After years of successes in several Renault orientated championships, Equipe Verschuur is focusing on a special new challenge. The racing team of Frans Verschuur is competing in GT4 European Series and British GT Championship with the McLaren 570S GT4 cars. Ambition is on top: “We are in there to win it!”
During the first weekend of both championships, British GT during the beginning of April and GT4 European Series a week later, the words were put into action immediately. The Scottish drivers Finlay Hutchison and Daniel McKay drove their cars to pole position, twice. An administrative error took their pole positions away, but they showed the other competitors that they are fast. “Where are they coming from? That was what everyone was wondering”, tells Frans Verschuur. It was a good step to a possible further step; becoming preferred customer of McLaren. “To get the status of preferred customer, you have to prove yourself”, is told by Verschuur.
A weekend later, during the start of the GT4 European Series, Equipe Verschuur was showing their pace again. With a podium position during the race on Saturday and a front row start for the race on Sunday, the Dutch team is clear that they want to prolong their title. A strong drivers combination for the general championship is formed by Ricardo van der Ende and Finlay Hutchison, while the other car will fight the amateur-class with Liesette Braams and Sven van Laere as drivers.
Last year, Equipe Verschuur decided to make the switch to the iconic British manufacturer of sportcars. The Woking based brand is a brand with lots of potential, also for the future of Equipe Verschuur. “I am seeing a lot of potential in McLaren and it is an iconic brand. I had to choose for an other brand, but in a way that it did not violate my relationship with Renault”, mentions Frans Verschuur in extension to the fact that the French car brand quitted their Renault World Series and involved championships. Many years, Equipe Verschuur was involved with racing with Renault cars and their championships. “I really regret the fact that Renault has quit their Renault World Series. Not only because of my team, but also for the customers of Renault. Those weekends brought about 70.000 spectators a weekend to the track.”
Competing in the GT4 European Series and British GT Championship means that there are thirteen race weekends scheduled throughout the season. Besides that, there are also some testing days scheduled. That things are pretty right already, showed the team with winning the PRO/AM championship of the 2017 GT4 European Series with Duncan Huisman and Luc Braams. “We are getting better and better’, tells a convincing Verschuur.
“This year we have some good driver combinations again. In one of the cars are Ricardo van der Ende and Finlay Hutchison. Ricardo is very experienced and of course the current champion of the GT4 European Series, while Finlay is a talented young guy who is quite near the pace of Ricardo”, tells the proud teamboss.
The second car will be driven by Liesette Braams and Belgian driver Sven van Laere, who is the current Renault Clio Cup Benelux champion. “I think it is wonderful that I am able to coach Liesette. It is absolutely great that she is driving again after her fight against cancer. You really see the twinkle in her eyes when she is getting in the car and driving. We have done some testing sessions with her and it looks good. With Sven she has a teammate who became champion in the Renault Clio Cup Benelux’, tells Verschuur.
After decades of success, Verschuur is still very ambitious: “I want to get at the top and remain at the top. We are in their to win it. During our years with Renault, we have won a lot of titles. We won the Mégane Trophy in 2005 with Jaap van Lagen and four years later my own son, Mike, won the championship. He beated Maxime Martin, who won the 24 hours of Spa-Francochamps four times, because the Belgian became second. Also the 2015 and 2016 seasons with the Schothorst-family was great”, a satisfied Verschuur continues funny, “In 2008 we won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the endurance championship with Peter van Merksteijn and Jeroen Bleekemolen. I am also the last person that made Jos Verstappen a champion.”
With enough attention and interest, it could be possible that Equipe Verschuur is also competing in the GT4 Central European Championship. The 24 Hours of Dubai is also at their schedule. Eventually, Verschuur wants to climb the ladder to GT3: “GT4 is a great championship and series to be racing, but I surely want to compete in GT3. That would be a good challenge.”
Equipe Verschuur is supported by Hutchison Technologies, Daniel McKay, Evoson, Fitbox, In Home Display and McLaren.