Continental Tire IMSA Spotlight: Jeroen Bleekemolen

Photo: IMSA/Richard Dole

Photo: IMSA/Richard Dole

Driver Spotlight: Jeroen Bleekemolen
Driver, No. 33 Riley Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3
Follow: @JBleekemolen

You’ve won a lot of big races with Mercedes in your career, how does this one stack up?

“This is one of the biggest. This is definitely one of the hardest races there is with the track being so bumpy and hard on cars and drivers.

“You can feel it. It’s 12 hours but it feels like you’ve done 24 hours. It’s amazing, everything held together so we could push all the way through. I’m really excited.”

With so much green flag running in the race this year, how tough was it on you physically inside the race car?

“It is tough. The level of competition is really high in this class, in GTD. There are so many good cars out there, so many good teams, drivers, cars. You have to push hard.

“The racing is fantastic. You can’t always be on top, that’s for sure, but it’s great to be on top for this one, one of the bigger races of the year. Hopefully we can get a few more wins here.”

With a win here at Sebring and a third place finish at Daytona earlier in the season, are you where you want to be with the season long championship in mind?

“It’s great. For the championship, it’s all going to be about consistency and it seems that so far we’ve been able to do that.

“If we can keep finishing races in the top five, six, and get our podiums or wins every now and then, you’re in a good spot for the championship.”

How much has your experience with Mercedes over the years helped to get your team and co-drivers up to speed this year in their first year with the car?

“The team has so much experience, and we have good support from AMG. For sure I know the little tricks, but we have really good group of people.

“They’re all super professional doing, I think, one of the best jobs in the world if you look at all the racing teams around. You can’t teach them too much any more!”

How do you feel about the recent announcement that Ricky Taylor will be joining you and Ben Keating for Le Mans this year?

“It’s great! Ricky is a great guy. He did a fantastic job at Daytona obviously, winning the race for them. Again, a great job by him [at Sebring].

“He’s shown that he’s been really on top of his game, really getting the maximum out of everything right now. I think he’s the right guy to be with us.”

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