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Press release 24h of Spa, Francorchamps (B)

Last weekend, Nico Verdonck was at the start of the 24H of Spa-Francorchamps. For the 64th edition of the event, Boutsen Ginion was ready with two magnificent McLarens MP4-12c. Nico Verdonck was coupled with 5-fold winner and record holder Eric van de Poele as well as permanent colleagues Jack Clarke and Edouard Mondron. The weekend started brilliantly under a beautiful sun and summer temperatures. During the qualifications, Nico Verdonck finished in a stunning sixth place overall and second in the class. Only the car from a McLaren pilot plant finished a fraction before the 26-year-old resident from Brussels.

“The car was very good today”, Nico commented after the qualifications. “The set-up, tires, speed, everything was there today in the car. I was even able to go a bit faster if I would have had a free round, but this is the same for everyone", ended Verdonck his commentary after the qualification. The start on Saturday afternoon was again completed in beautiful weather. Nico Verdonck took the driver's seat and after a superb overtaking manoeuvre at the foot of the Raidillon, actually before the crowded bleachers, he went from P6 to P4. The resident from Brussels did, however, have to 'race' on the grass for a bit with his McLaren.

Verdonck gave the wheel to his colleagues in P3 and after 4H of racing he took the wheel back again. However, after 6H of racing the unthinkable happened. After an abrupt manoeuvre of Klaas Hommel with another McLaren while steering into "La Source", the other car landed as a bowling ball in Nico's flank. The entire front of the Boutsen McLaren was driven to shreds. At that moment, Nico had a brilliant fifth place overall and was first in class & had returned to the same lap as the riders by himself! “You will not believe this. A complete team, 4 pilots, 30 mechanics, 1000 guests and all the other people involved are victims of this action. Some gentlemen pilots must realize that when they are 6 to 8 seconds per lap slower than us, they should not try to fight for the honour of a stupid corner, this is really witnessing incompetence.

Nevertheless, I would like to thank every team member of Boutsen Ginion for their efforts, as they have worked day and night! McLaren even came with new updates on Wednesday, which again proves that McLaren works very hard to make sure that the MP4-12C GT3 is competitive & reliable. Finally, a big thanks to ALD-Automotive, CPL-Trans and all other partners, guests and fans who have supported us.”