Total 24 Hours of Spa 2013


The VDS GT001-R will not be at the start of the 24 Hours of Spa …


VDS GT001-RWith more than 200 races under his belt and no less than 118 podiums and 62 victories clinched, Raphaël van der Straten is now known as the man who brought about the latest Belgian car, namely the VDS GT001!

The racing version of this rather special GT, christened GT001-R, competed in the 24 Hours of Dubai in January, where it quite logically sorted out some of its teething problems.
Quite normal after but a dozen odd testing hours during preparation.

Since its return to the VDS Cars workshops, this GT001-R was fully dismantled and analysed right down to the last bolt in order to take stock of this first race appearance.

We realised that in addition to the improvements decided upon in Dubai there are quite a few things to modify, move, reconsider in order to make the car both more reliable and competitive, Raphaël van der Straten explained. Good news however. Some two weeks ago the car underwent a series of tests in order to study the chassis’ rigidity, and the outcome of this study, led by Patrick Bataille, is positive! The following stage consists out of thirty odd aerodynamic tests in the Saint Cyr wind tunnel, near Paris.

A continuation of the programme that undoubtedly will lead to further modifications …

In order to prepare the car properly as also all these aerodynamic appendages for these wind tunnel tests, we will require two weeks, Raphaël continued. This brings us very close to the date initially planned to travel to France. As such these aerodynamic tests have been rescheduled for 25th June. In turn this means that our homologation race with a view to the 24 Hours of Spa, to be held during the weekend of the 8th and 9th June at Francorchamps during the BRCC, could only be carried out with the car in its present configuration, without any major evolutions, and therefore without the possibility of homologating any modification. It was a difficult decision to make, but in fact we had no other choice: the VDS GT001-R will not be at the start of the 24 Hours of Spa 2013!

Nevertheless we can rest assured, Raphaël van der Straten’s 2013 programme is far from falling though.
We will see him in action during several rounds of the BGDC with the Honda Civic that offered him a podium in Class D at the Trophée des Fagnes, at the 24 Hours of Zolder with a car still to be specified, at the 24 Hours of Barcelona with the same Civic, in addition to other eventual surprises.

As for the VDS GT001-R, its following race will most probably be … the 24 Hours of Dubai in 2014, where we hope to come away with a good result", a smiling Raphaël commented.

Certainly a fairly distant date, but in the van der Straten family they never had the reputation for doing things by halves …

Vincent Franssen

Free of rights - Clic to enlarge