Team Orange Spyker at Le Mans 2003

First traning session

Team Orange Spyker's C8 Double 12R used the evening sessions exclusively for
set up purposes. A number of damper and spring settings were tried resulting
in a fastest lap time of 4.21.473.

Victor Muller, Team Manager, said: "We did not push for a fastest lap time
yet nor did we use Dunlop qualifiers. We ran into an awkward electrical
problem that cost us an hour to solve. At the end of the second session the
car handled considerably better but we will continue our set up exercise
tonight and will improve lap times. We should be around the May test day
tome of 4.18 by the end of the day".
Tom Coronel: "This is my first experience with the car at Le Mans since I
could not attend the May test the May test days due to my Japanese
commitment. The potential of the car is a very positive sensation sensation as is the fact to race at Le Mans in a closed car. I am convinced that we will improve our lap times tonight".

Team Orange Spyker 2nd evening tests
The set up exercises initiated yesterday were continued today successfully. Final adjustments to camber, shocks and springs led to a drastic lap time reduction from 4.21.884 on Wednesday to 4.18.887 yesterday that is virtually identical to the lap time during the May test days.
Norman Simon: ”At the beginning of the second test we intended to qualify around 4.16.5 but I ran into traffic and missed the opportunity to use our Dunlop qualifiers to the best. The car handles very well now, is comfortable to drive and is relatively fast bearing in mind our penalties” (70 kgs of ballast and 15% smaller restrictor).
Tom Coronel:” I set the fastest lap on 20 laps old tyres at the end of the first test session and was convinced that I could take 2,5 seconds off on qualifiers. Like Norman I did not get the chance to finish a clean lap because a GT car spun in front of me and the yellow flag came out. The set up changes during the test days have greatly improved the car’s behaviour. I am confidant that we found the balance between speed and reliability, the latter being of most importance to us. We have one goal and one goal only: Finish.”
Victor Muller, Team Manager: “We will start from the 47th position overall at 12 th position in class. We have spent the time between last year’s event and today by improving reliability and we are determined to finish this race. We sincerely hope that thousands and thousands of Dutch fans will come to support us. I cannot wait to welcome them on Saturday”
GT Class final Qualifying results 
Car No Drivers Time
1) Porsche 93 Luhr L./Maassen S./Collard E. 4:06.984
2) Porsche 81 Buckler K./Bergmeister J./Bernard T. 4:07.028
3) Porsche 87 Hindery L./BaronP./Lieb M. 4:10.292
4) Porsche 78 Liddel R../Masarati P./Wranock D 4:11.623
5) Ferrari 94 Kelleners R./Lazzaro A./Borcheller T. 4:11.865
6) Porsche 77 Yogo A./Nishizawa K./Iida A. 4:13.104
7) Ferrari 95 Mohwleim J./Lewis S./Leitzinger 4:15.342
8) Porsche 83 Burgess T./Shep.D/Bagnall.A 4:16.792
9) TVR 92 Sugden T/Jordan M./Caine M. 4:16.872
10) Ferrari 70 Terrien D./De Simone F/Babini F. 4:17.138
11) Porsche 75 Neugarten M./Smith N./Khan I. 4:18.579
12) Spyker 85 Coronel T./Hugenholtz H./Simon N. 4:18.887
13) Ferrari 99 Lesoudier G./Barde A./Ferte M. 4:20.245
14) TVR 91 Stanton R./Hay R./Barff R. 4:20.288
15) Porsche 84 Ickx V./Bourdais P./Berville R. 4:26.499

Team Orange Spyker: the first 8 hours
Team Orange Spyker’s C8 Double12 R has encountered a number of technical problems during the first 8 hours.
In the second hour of the race Tom Coronel lost his right hand front wheel but managed to bring the car in without any damage to suspension or brakes. A new wheel was fitted and the race was continued. Half an hour later the car came back in with the right hand rear shock non functioning. It was repaired and in total approximately 20 minutes were lost.
The car ran flawlessly until the beginning of the 7th hour when the differential broke. Coronel managed to bring the car to the entrance of the pit lane which it had to enter under its own power. After ten nerve wrecking minutes the car managed to cross the pit lane line and was brought into the box where a new gearbox was fitted. At 11.00 pm the car resumed the race with Coronel back at the wheel


Team Orange Spyker: the full 24 hours
Spyker finishes at Le Mans the second time it participates
Team Orange Spyker’s C8 Double12 R (chassis number 009) finished the 2003 edition of the 24-hours of Le Mans in 31st position overall and 10th in GT class. After a night plagued gearbox and clutch problems the car performed without any fault between 8.30 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. Other than fuel problems and tyres the car required nothing.
Victor Muller, Spyker CEO, said at the finish line:”Last year Spyker was the first Dutch car manufacturer to participate at Le Mans. Only in my most ambitious dreams I believed we would be the first Dutch car manufacturer to finish at Le Mans. I wish to thank the ten thousands of Dutch supporters who came to Le Sarthe. It was an unforgettable moment when Hans Hugenholtz passed the finish line at 4 o’clock. I was speechless. Our crew under the management of Peter van Erp has performed so well and the logo of Spyker’s “Nulla tenaci invia est via” (for the tenacious no road is impassable”) applies to each and every one of them. 
Hans Hugenholtz, four time Le Mans veteran: “This was the hardest fought battle I ever had at Le Mans, but we got there and the sight of the Dutch fans along the track gave us wings. What an achievement for an 18 month old team”


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