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24h Le Mans | Present for the 7th time in a row
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 07:19

13239970 948088478623421 747015895502640033 nTONGEREN (BEL) – Belgian ProSpeed Competition will appear at the start of the mythical 24 Hours of Le Mans for the seventh consecutive time. For the first time since 2010 the Tongeren based team will not be competing with a Porsche 911, but with the car that won the LM GTE class last year: the Corvette C7.R. ProSpeed Competition is entering the American GTE for the American Mark Patterson, the Brit Oliver Bryant and last but not least the American Johnny O'Connell. Johnny O'Connell has won no less than three times the LM GTE class with the Corvette at Le Mans and on top of that has appeared five times on the podium. He has previously won the IMSA GTS class with Nissan. The Belgian team's ambition is clear-cut: the podium in the LM GTE Am class.

The story started back in 2010 with the Belgian-Dutch trio comprised out of Louis Machiels-Paul van Splunteren-Niek Hommerson and a 7th place in the GT2 class, where at that time no distinction was made between Pro and Pro/Am. This was followed by a further six participations with such great names as Marco Holzer, Marc Goossens, Mike Parisy, Xavier Maassen, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Jaap Van Lagen to name but a few. In 2011 ProSpeed Competition won the ESCRA Award, for the best technical team. In 2015 the team started a collaboration with the Taiwanese TEAM AAI, a collaboration that ProSpeed Competition, led by Team Principal Rudi Penders and Technical Director Luc Goris, are continuing this year. Worth noting that after six participations, with in each case one or two Porsche 911 GT3-R, this season ProSpeed Competition is taking another tack. Namely last year's winning car, the Corvette C7.R, will be the muscle machine that the fans will be able to admire on the renowned French track.

Rudi Penders (ProSpeed Competition team principal)

"It is in fact the chassis that last year was the first across the finish line, an exceptionally modern racing car, fully equipped with all that is required to win such a gruelling human and technical adventure. It goes without saying that with three strong drivers, who offer up a perfect mix of experience and youthful talent, the ambition is to finish high up. Mark Patterson, Oliver Bryant and last but not least Johnny O'Connell form a homogenous trio, and where the experience of O'Connell, three times winner in the LM GTE with Corvette, will gives us an additional boost."

Luc Goris (ProSpeed Competition technical director)

"For us this is an important step in the team's history. For many years and still today, we worked together with Porsche and all the experience we built up with the German make, also means that today we are also in a position to perform with other constructors. The team's structure, the know-how and the technical expertise we can now use to go into battle with the Corvette in this 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For us this collaboration is a beginning, but absolutely not an ending. ProSpeed Competition has been preparing this participation for months and we are ready to now take our first step during the test day on the 5th of June towards a great result."

The 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans kicks off with a test day on the 5th of June. Scrutineering then takes place in the centre of Le Mans on Sunday 12th and Monday the 13th of June, while the true work gets going on Wednesday 15th of June with the first timed practice sessions. The start of the world's greatest race, the 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be given on Saturday the 18th of June on the dot of 15.00hrs.

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