Marc Goossens – 2005 Belcar Champion
© Joost Custers
becoming an annual tradition, the dailysportscar
interview with the Belcar champion. This year, Marc Goossens is
our man. The 34-year old endurance driver from Geel is without any
doubt the Belcar driver of the year, winning not only five races
but also he was the fastest driver in almost every practice and
career has more to offer than this title. He has won several races
in F3000, raced in the ALMS, Japanes GT, Le Mans etc. and is one
of the top Belgian drivers of his generation.
this Belcar title mean to Marc Goossens?
this was my first real Belgian title. I won the Belcar GTB-title
in 2002, with Rudi Penders, but this was my first overall title
in my home country. And what’s more, I won three titles at
the same time. For the ‘in crowd’, and for me personally,
the Driver Challenge is maybe the most important one. Anthony Kumpen
won it last year and I know very well what it means to him, well
it’s the same for me.
With SRT we also won the GT and GTA-titles, rewarding
the excellent work of the entire team. Of course, my success in
the Driver Challenge wouldn’t be possible without the work
done by Patrick Selleslagh and the guys. I joined SRT in 2004 and
after a difficult first season with the Corvette, we took it all
in 2005 which of course is a relief. Belcar is a good championship,
with almost all Belgian top drivers present, and the there are not
many national GT series with such a strong grid. I think sometimes
people underestimate the strength of it.
more, I also won for the third time (1997/1998) the Zolder 24 hours.
The race hasn’t got the international reputation of Le Mans
and Spa, but people outside Belgium know it and what’s more,
they respect it.
is the meaning of this success outside Belgium?
to my own surprise, people know about it. I think Belgians are too
modest. We always tend to minimize our own success, in contrast
to other countries. Belgium had a good autosport year with the international
success of RBM in WTCC, GLPK in FIA-GT, Jan Heylen in the Mégane
Trophy or Vanina Ickx in LMES.
I was very surprised by the reactions in the States a few weeks
ago. Most people seem to know or follow Belcar and I received many
positive reactions for my title. This is without doubt related to
the coverage of the series on an English website….
So for me,
it’s important to use the 'echo' of this title to work on
my international program.
see Marc Goossens in an international series next year?
and no. I am trying to get a good and challenging program together
next year. This could be in Belcar or somewhere else. Right now,
there is one certainty: I will compete in both the Busch Series
road course races in 2006 as part of a joint effort between RYR
and Riley Technologies, the championship team in the Rolex Series.
I’ve got to develop the cars for these road courses as the
behaviour of the cars this year on road courses was a problem.
It would be
nice to get an extra program in the States, in the ALMS or Grand-Am,
but up to now nothing is sure.
been testing with Peter Baron’s SAMAX team recently, but we’re
still trying to close the deal. The testing was very positive, the
team did a good job and together (I brought an engineer with me),
we managed to close the gap to the front-runners from three seconds
to less than one second. And I’m sure that there is still
some margin. The pace of Brian Tuttle, the owner of the car, also
surprised me. He is new in racing, but he is already quick.
There is still another possibility for me in the States. One of
my Formula Renault 1600 drivers, Max Dumarey wants to come to the
states to race in single-seaters over there. He is the son of Guido
Dumarey, the man behind the deal between Body Coach and Prodrive
for the Spa 24 hours. I might come with Max to coach him in the
States, but this is also still under negotiation.
seems less probable even though I’ve got good contacts; it’s
difficult on the old continent. You need a good sponsor or a fast
and funded partner.
could be to share a car again with David Hart, my partner in the
Corvette this year. He is a fabulous man and driver. He is what
I tend to call a ‘Sportsman driver’, a league higher
than a gentleman driver.
also a great personality; I would really like to do a program with
him, for instance the Le Mans, Spa and Zolder 24 hours. But nothing
been the highlights of your endurance career?
any doubt I would like to mention my 3rd in Sebring in 2002 and
my 4th in Le Mans in 1997. But even if we didn’t finish, the
highlight of my endurance career was racing the Racing For Belgium
Ferrari 333SP in Le Mans in 1996, together with Eric van de Poele
and Eric Bachelart. That was tremendous. The thousands of Ferrari
fans around the track screaming every time the car passed by is
something I will never forget.
Before I leave
the racing scene, a good result in Le Mans is something I want to
live again even though a podium at Sebring was also a fantastic
you all the luck you need, Marc!