The factory Spyker team enjoyed a solid start to the 2009 Le Mans Series season during the Paul Ricard test session, with Jarek Janis and Jeroen Bleekemolen taking the C8 Lavoilette to the third quickest time in the GT2 class.
The test gave the Dutch team the chance to run its car in 2009-spec for the first time, although the start of the test on Sunday was delayed due a electrical issue caused by a faulty wiring loom. Once the problem was resolved however, Janis and Bleekemolen were able to hit the track and ended the opening day with the sixth quickest time.
Team team continued to improve during the second day of running as the team got to grips with its new Michelin tyres and ended the test in an impressive third in class behind the Porsches entered by the Farnbacher and Felbermayr-Proton teams.
“It was the first time this weekend that we tested the 2009 spec engine in the car,” Spyker Squadron managing director Peter van Erp said. “Although we intensively ran the engine on our dynamometer it always requires a bit of fine-tuning to calibrate it and match it to the car. It is good to see that, so early in the season, it looks like we have closed the gap with Porsche and Ferrari a bit.
“But we will have to see were we are at for real. This was just a test and we will have to wait until Barcelona early next month to see what the competition is capable of.''
Janis will be partnered in the opening round of the season by Tom Coronel, who was unavailable for the test due to his WTCC commitments, and the Czech driver said he was confident that the pair would be on the pace in the season-opener.
“In the end we did well and sorted out the electrical problems we had at the beginning of our test,” Janis reflected. “We improved quite a lot on Monday and I must admit that everything looks very promising for our first race in Catalunya. If we stay out of problems, I sincerely think that we can score some points or even a podium finish.”
Bleekemolen will join Coronel and Janis for the Le Mans 24 Hours.