VDS Racing GT 001-R: Belgian GT2 endurance racer with Maserati V8
Raphaël van der Straten has been his family racing team’s driver for the past 12 years, and has now embarked on his most ambitious project yet: designing and building his very own GT2 endurance racer.
The GT 001-R project was overseen by former Belgian racing driver Tony Gillet, who himself produces limited-series race and road cars under the Gillet company he founded in 1994. As a result, the VDS car has an extended and modified version of the carbonfibre chassis used in the Gillet Vertigo .5, and also shares the same 480bhp 4.2-litre Maserati V8 and six-speed sequential transmission as its Belgian running mate.
In terms of coachwork, the GT 001-R has custom-made bodywork which resembles a cartoon-like amalgamation of the Kamm-tailed Alfas of the 1960s and the present-day Ford Mustang. And while the finished result may not look as visually coherent as some of its gridmates-to-be, it does reference the company’s history. Indeed, Raphaël’s grandfather Count Rodolphe van der Straten Ponthoz founded the team by racing Alfa GTAs in the 1960s; more recent efforts have seen the team field Mustang FR500Cs.
Once the GT2 version is complete, the team intends to produce up to 22 street-legal versions of the car. VDS Racing hopes to sell each of the GT 001s in a highly customised state, which explains the lack of pricing information available.
Photos: VDS Racing