Officially imported in Europe by Equipe Verschuur, the spectacular Chevrolet Camaro GT4 made its competition debut at the Nürburgring last weekend. The combined races of the HTC Dutch GT4 Championship and the GT4 European Cup saw a successful premiere for Equipe Verschuur’s pair of Camaros, driven by Mike Verschuur/Tim Buijs and Donald Molenaar/Ardi van der Hoek. “Calling it a dream debut is fully justified”, says initiator Frans Verschuur.
Early this year, the successful Dutch motorsport entrepreneur decided to bring the Chevrolet Camaro to GT4 regulations, built by Riley Motorsport Technologies in Mooresville, North Carolina, to Europe. Soon after that, Verschuur announced his intention to enter two Camaros under the banner of his own team for the HTC Dutch GT4 Championship, the highest motor racing category in The Netherlands. The fact that it took longer than planned for the cars to make their race debut is also the result of Verschuur’s philosophy, which already helped him score many victories, among others in the Le Mans 24 Hours and various European Renault one-make competitions. “There is no use racing the car when it doesn’t fully suit our requirements. First, we wanted to adapt the Camaro to European standards, and only go racing when we were fully satisfied”, Verschuur explained.
Following a final test at Circuit Park Zandvoort last week, green light was given to participate in the two GT4 races at the Nürburgring. “We could not have asked for a better event to have our maiden race, because next to all the regular competitors from the HTC Dutch GT4 Championship, all the drivers from the GT4 European Cup were present as well, and so were many international media representatives because of the FIA GT1 World Championship. This made the Nürburgring weekend a perfect opportunity to present our Chevrolet Camaro GT4”, said Verschuur.
As it happens so often at the Nürburgring, the weekend was marked by mixed weather conditions. “This allowed us to try several different settings, both in dry and in wet conditions”, said Verschuur. “Technically, the car didn’t miss one beat, so that we could focus entirely on the set-up of the chassis.” In first free practice, the Camaros already showed a surprising performance with fourth and fifth fastest time in a field of 34 cars in total. Eventually, Donald Molenaar and Ardi van der Hoek were classified sixth overall in both races. In the HTC Dutch GT4 rankings, they ended up fourth in race one and fifth in race two. Due to a problem in qualifying, Tim Buijs and Mike Verschuur finished 18th overall and ninth in the Dutch classification in the first race and 15th and ninth respectively in the second encounter.
“We are happy with this debut”, said Frans Verschuur. “Many teams and drivers contacted us, showing great interest in our cars. With these two cars and driver pairings, we will definitely compete in the remaining two race meetings of the HTC Dutch GT4 Championship at Circuit Park Zandvoort. The Chevrolet Camaro has a lot of potential, that has become quite clear!”