The last time Jos Menten got behind the wheel of a Corvette C6.R was back in October 2006. The 27 years young driver from Haelen reached an agreement with Phoenix Carsport - winners of last year's Total 24 Hours of Spa. This German team, which is...
The last time Jos Menten got behind the wheel of a Corvette C6.R was back in October 2006. The 27 years young driver from Haelen reached an agreement with Phoenix Carsport - winners of last year's Total 24 Hours of Spa. This German team, which is competing with two Corvette C6.Rs in the FIA GT championship, will be counting on the capable hands of Jos Menten, Uwe Alzen, Alexandros Margaritis and Robert Schlünssen with their power beast bearing race number 6. Alzen and Margaritis need no introduction. Both these drivers have been active, with great success, in the Deutsche Tourwagen Masters for several years. For Menten Schlünssen is an old acquaintance from his Formula Renault 2.0 period and is presently competing in the Danish Touring car championship
With two top teams Phoenix Racing has clear-cut ambitions. Following on from their victory in 2007 the Corvette-team is aiming at a double. The quartet competing in car with race number 5 are the regular drivers since the beginning of the season. These fixed assets comprised out of Mike Hezemans, Fabrizio Gollin, Jean-Denis Deletraz and Marcel Fässler, winners of the Total 24 Hours of Spa 2007, are once again going for gold. "The Corvette C6.R is truly a pleasure to drive. In 2006 I competed in the Le Mans Series and several FIA GT races with a version entered by PSI Experience. At that time the car was most of the time shod with Dunlop tyres, not really allowing the car's full potential to be shown", Menten recalls
"The basic concept of the Corvette C6.R is perfect. The powerful V8-motor comes into its own in the rigid streamlined chassis. When you then add Michelin as tyre supplier you have an outstanding weapon with which to successfully round off a 24 hours event. Both Corvette Racing as also the private client teams have shown the Corvette C6.R to be an exceptionally reliable war horse!", the Dutchman continued.
"The 24 Hours of Spa is a gruelling race. As with all long distance events two rules of thumb apply: whoever manages to avoid problems and spend the least amount of time in the pitlane, clinches the laurels. Phoenix Carsport is a tremendously professional team and together with my fellow warriors we're going to give the competition a run for their money", a combative Jos Menten commented. "Our ambitions? Both the #5 and the #6 boast highly homogenous drivers. In principle both cars should be battling it out up front during the entire race. However we must bear in mind that Hezemans and co have set their sights on the title. We therefore won't be putting a spoke in their wheels should it come down to an outright duel."
The first power meeting took place today on the circuit of Spa- Francorchamps. In the morning session Jos Menten promptly proved that the Corvette C6.R was made for the part. In the fifth lap he clocked up the best overall lap time before handing over the drive to his team-mates. In the remaining three hours nobody is able to improve on Menten's fast time. "The Corvette comes perfectly into its own in the wet. We hardly had to carry out any work on the set-up. All we had to do was climb aboard, push on the accelerator and the lap times appeared just like that", Menten recalls his first laps.
During the midday halt the rain stopped and Uwe Alzen then took to the track for the start of the afternoon session. However the German skidded off the track, and the team needed two hours to patch up the Corvette. The team management then let Alzen, Schlünssen and Margaritis in turn become acquainted with the power beast: "They worked off the major part of the remaining two hours seeing they have the least experience with the Corvette C6.R. Our team-mates in the other car were the fastest on the dry track, whilst Alex registered the third best time. We have the speed. Now impatiently waiting for the race week!"