The 17 year-old LePlan GT junior driver Gilles Magnus claims victory in the Eleven Sports 24 Hours of Zolder and becomes the youngest winner ever in this Belgian Limburg classic event.
Victory in the Scuderia Monza by DVB RACING Norma M20FC with Jeffrey Van Hooydonk, Christoff Corten and the Hans and Frank Thiers brothers.
According to some observers it was a minor gamble, entering a 17-year-old single-seater driver in a gruelling endurance race … But what Gilles Magnus proved during the 24 Hours race at Zolder was top class. Together with the former F1 test driver Jeffrey Van Hooydonk, his mentor during the race, and teammates Christoff Corten and the Hans and Frank Thiers brothers, Magnus clinched the most improbable but brilliant victory in the Scuderia Monza by DVB RACING Norma M20FC during the Eleven Sports 24 Hours of Zolder.
As a 17-year- old Magnus is now the youngest winner ever in the Belgian Limburg classic event. It was only on Tuesday that Magnus knew that he would be taking part, but promptly perfectly adapted to the endurance spirit situation and as from the first few meters proved his worth, not only in a single-seater but also in a Prototype for longer distance racing. For the team the race ran smoothly and the car permanently featured in the top of the rankings.
“I don’t know what to say”, the winner proudly commented. “I had never driven on the Zolder circuit, was new to this type of car and my races never last longer than half an hour … In truth I was jumping into the unknown and just did what the team asked me to do. I thoroughly enjoyed this race and I should perhaps consider competing somewhat more often in this sort of race.”
Also within the winning Scuderia Monza by DVB RACING team, with workshops based in Willebroek, everyone was impressed with the debut of this young Antwerp based driver. “We have fought here for years and we have finally succeeded. I have probably dreamt about this 100 times”, Frank Thuriaux, the man in charge of the fast drivers at DVB RACING commented. “What a brilliant race put in by our drivers, not in the least by the ‘young one’… Gilles surprised one and all. It was only on Tuesday that we knew that he would be joining us, as a replacement for Bentley works driver Wolfgang Reip, who was unwell. He performed exceptionally well.”
The young Antwerp based driver’s focus is now back on the NEC Formula Renault 2.0 where he is defending his leader’s position in the championship. The following races take place on 14th-15th September at the German Nürburgring, followed one week later at Spa-Francorchamps in front of a home crowd, to finally end the season at the beginning of October at Hockenheim.