The Netherlands is well represented in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which starts this afternoon.
The FIA WEC has many long-distance races, some longer than others, but none are as well known and loved as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. At the Circuit de la Sarthe, known for its very long straight with chicanes, a large number of racers will struggle for the win for 24 hours from 2:30 PM. This happens in several classes.
The Netherlands is well represented in two of those classes. To start with Racing Team Netherlands. The well-known yellow racing colors will shine in the LMP2 class. RTNL drives an Oreca 07 driven by three well-known drivers: Giedo van der Garde, Frits van Eerd and Nyck de Vries.
In qualifying, Racing Team Netherlands was third in the LMP2 teams. Only United Autosports and G-Drive Racing managed to set a faster time, but the difference is nil. The Oreca 07 ended up in the gravel for a while with Nyck de Vries behind the wheel, but that did not cause any major problems.
As you have recently been able to read, the Netherlands is doing well in the Porsche Supercup. Champion Larry ten Voorde and Max
Verstappen van Splunteren do a good job in the race-ready 911’s. They too can be found on the grid of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in the GTE-Am class. Both drive a Porsche 911 RSR, Ten Voorde for Team Project 1 and Van Splunteren for Proton Competition. Jeroen Bleekemolen is also taking part in Project 1, twice dividing three directors between two RSRs. The results (qualification) of Van Splunteren and Bleekemolen are not yet known, the Ten Voorde team qualified third. Other Dutch participants spread over various teams are Job van Uitert, Ho-Pin Tung, Renger van der Zande and Beitske Visser.
So a lot of red-white-blue at the start. Hopefully the Netherlands can achieve good results at the finish of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Speaking of that Super Cup: we have to keep an eye on fresh young blood there too. A young Dutchman named Loek Hartog (and no, it’s not me, despite what @michaelras you have to believe) has secured a place on the grid of the Porsche Supercup race at Le Mans. This 45-minute showdown between about sixty Supercup drivers will take place as the opener for the 24-hour race. Hartog is only 17 years old and rides with the big boys. Someone to keep an eye on, so.