It's a family affair

25 June 2016 It's a family affair

It happens regularly that two brothers race together in the same series, like Dries and Laurens Vanthoor do in this year's Blancpain GT Series. It's quite rare however that international racing sees two generations of related drivers united in the same event, and the odds that such a feat occurs twice in the same race are astronomical. Yet, that is exactly what happens in the Circuit Paul Ricard 1000 km, with father and daughter Kox and father and son Van Splunteren at the start.

Stephane Kox (22) and Peter Kox (52) have been in the same race once before, but now they are competing against each other. Dad is driving the #4 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT R8, while daughter Stephane is at the wheel of the #34 Scuderia Praha Ferrari.

"I know he wants me to do well", Stephane smiles. "So I don't expect him to give me too much of a hard time on track. Dad has been giving me lots of advice in the past, but now he's keeping his distance, because I have to learn to work with the team as well. And that works out fine, ever since I tested the car last week."

"She's right in thinking that I want her to perform well here", Peter Kox adds. "It would make me very proud. In fact, I think I would be happier if she gets a good result than if I would. But then again, if she's in front of me during the race, I'll just overtake her." (grins)

Paul (59) and Max (20) Van Splunteren do not have to compete against each other, since they share the #100 Attempto Racing Lamborghini with Jeroen Mul. Father and son have shared a car before, with success. "In fact, Max' first GT race was a round of the Porsche Cup Benelux, in which we drove on the same car. In the 50-minute long endurance race, driven in the rain, we took first place", Paul Van Splunteren says.

"Back then he was giving me pointers, but this weekend it's the other way around", Max explains. "Which is logical, since Jeroen and I know the car better than he does. When we heard that Louis Machiels was unable to make to Le Castellet we had to find a replacement quickly. We hesitated between a Pro driver, which would bump us up a category, or try to find a Bronze driver to be able to stay in Pro-Am. When dad proposed his services we were very happy to accept. It's very nice to race together again."