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Disappointing result for Jos Menten in 24 Hours of Spa
Everything had started off so well for Jos Menten in Spa-Francorchamps. The Haelen based driver teamed up with Xavier Maassen had started from pole position for the qualifying race of the new FIA GT1 World Championship. Menten and his team mate Maassen dominated the qualifying race and the Limburg duo left the competition behind them. Similarly in the Championship Race it appeared as though the duo would once again be aiming for victory unchallenged … until fate threw a spanner in the works.

“Right from the start the Lambos appeared to be very fast. Xavier was immediately forced to set about catching up, but some six laps later we were back in control up front. At that moment I was getting prepared for my stint, when in the eighth lap Xavier passed on the message via the on board radio that the right rear tyre had given up the ghost. Obviously most unfortunate, because if you analyse the course of the race we could easily have won here. Damage to the Corvette C6.R was too severe to carry on the race. No longer was there any point in doing so. All the same I can hold my head high when I look back on our performance. We showed the world what we were capable of, and we can quite rightly be proud of that”, is how Menten summed up the Championship Race.

While Jos Menten was digesting the events in the World Championship race he was preparing himself for the start of the 24 Hours of Spa. ProSpeed Competition’s team management had entrusted Menten to take the start in the Porsche 911 GT3 R, but unfortunately this did not run smoothly. The white-blue Porsche bearing start number 60 loses ground and Menten is called in for a pitstop earlier than scheduled. “The car’s balance was far from being optimum. Lap after lap the situation worsened. I gave it my all, but it was impossible to keep up with the front runners”, the 29 year old Dutchman sighed after his first stint.

Ever changing weather conditions do not make it any easier for ProSpeed Competition. Notwithstanding the fact that the GT3 power beast is fitted with ABS, it remains extremely difficult to fight it out with the GT2 cars. As the race becomes more stable the Menten-Slingerland-Soulet-Schroyen quartet begin their upward climb. Unfortunately during the night their endeavours are abruptly interrupted. One of Menten’s team mates is nudged off track by a Lamborghini, whereby valuable time is lost in carrying out repairs. A further contact around noon time with another car of the ProSpeed team cost Menten and cohorts ten laps.

“Just as several cars ahead of us started experiencing mechanical problems we were nudged by another car of the team”, a dissatisfied Menten told us. “You don’t win a 24 Hour race in one bend. As the cars ahead of us were having problems a GT3 podium was still a realistic target, notwithstanding the time we had lost during the night. Any hope of clinching a podium place went up in smoke around midday. We fought it out for all we were worth during the last few hours, but couldn’t achieve anything better than a seventh place in our class.”

The ProSpeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 R #60 crossed the line at 16.00hrs, finishing fifteenth overall and seventh in GT3. Overall the 24 Hours of Spa was not a great success for ProSpeed Competition, with two retirements, a seventh place overall as also a fifteenth overall. “The team left nothing to chance, but you have no control over how the race evolves. Last year luck was on my side, in one of the greatest editions of this event. Unfortunately on Saturday and Sunday it was bad luck that opted to be on my side. Too bad, really unfortunate”, Menten concluded.
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