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While the snow is falling in The Netherlands, the Valspar Donkervoort Racing team prepares itself for a race in the heat and in between sand. Last January, the Donkervoort D8 GT participated in the 24H of Dubai for the first time. This resulted in a fifth place in the GT4 category. These good results and the challenging race and track made Donkervoort decide to participate in the 24H of Dubai again this year. With the special 24H-edition of the D8 GT, famous Dutch driver Nick de Bruijn and GT4 drivers Stéphane Wintenberger (F) and Denis Donkervoort (NL) will race in this long distance race on January 14th and 15th at the ultra modern Dubai Autodrome.
The most noteworthy about the D8 GT(4) 24H-edition is probably the adapted hybrid chassis/body with carbon fiber sandwich panels, combined with the existing tubular frame, which is currently also available as a option for the road version of the D8 GT. It does not only make the car even lighter, but strongly increases the torsion stiffness and the safety of it as well. The new rear diffusor, which was updated in 2010, has further improved the aerodynamics underneath the car for extra down force. It has influenced the entire look of the rear of the car at the same time. Furthermore, this 24H edition of the D8 GT has been fully adjusted to long distance racing by means of the brake- as well as fuel system, etcetera.
After showing its potential in the FIA GT4 races (vice-championship GT4 European Cup 2009), the D8 GT also proved itself very suitable for long distance racing during the 24H of Dubai 2010. The Donkervoort D8 GT even drove first place for a couple of hours! Later on in the race a leaking drive shaft cover and ruptured wheel stud bolts resulted in a very satisfactory fifth place. Thanks to the light weight of the car and the stiffness of the chassis, one set of brake pads proved sufficient for the full 24 hours of the race.
Furthermore, the new carbon fiber chassis/body resulted in such a perfect balance of the car that only one set of tires in three stints (of almost 2 hours per stint) was needed. Because of this, the pit stops can be executed extremely fast: an important saving of time in a race in which every second counts.
The Valspar Donkervoort Racing team consists of three drivers for the 24H of Dubai 2010. European go-kart champion and two time winner of the 24H of Dubai Nick de Bruijn will be added to the team for this race. Furthermore, the experienced GT4 drivers Denis Donkervoort and the French Stéphane Wintenberger, who already proved themselves during the last years 24-hour race in Dubai, will take place behind the steering wheel of the Donkervoort D8 GT.
Donkervoort will be supported during the 24H of Dubai 2011 by Premium Partner Valspar. This originally American manufacturing company of varnish and paint, with subsidiaries all over the world including The Netherlands and soon Dubai, facilitated among others the car body finish for the Donkervoort D8 GT. This ‘green’ and furthermore ultra light body finish comes from the ‘Earth Sense’ product line and fits the ultra light Donkervoort D8 GT extremely well.
The competition will be fierce (with almost 90 competitors this year!), but with this combination of drivers, car, team and Valspar, Donkervoort will aim for a podium place!
The Donkervoort D8 is fitted with RAYS RE30 wheels supplied by Co-ordSport.