Henk Thuis will not get enough of racing and debut with the Aquila CR1 LS7 in the GT-division

Within the Dutch Supercar Challenge Henk Thuis is a well known person for many years. With his company Intrax Racing he provides much teams in the DSC for years of shock absorbers and besides he regularly get behind the steering wheel of a race car. In the last years even Thuis was one of the main title contenders in the Super sport I-division. First at JR Motorsports in the BMW E46 V8 GTR and then three seasons with the Porsche 997 GT3 developed by themselves. With this Porsche Thuis won the championship of the class, after many fierce battles with the Méganes of Carworld Motorsport. In 2010 Thuis drove not the whole season, because he could sell his Porsche and some thought then that Thuis would do slow down. Nothing reveals the truth, because the ‘Racing Grandpa’, as Thuis calls himself, make its debut in 2011 with no less than an Aquila CR1 LS7 in the GT division of the Dutch Supercar Challenge.

Henk Thuis is watching back with a good feeling to the Super sport I-division of the Dutch Supercar Challenge, but after some seasons it’s time for a different challenge. "I have always had very much fun driving in this division," said Henk Thuis. "In the beginning at the team of JR Motorsport, a very professional team where I always have had a great time. By JR, I maybe even known my best time. Still, I got to my own team going to discuss what I could do best. She then advised me to take a Porsche, because that actually was in the base the best car for the Super sport I-division.

That the Porsche was a good car appeared to be, because Thuis ended in 2008 with this Porsche by all races he finished on the podium. Therefore Thuis took the title in this division, after he fought many battles fought during the season with the Meganes from Carworld Motorsport and Michael Donovan and his Porsche. The following years Thuis performed well at all, because he picked, despite he was missing a few races in 2009, still the second place in the rankings. In 2010 the season started well for home, but his car ran much damage during the Super league Formula event at Assen. "Despite some drop outs I was there, because I always hovered around the third position in the standings," said Henk Thuis, who nevertheless decided to not finish the season with the Porsche. "I had the opportunity to sell the Porsche, and because the buyer took it as an advantage that the engine is low mileage, I decided then to no longer drove with it."

Thuis drove during the final races still in the car from Ted van Vliet, for which Thuis has build a BMW M3 GTR with his team, but now the man behind Intrax was making new plans. "I have in all those years never been driven in the GT division of the Dutch Supercar Challenge, but I felt that at my age it was about time," explains Henk Thuis with a laugh. "I am from now on Radical importer, am currently busy with set up a Radical Benelux Cup, and from there the idea was to create a close version of a Radical to ride in the Dutch Supercar Challenge. That car is not ready anyway and then I have asked organizer Dick van Elk if I was allowed to participate with a Radical SR8. Dick found that not a good plan because the car does not fit the philosophy of the DSC and also he found an open car in the GT division too dangerous.”

Henk Thuis saw his plans go up in smoke and so had to find an alternative. "Yeah, what can I do then he thought. Then my thoughts went suddenly to Aquila. I do business for many years with founder Dan Suenson and so the ball really started rolling. The result is now that I go driving the whole season for Aquila and that we do a lot development work for the Aquila. Aquila however does the maintenance and we run the car. So basically I’m their factory driver and there are few who can say that at my age," said the almost 66 years old Henk Thuis, that has given his upcoming debut in the GT division a name. "I call it a bit my own Route 66 haha!"

The Aquila where Henk Thuis will be driving in the GT division is not simplest car of the brand. Aquila is started using a BMW engine, but now other engines can also be placed in the car. The car which Henk Thuis will be drive is even equipped with a Corvette LS7 engine, the same engine as for example in the Mosler MT900R GT3. The Aquila was in this specification in 2010 the big surprise of the Britcar 24h, where the car in qualifying claimed the pole position. "The beauty of the Aquila is the fact that they deal with plenty of standard components. The LS7 engine is standard and is linked to a Hewland gearbox. The car also has very good brakes from Alcon, paddles on the steering wheel and also good traction control. "

Thuis looks forward to the coming season but still not really dare to venture predictions. "As it looks now we get to the Dutch Supercar Challenge a beautiful field. I hope I can keep up, because men like Martin Short are very fast and also the other participants in the GT division have learned a lot, "said Henk Thuis, who already have a lot of training to be able to handle the speed of the Aquila. "Because the Aquila will be finished very late it is good that I have a Radical to drive. Last weekend we trained pole position at the Winter Endurance Championship, and won a similar car the race. With a Radical we get in addition in het Scheivlak 2.85 G, and I think that I can expect something similar to the Aquila. We finally see how it goes this year, but I look carefully to the podium with my sponsors Pagid, Sunoco, Van Vliet Afbouw and Aquila. Route 66 here we come!

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