The penultimate round of the European Le Mans Series at Spa-Francorchamps turned into a huge disappointment for myself and the Eurointernational team. In the rain, I hit a puddle and spun out of the race, while fighting for a top spot. Very, very sorry because we were having a great race until that moment.
A second home race
For many Dutch drivers, Spa-Francorchamps is like a second home race and it’s the same for me. A great track in the Ardennes, where a drive gets rewarded for his skills. It’s also a track where the weather plays a huge part. The micro climate around Soa has brought many unexpected rain showers in the past and last weekend was no exception.
Let’s start at the beginning: free practice and qualifying went very well. The car was great and we were constantly at or around the top of the charts. My teammate was in the car for qualifying and he drove the car to second place on the grid, so we had a great prospect for the race. AT the start of the race it was raining already and it just got worse and worse.
After an hour and a half of racing, I took over from my teammate and immediately realised how bad it was. I never drove in these conditions. The spray was enormous and when you got overtaken by an LMP2, the blinking light of the car disappeared almost instantly. Despite all this, I felt great in the car. The rain was intense but I could find a good rhythm.
An early exit
At Pouhon, the quick left-hander at the back of the circuit, it all went wrong. I went wide at entry and spun on a puddle, while trying to get back on the racetrack. This meant the end of my race immediately.
These moments are always very hard to take, especially because the safety car came out a short while after my accident. Unfortunately, these moments are part of the sport. The only thing I can do, is apologise to the Eurointernational team, take responsibility and learn from this.
So that’s exactly what we’re going to do. I’ll learn from this and focus on the season finale at Portimao. I’m looking for redemption!