The first WEC World Endurance Championship event in which Bent Viscaal will participate is about to begin. The first training sessions for the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps will be held today (Thursday) and thus Viscaal, who will make his debut in the world championship on behalf of the team ARC Bratislava, is already on location in Belgium.
The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is the second race in the seven-race WEC championship of 2022. When the season kicked off two months ago, in Sebring, USA, Viscaal had not yet been asked for a place with his current employer. However, a great debut weekend in the European Long Distance Racing Championship (ELMS) has opened doors for 22-year-old Tukker. At the French Paul Ricard circuit, Viscaal finished in a respectable second position in his very first long-distance race, after having started in tenth position.
At the team ARC Bratislava, which competes in the LMP2 Pro/Am class, Viscaal will share a car this weekend with compatriot Tijmen van der Helm and Slovak gentelman driver Miro Konopka. Veteran Konopka has several seasons of experience in the World Endurance Championship, Van der Helm is taking part in a race in the World Championship for the second time. Viscal’s compatriot made his debut at Sebring a few months ago.
“I’m impatient,” says Viscaal from the Ardennes. “It’s special to debut in an official world championship. My ELMS debut has been very good and it’s great that I can immediately participate in the World Championship. Yesterday (Wednesday) I tried on my seat and the team clothes have just been handed to me, it all went very quickly. Nevertheless, I was able to prepare well. Moreover, the travel time was not too long this time either!”
“In terms of equipment, I know roughly what to expect, because my ELMS employer Algarve Pro Racing drives around with the same car, engine and even the same type of tires as ARC Bratislava does. This race is a little longer than the ELMS race I did recently, but that won’t be a problem. After all, during the winter break I took part in a virtual 24-hour race, which, according to my colleagues, was very comparable to the real thing in terms of concentration.”
“The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is an ideal preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which I can participate in five weeks. Being allowed to drive on the Circuit de la Sarthe is a childhood dream come true and to leave a good impression there, I will soak up all the information that I get available this weekend like a sponge. Miro (Konopka) is one of the best bronze riders on the field and Tijmen seems to feel quite at home in the endurance world, so I’m not too worried. All that remains is the foot that is allowed to press the accelerator pedal. I’m looking forward to it!”, Viscaal concludes combatively.
The first practice for the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps starts this afternoon (Thursday) at 3.30 pm. On Friday evening, the LMP2 cars have ten minutes to qualify between 6.40 pm and 6.50 pm, after which the race will start on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm.
images © Bent Viscaal PR