Racing Projects have confirmed that Dutch endurance racing superstar Jeroen Bleekemolen will co-drive with Colin Corkery in the Koba Batteries Falcon for the upcoming V8Supertourer Endurance Championship.
Bleekemolen is a highly accomplished international motorsport racer, having twice won the F1-aligned Porsche Supercup Championship, won at the Le Mans 24 hour, American Le Mans Series and in A1 GP. He brings massive experience to the team.
Speaking from the Road America Circuit at the weekend, Jeroen said: 'I'm thrilled to join Colin at the three enduro rounds of the championship. I have raced a couple of times in New Zealand with A1GP and always loved going there. The people are really into racing, it's always great to see so many enthusiastic and passionate people."
Racing Projects team manager, Nigel Barclay, is looking forward to welcoming the international addition to the team.
"As a team we are proud that our supporters and car owner have worked hard to bring Jeroen to NZ for this inaugural SuperTourer endurance series. To have someone with such a racing pedigree join us will make us all lift our performance to provide a car capable of racing at the sharp end of the field."
The V8 SuperTourer Endurance Championship gets underway on September 1/2 at Ricoh Taupo Motorsport Park. It will be the Koba Batteries V8ST Falcon's return to the series after suffering extensive damage from the spectacular final corner crash during the third round at Manfeild.
"The rebuild of the Falcon is finally completed and after extensive testing we are certain we have a better weapon than we had at the start of the year," added Barclay. "Colin did a great job over two days of testing at Ruapuna this week. The team at Total Automotive in Timaru and Hewlett Motorsport in Christchurch have done a great job and we are working hard to ensure we will be well-prepared for Taupo."
Following the initial test session of the rebuilt car, Corkery commented: "We had a really good couple of days testing this week and was great to get back in the car and get some confidence back. I'm looking forward to working with, and learning from, someone like Jeroen. He has vast experience and some really impressive accomplishments. He has a lot of endurance racing with the ALMS and at Le Mans and is adapting to different cars all the time. I think he will fit straight in with us at Racing Projects and will be extremely competitive."
Although not having driven a V8 SuperTourer yet, Bleekemolen is confident ahead of the Enduro series. "I haven't driven the car yet, but I'm sure we can be strong. I'm racing in many different cars all year, so I'm looking forward to trying the V8 SuperTourer. The competition will be tough with a lot of good drivers out there, but that only makes it more fun. I have watched some of the sprint races and it looks fantastic. Hard racing, on the edge. I hope we can get some good results. And I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun too.!
Bleekemolen has also announced earlier this year that he will partner Kiwi young gun Shane Van Gisbergen for the Australian V8 supercars event scheduled for October on the Gold Coast.
Corkery and Bleekemolen in the Koba Batteries Falcon are also supported by, Elf Lubricants, Baron Leather goods, BOC and ACA international.