The Blancpain Endurance Series will start on the 14th and 15th of April in Monza, Italy. This competition, only open for GT cars, counts five races of three hours and of course the Spa 24 Hours, at the end of July.
This series mean also a new challenge for double European champion ProSpeed Competition. The Belgian team has serious ambitions entering two Porsche 911 GT3-R. The #74, with Paul Van Splunteren, Maxime Soulet and Dylan Derdaele, will race in the Pro-Am category, while Marc Goossens, Xavier Maassen and Marc Hennerici will try to gain success in the Pro Cup driving the #75. The collaboration with 19-year old Dylan Derdaele proves once again that ProSpeed Competition is able to scout young talent. Dylan Derdaele, double champion in Belcar GT Open, will enter his first full international season, following in the footsteps of Maxime Soulet an Enzo Ide, two other Belgian youngsters.
The Blancpain Endurance Series only start its second season, but even after only one year, this championship is already one of the major international GT series. This year’s calendar counts five races of three hours, where three drivers will take the wheel of the Porsche 911. The series will visit five major European countries, from Italy, over England, France, Germany to Spain. At the end of July, the drivers and teams will be heading towards Belgium for the classic and mythical 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Young Dylan Derdaele will join Paul Van Splunteren and Maxime Soulet in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Derdaele is 19 and has a racing father, with whom he won his class in Belgian’s Belcar championship. Derdaele discovered the Blancpain Endurance Series last year in Silverstone and is now ready for his first full international season.
Rudi Penders (Team Principal): “There is no pressure on the shoulders of young Dylan. ProSpeed Competition will enter a top car in both classes: Pro and Pro-Am. We’re focussed on performing strongly throughout the season. I won’t do any predictions, with over 50 cars on the starting grid, that’s simply impossible. We will do everything possible to be on top of the result sheets, that’s for sure.”
Paul Van Splunteren (Porsche 911 GT3-R #74 – « Pro-Am » Cup): “I’m always delighted to take on a new season, especially when I’m competing in a Porsche. 2012 will be no exception to the rule. The Blancpain definitely represents a new challenge, however knowing both ProSpeed and my young teammates Maxime Soulet
and Dylan Derdaele, I know that we’re on solid foundations. I wish to take this opportunity to welcome the arrival of Remeha, specialists in low energy boilers, who will be joining our faithful partners NEC, HTC and Bilderberg.”
Maxime Soulet (Porsche 911 GT3-R #74 – « Pro-Am » Cup): “I’m less impatient compared to my teammates as my season already has started and what’s more it has started on a high with a win in the first round of the European Le Mans Series in Paul Ricard. I’m very glad to race again in my Porsche 911 GT3-R, now in the version 2012. The fact that we now have shift paddles on the steering wheel will make it easier to change gear and overall we will be able to concentrate even more on racing. Physically it’s also better.”
Dylan Derdaele (Porsche 911 GT3-R #74 – « Pro-Am » Cup): “Winter was long and I look really forward to my first international season. I’ve been testing a lot so far, also with the team of Luc Goris and Rudi Penders. I’m very impressed by the professional approach of the team. My teammates Paul Van Splunteren and
Maxime Soulet will do everything to let me improve in excellent conditions. The aim is to score in our Porsche, put in the colour scheme of my faithful partner Soleco.”
Marc Goossens (Porsche 911 GT3-R #75 – « Pro » Cup): “The implication was carefully thought out because ProSpeed Competition does not appear in the Blancpain Endurance Series empty handed. The team boasts a solid expertise in the GT3 category, as was proven by its European champion’s title in 2010. And the team is equally well versed when it comes to “pitstops”. This quality, a vital priority when it comes to endurance events, earned the team the Prix Escra (Best Technical Support, ed) at the last Le Mans 24H.”
Xavier Maassen (Porsche 911 GT3-R #75 – « Pro » Cup): “I am delighted to join up with ProSpeed Competition. My wish was to have the best possible “package” available with, as ambition, to play up front in the competition. The latter is going to be pretty fearsome, what with no less than fifty cars at the start! However we have all the means in hand to prove ourselves… and I am fully motivated not only to perform brilliantly in the 24 Hours of Spa, but to excel when it comes down to the final count.”
Marc Hennerici (Porsche 911 GT3-R #75 – « Pro » Cup): “Monza is one of the most exciting race tracks in the world. I love such “high speed” tracks and have good memories about Monza, as I won both WTCC Independent Trophy races in 2005. We had some good tests with Prospeed, but we have to wait until the qualifying to know exactly, how strong our package will be. For me, 2012 is a special year, because this is the 10th anniversary of the partnership between MoWeKo, Dr.Koch and myself. So we are very happy to have such a strong package for this coming season.”