Eric De Doncker joins Leinders and Kuppens for the Spa 24 Hours Next weekend, the German track in Oschersleben is the setting for the third round of the FIA- GT Championship. Bas Leinders, Renaud Kuppens and all the other members of the Marc VDS...
Eric De Doncker joins Leinders and Kuppens for the Spa 24 Hours
Next weekend, the German track in Oschersleben is the setting for the third round of the FIA- GT Championship. Bas Leinders, Renaud Kuppens and all the other members of the Marc VDS Racing Team will use this race to further develop their Ford GT.
"If we can remain faultless throughout the weekend, I wouldn't be surprised if we get into the top-6", Bas Leinders states. "The car has shown a great potential during the first two rounds of the season and this track should suit us rather well. I really like the technical section and the two straights are not too long, so we won't get penalised too much for our current lack of top speed."
Even though the Marc VDS Racing Team is focussing fully on this third race of the season, it would like to use the track time to further develop their car, especially since the next round is the Spa 24 Hours. For that most important race of the year Eric De Doncker will join the team as the third driver on the Ford. "Eric has already won a GT3-race with the Ford GT this year. He knows the Ford Racing staff very well and he is a very reliable driver, which is very important if somebody joins a duo that races together for a whole season", Leinders says. "Eric has a lot of experience and knows how to adapt his driving style to the state of the car. In long endurance races, such as the 24 Hours, that is a major advantage."
Eric De Doncker drove his Mustang FR 500C to two championship wins in the GT4 European Cup, and just like Leinders and Kuppens he started driving the Ford GT this season, albeit in GT3-form. The step up to GT1 does not scare him. "I am delighted that the team asked me to drive for them during the Spa 24 Hours, a race which I consider to be greatest of them all, except for Le Mans", De Doncker says. The 47-year old competed a dozen times in the Spa 24 hours motorcycle event, before switching to four wheels. In his four participations, he ended on the podium once, when he claimed third spot in 2001. "I suspect that the differences between the cars are not that important, a part from the downforce and the carbon brakes. First and foremost my goal is to get the finish, but if all goes well, I am sure we can get into the top-5. Especially since I am convinced that Renaud, Bas and I are very compatible drivers. We will never try to outshine eachother. I am very motivated for this one and have already started a thorough physical preparation. I do not want to let down my good friend Marc van der Straeten."
So, even though there is the German round of the championship this weekend, the Spa 24 Hours, on 25th and 26th July the highlight of the season for the Marc VDS Racing Team, is already in the back of everybody's mind.
-credit: marc vds