"Home race" for Van Merksteijn Motorsport with Porsche RS Spyder at Spa-Francorchamps

"Home race" for Van Merksteijn Motorsport with Porsche RS Spyder at Spa-Francorchamps

08.05.2008: "Home race" for Van Merksteijn Motorsport with Porsche RS Spyder at Spa-Francorchamps

This weekend, the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in the Belgian Ardennes region will be hosting the third season round of the Le Mans Series. For Dutch team, Van Merksteijn Motorsport by Equipe Verschuur the race at the Belgian Grand Prix circuit is some kind of home event, during which former F1-driver, Jos Verstappen and team owner, Peter van Merksteijn are obviously counting on the enthusiastic support of numerous Dutch fans.

After their victory with the Porsche RS Spyder in the season opener at Barcelona and their second place after a great recovery at Monza, Verstappen and Van Merksteijn are coming to Spa as the leaders in the LMP2 points’ standings. The race at the 7.004 kilometres long circuit will start on Sunday at 12.50 h. Eurosport will be broadcasting the first part of the race from 12.45 till 13.15 h live and will show a full report on Sunday evening from 22.45 h. Motors TV will be covering the race from 12.45 till 14.00 and from 15.00 till 19.00 h.

For Jos Verstappen, the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps is well-known territory. It was here that he scored his best result in Formula 1, finishing third with the Benetton-Ford in 1994. In 1996, he had a massive crash, his worst accident by his own accounts, when a suspension part on his Footwork broke, sending him off into the Armco barriers at high speed. "As a driver, you deal with that fairly quickly", Verstappen says.

"To me, Spa is the most beautiful circuit in Europe, I am really looking forward to the race! It is a drivers’ circuit with many fast corners and because of the length of the track, I expect the differences to be quite big. What is more, it is also our home race. I have already heard that many Dutch fans will be coming to Spa, which always is an extra motivation."

Peter van Merksteijn is also looking forward to racing at Spa. "This circuit is a challenge for every driver. I have raced there often and the track suits me. Moreover, I think that we have found a great set-up of the car thanks to Jos’s input which hopefully will allow us to get another good result." In the first two rounds of the season, Van Merksteijn showed a convincing performance with consistently quick lap times.

"Sometimes, I am a little bit surprised myself that it is all going so well. I reckon that the support by Jos and the good efforts of all the team members are helping me to develop my skills more and more", he says. "On top of that, with the Porsche RS Spyder, we have the best car at our disposal you can possibly think of!"

At Spa, there are two free practice sessions on Friday, May 9th, from 13.00 till 14.00 h and from 16.50 till 17.50 h. On Satuday, May 10th, there is another free practice session from 9.45 till 10.45, followed by qualifying for LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes from 14.20 till 14.40 h. Warm-up is on Sunday morning, May 11th, from 8.45 till 9.05 h, the race with a distance of 143 laps or 1,001.562 kilometres or a maximum duration of six hours will start at 12.50 h.


- René de Boer -  photo Porsche
photos will be on automobilsport.com under PHOTOS - LE MANS SERIES

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/lms-spa-francorchamps-van-merksteijn-motorsport-porsche-rs-spyder-verstappen-jos---37111.html

08.05.2008 / MaP

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