Van Smirren Motorsports, also known as Scuderia Minardi or by its abbreviation VSM, is a Dutch former GPGSL racing team. It was founded by team owner Ricardo van Smirren. The team entered the GPGSL in Season 1, as one of the founders teams. It stayed in the series until Season 9 when Van Smirren decided to close the team to focus on being a driver only.
Season 1EditOriginally founded as Phoenix Racing by british racecar driver Philip Oakley the team was quickly sold for 60% to Ricardo van Smirren on July 31, 2008. The drivers for the team - Slovenian Marko Aleksander and Philip Oakley himself - were already signed and remained put as part of the deal.
On August the 5th at the official team presentation it was announced that the team would be using Lamborghini engines for their maiden season in the GPGSL. October 15 was the day of the first of many teamname changes. Phoenix Racing was now to be Scuderia Minardi.
After pre-season the team travelled to Austria to be part of the first official race in the GPGSL history. Mixed results were the part for Minardi as Philip Oakley finished in 6th and Marko Aleksander had a bad race finishing 20th. Brazil meant the first podium and DNF for the team as Phil took 2nd place with Marko not making it to the end of the race. An average 7th and another DNF at Monaco were quickly forgotten as Marko Aleksander took Minardi's first win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada. At the very same circuit Philip Oakley had his one and only non point scoring finish of the season ending the race in a lowly 17th. Although Philip recovered rather quickly by ending 2nd again in England this time Marko Aleksander couldn't break into the top 10 as 11th was his part. Off to Belgium we went where the team scored their first ever 1-2 victory with Marko performing Phil who once again ended 2nd. As 4th and 6th in Italy were followed up by 2nd (Phil doh!) and 4th in Japan.
Austalia was the venue of a thriling wet weather championship deciding finale. Championship favourite Monil Santil of Double F-Volkswagen struggled for pace and eventually failed to finish in the points. As Philip Oakley scored his fifth (out of 10 races !) 2nd place he overtook Monil in the final standing by 2 points and was crowned the maiden GPGSL World Drivers Champion.
Philips record of winning the championship without a single race win in that season still stands to date.
Marko Aleksander finished the season in third only 9 points of Monil Santilal's second.
The Constructors Championship went in dominant fashion to Minardi-Lamborghini. With 3 race wins and 6 further podiums the team ended on top with 171 points. Number 2 Double F scored "only" 118 points.
|Season 2||Van Smirren Motorsports by Minardi|
|Season 4||Van Smirren Motorsports|
|Season 7||Scuderia Minardi|
|Season 9||Van Smirren Motorsports|
List of DriversEdit
Here is a non-exhaustive list of drivers that have driven for VSM over the years. A (T) indicates that the driver was a test driver for the team, and a (B) shows that they have done both roles within the team.
- Marko Aleksander
- Raymond Buijs (T)
- Chris Copeman (B)
- Emanuel Domenech (T)
- Christian Dux (T)
- Joseph Gilson (T)
- Keeley Grant (B)
- Rick Groeneboer
- Jack Hunsley (T)
- Charrel Jalving (B)
- Ben Johnson (B)
- Dean Kittleson
- John Maverick
- Gareth McCarthy (T)
- Philip Oakley
- Michael Pedersen (B)
- Redmer Postma (T)
- Matteo Scala (B)
- Kevin Schröder (B)
- Ricardo van Smirren (B)
- Jethro Walters (B)
- Chris Warrington
- John Warrington (B)
Complete GrandPrixGames Super League ResultsEdit
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap; underlined races indicate most places gained)
|Ricardo van Smirren||7||18||16||12||11||18||12||15||13||13||Ret||Ret||21|