Marc VDS-run BMW to raise funds for charity during Spa 24 Hours

Spa 24 Hours legends Eric van de Poele, Jean-Michel Martin and Marc Duez will take part in this year's edition of the race to raise money for charity

Marc VDS-run BMW to raise funds for charity during Spa 24 Hours

The Belgian trio, who have 12 victories between them in the 24 Hours, will drive a Marc VDS-run BMW Z4 GT3 together with former racer and cancer survivor Pascal Witmeur, who is the architect of the entry under the Marc VDS & Friends Racing against Cancer banner.

The BMW, which is a car Marc VDS use for circuit rides, will not contest the full event on July 25-26.

Each driver will instead undertake a 24-minute stint in the car at a key point during the race, including the start and the finish.

Witmeur, 60, explained that his original plan to enter a car for the 24 Hours, the double-points round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, had been derailed for reasons of cost.

"To enter and run a car costs a lot, but when we said we couldn't do it Marc VDS and Bas Leinders [team principal] stepped in with the offer to use their taxi car," said Witmeur, a leading figure in Belgian motorsport.

"Because we are not running the car in the full event, all the money we raise can go to charity."

Five-time Spa 24 Hours winner van de Poele, who last contested the event in 2012, said he was "very happy" to be part of Witmeur's plans.

"Pascal helped me a lot in my career and used to be my manager, so of course I said 'yes' when he asked me to do this," said the ex-Formula 1 driver.

The Z4 is adorned with the outlines of boxing gloves to symbolise the fight against cancer, inside which companies can place their logos.

Witmeur is aiming to raise €200,000 for the Belgian national cancer foundation by the end of the Spa 24 Hours.

The car has been entered for this weekend's Spa round of the British GT Championship to give Witmeur, who retired from racing in 2000, a chance to get up to speed.

With a reduced fuel capacity, the BMW will only take part in free practice this weekend.

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