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The RM Sotheby's Le Mans Auction on June 9th 2023 features a unique Dutch racing car: a works Spyker C8 GT2-R. Spyker is one of the great pioneering names in motoring and was reborn in 1999. It returned to competition in 2002 with a racing variant of its C8 Spyder. Despite entering blue ribband events, the Double 12-R left room for improvement, and in 2005 the new and revised C8 Spyder GT2-R arrived, featuring a 3.8-litre version of the production car’s Audi V-8 mated to a Hewland six-speed sequential gearbox.
Chassis 046 was part of the Works racing effort for 2005 and was campaigned in five races, among them the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Tom Coronel, Marc Goossens, and Donny Crevels assumed driving duties for the debut race in the American Le Mans Series round at Sebring, where the car went up against a phalanx of Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, a brace of TVR Tuscan T400Rs, and a lone Panoz Esperante GTLM. Unfortunately, the car suffered mechanical maladies, and was forced to retire due to a failed differential after just over seven hours of racing.
A slightly altered all-Dutch lineup of Coronel, Crevels, and Peter van Merksteijn took up the cudgels at the Circuit de la Sarthe in June of 2005, supported by mechanic Donald Bramer (currently based at Tachyon Motorsport) and watched on by company owner Victor Muller. Starting from last place on the grid, the trio made quick early progress, overtaking no fewer than five of their GT2 rivals. Steering problems forced the car into the pits as dusk began to fall at around 8pm, and it lost a place to the Cirtek Ferrari 360 GTC. Spyker took the fight to its rivals for a further three hours before going out in a blaze of glory at the seventh hour, when an oil line burst as Crevels approached Indianapolis, causing a spin and starting a fire that brought out the safety car. ‘The engine was still running, but the oil caught fire on the hot exhaust pipe so I was forced to abandon,’ said Crevels. ‘It's a shame as the car was handling well so far.’ The season high proved an 11th-place overall finish and 2nd in class at the Motor City 500 Kilometres of Dubai in one of three appearances in that year’s FIA GT Championship.
Spyker Squadron expanded its campaign for the 2006 season by entering all Le Mans Series races, and while its sister cars took up duties at the French classic, chassis 046 was raced at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Istanbul, Spa, Nürburgring, Donington, and Jarama rounds. Its best result came in Spain, where it scored a 3rd-in-class finish and 16th overall—a remarkable achievement for such a young team, in the face of stiff and well-funded competition from giants of the automotive world such as Porsche.
Following the end of its competitive career, chassis 046 has been maintained by Dutch racing specialist Tachyon Motorsport, with responsibility for its care falling to chief mechanic and former employee of Spyker Squadron, Donald Bramer. The car is accompanied by spare wheels and original pit wall equipment from its early racing days.
A rare racing variant of one of Europe’s most characterful supercars, this Spyker C8 GT2-R would make a rare and fascinating addition to any historic race grid or collection of endurance racing greats.