It is fair to say that few people in motor racing are as busy as Jan Lammers. Whether it is racing at Le Mans, competing in the Grand Prix Masters in South Africa or controlling his own team in the A1 Grand Prix championship, the Dutchman is certainly being kept occupied.

Nonetheless, it is his management of Team Netherlands in A1GP that has taken Lammers' priority recently and, as a the season hit its halfway point in Dubai, Andy Stobart caught up with him to ask him how the season has been going so far.

"I think we have been going very well," Lammers said, "They are always two issues - the economics and the sporting side. On the sporting side, there is the usual story of not being quick enough, understeer, oversteer and tyres going off.

"That is the normal game that we know, and which we try and get though. It is a race within a race because, in qualifying, you try and get a good set-up to get as high as possible. The result is not always what we aim for, but the process of trying to get the result is really developing nicely."

Arguably one of the most popular nations currently competing in A1GP, Holland's passion for motorsport is being represented by impressive television viewing figures, something which Lammers knows is going to aid the chances of added sponsorship in the future.

"I enjoy the business side of it very much too," he admitted, "We had to allow half a year for people to get used to it, but this is the World Cup of Motorsport, with countries against countries, and we are representing Holland.

"The series is very popular in Holland and we have had great hits on the website and very good coverage on the television, so I think it is marketed very well there. Now we are talking to all of the multi-national companies [about sponsorship]. We are blessed with many multi-nationals in Holland, so I think we are lucky to have a Dutch team ?EUR" it may be a small market and a small country, but it has been introduced quickly."

With its distinctive orange colour scheme, there is no missing Holland on the grid, and it is an identity that Lammers realises is paramount to the country's existence in the championship.

"I think that, if you look at all of the successful teams - such as Renault and Ferrari in the past - nothing beats enthusiasm," he tried to explain, "We are very proud of our orange colour. I think what is red for Italy is orange for Holland, so we are very lucky there.

"It is very good that it is growing and growing - it is cool to be Dutch. We don't take ourselves too seriously, we don't take life seriously. If we lose because of a penalty, we can still put a joke on ourselves and start the next day - a bit like the Irish."

With Dutch motorsport hero Jos Verstappen currently at the wheel of the A1GP car, Holland has proved to be one of the quickest countries currently competing, having got itself up to sixth in the championship before Dubai. However, despite learning the circuits quickly, one Achilles heel that has so far stunted Holland's aspirations for a race win has been Verstappen's starts.

"He has been practising starts but the thing with Jos is that there is never a dull moment," Lammers commented, "I must say that I am really getting to know him better and better. We knew of each other but not in-depth, and now we are getting to know each other and appreciate each other. We have a lot of fun on and off the track.

"In Malaysia, I said 'great race, shame about the start,' but he is getting all of the blame and all of the press coverage, so what am I to say? He has been practising his starts and it has been going well - we hope they will go well at the races now. He is going to have a shaky foot on Sunday I think, but all good movies have a bit of tension, and I think we need a bit of drama!"

 

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