Tyre shortage forces Petronas-Barwell entry to withdraw from Spa 24 Hours

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Barwell Motorsport is extremely disappointed to have to announce that it has been left with no choice but to withdraw the Petronas-Barwell Aston Martin DBRS9 entry from this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, due to Michelin tyre supply issues. We originally informed Michelin in February of this year that we would be running this car at Spa and that we would require tyre supply, but were then shocked to be told for the first time on June 18th that there was a problem with supply and that there was a shortage of tyres. This meant that Michelin could now only supply their Blancpain Championship full season entrants, and not cars contesting the 24 Hours as a ‘one-off’. The withdrawal of this car is devastating news for all at Barwell Motorsport, as we have been working for 10 months to put the deal together to run this car with a top driver line-up and thus put ourselves in a good position to challenge for an outright podium result.

Since we were told this news by Michelin we have been trying every possible way of attempting to rescue this situation, but sadly to no avail. With time running out before the July 30/31 event, the key partners in the Petronas-Barwell entry, including backers Petronas, Aston Martin Brussels and drivers Jeffrey Van Hooydonk and Tim Verbergt, have made the decision to withdraw from the event and concentrate on their challenge for the Belcar Endurance Championship (BEC) title. Jeffrey and Tim are currently lying second in this championship, and the Petronas-Barwell team can now switch its attentions to running the Aston Martin DBRS9 in the Zolder 24 Hours on September 3/4, which is a double-points scoring event for the BEC.

“This comes as a massive disappointment to us as the Spa 24 Hours is Barwell’s blue chip event of the year,“ says Barwell Motorsport MD, Mark Lemmer. “It is absolutely of no consolation that there are currently approximately another 15 cars entered for the race that are in the same boat with the tyre supply situation.”

Barwell Motorsport will still be running the Ecurie Ecosse Aston Martin DBRS9 entry in the Spa 24 Hours event, which will be fielded in the Pro-Am Class for drivers Andrew Smith, Olly Bryant, Alasdair McCaig and Joe Twyman. This car will run on Avon tyres. “We know Avon well from the British GT Championship, and during the past two years they have been very pro-active in developing a suitable and highly competitive tyre for the DBRS9” comments Lemmer. “Avon are being extremely supportive of our Spa 24 Hour plans with the Ecurie Ecosse car, and we are confident of a strong challenge for the Pro-Am victory.”
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