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A further podium for Rodrigue Gillion and his coach Nico Verdonck

Professional driver for more than 15 years, Nico Verdonck has in parallel with his sporting career activities taken on that of being a coach. “I can assure you that this is not as yet a total reconversion ahead of time”, the 33-year-old Belgian jokingly commented. “I’m obviously continuing my career, but I must admit that this coaching window captivates me... and it is ever growing. For many years now I have offered advice to drivers of all ages and in all disciplines. One day I might be training children at an indoor/outdoor karting, whereas the following day I’m helping a gentleman driver giving himself a treat at the wheel of a super car, modern or classic. I have even mentored drivers who then have gone on to compete in the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring or the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Last year I also won, together with Marcus von Oeynhausen, the Spa 6 Hours Historic in his Ford GT40. But over the course of time, the opportunity arose to take on a new, more global approach.”
 
In concrete terms, as of now Nico Verdonck offers drivers a full package development programme. “It’s something that I started with Rodrigue Gillion”,he explains. “I very promptly realised that he had aptitudes and a good approach. We then worked on a fully personalised development programme based, obviously on driving, but also in such domains as physical condition, mindset, simulator work, general car control not forgetting the relationship between teams and engineers.”
 
After less than a year, the work is bearing its fruits. Together with Rodrigue we defined a plan based on his ambitions, his capabilities and budget”,Nico clarified. “And we incorporated two major windows in the 2019 season, with on the menu some ten races. After having competed at the Dubai24h we will be participating in five rounds of the VW Fun Cup with the DRM Motorsport team as also five events of the 24 Hours Series of Creventic with an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 entered by the PROsport Performance, with whom I have collaborated on numerous occasions in the past and are highly professional.”
 
In the wake of their podium in Dubai and an encouraging start in the VW Fun Cup at Mettet, this last weekend Rodrigue Gillion and Nico Verdonck competed in the Mugello12h, together with the Indian Akhil Rabindra. Thanks to their excellent second place in the GT4 category, and similar to the United Arab Emirates at the beginning of January – they were once again able to enjoy the pleasure of being on the podium. 
 
“I have worked with Nico Verdonck since the 2018 Spa12, and he is both my coach and teammate in the races”,a delighted Rodrigue Gillion commented. “In addition to being a fantastic driver who dispenses very good advice, he’s an excellent coach bringing me a great deal of structure, both on and off the track. Together we set up this plan to help me perfect my skills and Nico advised me on the choice of championships, cars and teams. As I was a latecomer in motorsport, it’s the best way for me to make headway as quickly as possible!”
 
The new Aston Martin Vantage GT4 has proven to be a well-born car, perfectly balanced offering its driver – be it a professional or an amateur – full confidence. Once again it will be at its wheel that Nico and Rodrigue will be competing on home ground, on the greatest circuit in the world, during the Spa12h. The meeting takes place on the 19th and 20th of April.
 
“For this race we have a full team, but still have availability for the events at Brno, Portimao and the Circuit of The Americas, in Texas”,Nico explained. “All interested drivers may contact me via e-mail at communication@nicoverdonck.be to eventually join our programme.”