The dsc Lehmann Polo
As a little light relief from all this Le Mans news…
when you thought I had packed my bags and retired to the Caribbean...,”
comments Bob Winter, Belgian Touring Car driver and all round good
bloke. That’s him on the right…
His partner, Marc Van
Hoof, is pictured below.
the Polo for the full season instead of last year's BMW M3. I'd
rather be a frontrunner in the small class than an also-ran in the
top class,” comments Bob.
The Polo has had a complete overhaul during the winter (not by the
Winter) and it sports a lovely new blue paint scheme (Chagall Blue),
in deference to Bob’s sponsors – “Quinta do Pasadouro
(vineyards in France and a resort in Portugal).”
The gorgeous Polo will
be running in the BTCS this year, the Belgian Touring Car Series,
which has now become the official national touring car championship.
There are 11 races on the calendar in Zolder, Spa and Dijon (this
weekend). They are mostly 90 min races, two per weekend. Having
missed the first pair, Bob and Marc will debut the new look Polo
at Dijon this weekend, then it’s the 12-hour race in Spa,
almost a replacement for last year's 2003 Miles which won't be run
this year. Points are attributed at each of the races, with double
points for the 12 hours.
Let’s let Bob
tell the rest of the story.
“We missed the
first two races, but we are now more than ready for rounds 3 and
4 in France. Despite missing two events the organisers think we
are still the main favourites for the title in the 1600cc class.
has a completely new look, more aggressive (insofar as a Polo can
be aggressive of course!) fenders, spoilers and roof wing, the new
colour, new sponsors and of course dsc stickers on the sides.
I just picked up our matching overalls at Stand 21 and guess what?
They have embroidered dsc logos on the front. I'm sure this must
be a first!
we the world's first drivers with dsc logos on our overalls?”
Yes, Bob, you are.
are all sorts of touring cars, as well as GTs up to 4 litres. At
the front of the field you'll find 911GT3s and lots of the tube-frame
silhouette cars, such as the Jaguar X-type (which won the 2003 miles
last year), the Oreca-built BMW M3s and the official Audi A4. Then
there's the usual multitude of M3s, Honda Type-Rs, SEAT Cupras and...
be great to get back behind the wheel of the Lehmann Polo again.
In 2002 we were the vice-champions in the Endurance Touring Cup,
with 6 poles, 2 wins and 3 seconds from 6 races. Last year was a
bit of a disaster with all sorts of technical problems with the
BMW M3, so I'm happy to get back in the Polo. Car-owner Marc Van
Hoof (left) is driving with me: his team is also responsible for
the maintenance of the car."
"The engine is
still the 216hp Lehmann 1.6-litre, but the gearbox is new as is
most of the bodyparts and of course the livery. Since we're getting
older and thus uglier we thought the car should do with a fresh
"Other than that
we believe we are better prepared than we have ever been: we have
what is arguably the best endurance tyre in the business (Michelin);
our car was painted by the best paint shop in Belgium (owned by
Marc Vannerum, who owned and raced the Belgian Corvette C5-R last
year, which is - as we all know - the best GTS car on the grid);
we are supported by the world's best sportscar website (dailysportscar)
and my sponsor makes some of the finest ruby red port wines. So
if we still screw up we can at least get drunk in style.
"For the 12 hours
on May 15 we'll get a helping hand from Pascal Nelissen Grade, with
whom I've raced the past two seasons. The Zolder 10 Hours at the
end of the season is not part of the championship, but I might still
do them with some big names behind the wheel. Remember I persuaded
Emmanuel Collard to race with us two years ago, which was a bit
of a driving lesson for most of the people on the grid. So to have
two or three Collard-calibre drivers should be even more fun."
and good luck at Dijon. Some readers might remember the story of
Emmanuel Collard and what he did to the Polo in 2002….