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Van der Garde makes winning proposal in Rotterdam

Caterham F1's reserve driver Giedo van der Garde had a day to remember at the 2012 City Racing event in Rotterdam, when he jumped from his car and bounded over to his girlfriend to ask her to marry him.
Giedo van der Garde will certainly have good cause to remember this year's City Racing event in Rotterdam on Sunday, after taking the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend in front of a crowd estimated by organisers to exceed half a million spectators crowded onto the city streets to watch the F1 2012 cars performing.

Van der Garde had just finished putting on a show in the CT01 when he jumped out of the car and headed over to his girlfriend to propose, a moment captured by film crews and relayed on the big screens around the temporary road course arena constructed for the event.

It was van der Garde's first involvement with City Racing Rotterdam. The Dutch driver - currently in fifth place in the GP2 Series for Caterham - was joined at this home event by Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Lotus F1 driver Romain Grosjean - the Frenchman himself just back from his own honeymoon, after recently getting married to French TV TF1 motorsport journalist Marion Jolles at the end of June.

"We have had a fantastic weekend in Rotterdam. We have the organisation as a first class experience and would like to thank them for this," said Caterham team manager Phil Spencer, who went on to say that van der Garde's proposal had "added something wonderful to the whole weekend."

"We had a great time," agreed Rosberg, whose own demonstrations on the temporary road course in the Mercedes car were somewhat more cautious than van der Garde's had been. "It was great to drive here in front of so many fans."

Now in its eighth year, City Racing Rotterdam (formerly Bavaria City Racing) is the biggest F1-related event in the Netherlands, held the weekend before the Belgian Grand Prix at nearby Spa-Francorchamps and typically attracting close to 600,000 fans to the streets of Rotterdam, according to estimates from the organisers.

The event has led to similar road demonstrations being held as far afield as Dublin and Moscow, and typically includes representatives from other championships as well as F1 such as Dutch drift racing star Tim Coronel, brother of WTCC driver Tom.

"We are proud that so many visitors to Rotterdam have come to our event again this year," said organisers Heilbron and Robert Herman Vaanholt. "Having Romain Grosjean and Nico Rosberg - two drivers in the top 10 of the F1 - attend the event this years is a real achievement for City Racing. It indicates that our event is highly recommended," they said, adding that it helped ensure the event would continue in future years.

The event was fortunate to dodge most of the heavy downpours that swept over the country over the weekend, and which suggest that next weekend's Grand Prix will see some interesting climactic challenges - as is so often the case at Spa.

There were a record number of vehicles participating in 2012, which concluded with a parade of some of the best cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mercedes and BMW.

Related Pictures

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