Silverstone: Spyker Squadron race report

Podium finish for Spyker Squadron In excellent weather conditions the factory Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R finished on the podium today. The Spyker Squadron C8 Spyder, driven by Scottish Peter Dumbreck and Dutchman Mike Hezemans, finished third...

Podium finish for Spyker Squadron

In excellent weather conditions the factory Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R finished on the podium today. The Spyker Squadron C8 Spyder, driven by Scottish Peter Dumbreck and Dutchman Mike Hezemans, finished third in class behind a Ferrari and Porsche in the fifth round of the Le Mans Series: the 1000km of Silverstone. Swiss Spyker dealer team ‘Speedy Racing' finished just behind the factory car in a fourth position.

Peter van Erp, director Spyker Squadron: "We have really deserved this podium position today. We have had so many setbacks this season that I am glad that everything worked out as planned today. We are almost at the end of the LMS season and preparing ourselves for 2008 and this really helps us a lot to make a step forward. But, most of all, I am happy for the mechanics: the guys worked day-and-night, almost 365 days a year, and really deserved this podium result".

The last European race in the Le Mans Series started well for the Dutch manufacturer of hand-built super cars. Since the first practice sessions on Friday both Spyker C8's showed their pace. No matter if it was the second- or third free-practice session or even qualifying; in all sessions one of the Spyker's finished with a top-3 time. Dunlop supplied the team with an evolution of the tires normally fitted to the car and these, in combination with a changed suspension-geometry, worked very well this weekend.

The 1000km race started at 12:00 local time in sunny conditions. From a fifth position on the grid Mike Hezemans started in the Spyker Squadron car. No accidents occurred in the rolling start and Mike could hold position in the grey and orange Squadron car.

Just before the half hour mark the safety car was sent out because a huge billboard let loose and fell on the track. Unfortunately the safety car did no only catch the leader but also eight cars that should have received a wave-by to remain in the same lap. The team went to see the race director to ask for a wave-by and he acknowledged the request. He promised the team to let by the eight cars caught between safety car en race-leader. Unfortunately, just seconds after the cars were allowed to pass the safety car, green flag was given and the eight cars were never able to rejoin the back of the field in time.

Peter van Erp: "I was really disappointed in the decision the race directors made early in the race. Due to this safety car situation they isolated the top-3 in GT2 from the rest of the field by giving them immediately a one-lap advantage".

Later in the race both Mike and Peter had some problems with traffic. Mike was hit twice by other cars; first by a GT1 Corvette and later by a prototype, whilst Peter also got in contact with a prototype. During the third pit stop the team paid some extra attention to the wheel suspension but fortunately the car was not damaged and could later, after five hours and forty minutes racing, finish in a third place.

Peter Dumbreck: "It was a great performance for the team and I think we have done a decent job ourselves. As far as the car goes a lot is down to Dunlop's new version of the tires on the car. They are the same as been used by the Ferrari's for a while and are a big advantage. It seems that the Spyker C8 Spyder suits this track more than other tracks so we have come away with third and fourth positions so that is a great result".

Mike Hezemans: "I was very happy that I got the pole here in the FIA GT recently. Spyker asked me to drive this 1000km LMS race for them and as I really like Silverstone it did not took much time for me to accept the offer. The first and last stint were good, the second stint was a bit more difficult as I came in contact with a Corvette. The car was great from the first moment I drove this weekend and it was really nice to finish with Spyker on the podium here".

Peter van Erp: "Our podium finish today is really down to the enormous effort that everyone, from team-catering staff and factory personnel to senior management, has put into this project. The car was fantastic today and I am very pleased with the performance of Mike and Peter. The new Dunlop tires were great but also credits for the way the team made use of the new rubber".

He continues: "Our sister-team Speedy Racing has also done an excellent job. The Kane/Belicchi/Chiesa driven C8 Spyder always ran within 30 seconds of the factory car and I am happy they finished in fourth place".

-credit: spykersquadron.com

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Peter Dumbreck , Mike Hezemans