiar with the car.
Renaud Kuppens: Good news for us. Tony Gillet gave me a call and told me about the fantastic program for this season and off course I did not hesitate a second. I am looking forward to defend this year again the colours of Gillet, the only Belgian car manufacturer in the world championship. To be a part of the FIA GT Championship is great, we already drove in Spa during the 24h but this is something different - now we are in G2, a strong and competitive class with a couple of Moslers in it. But overall the first race will be a good test for us ahead of the Spa 24 hours.
Bas Leinders: "We did the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa and the Bahrain GT Festival last year," "Our sponsors decided to do more races, and the first is Imola, partly as a preparation for this year's Spa round. I am really glad to be part of this 100% Belgian effort.
That the car exists and can race is in itself a small miracle."
"I know Imola quite well, I've raced there in F3000 and tested there in Formula One," he continued. "It's a very nice and challenging circuit, and I'm looking forward to driving there agian. We'll be up against the Mosler, which is a very fast car. But for us, Imola is mainly to see how the car works, as the team has made changes to the gearbox, brakes and other parts. Our aim is therefore to see if everything goes well in race conditions, and to finish as far forward as we can, even if we can't score points. It is a practice session for Spa, which is very important for all Belgian teams and drivers, and is becoming an increasingly important event for all drivers. I am very happy to be part of the FIA GT Championship again."