Liesette Braams to make GT4 European Series return with Equipe Verschuur
3 March 2018
Liesette Braams is set to make her comeback in the GT4 European Series this season. The Dutch driver last raced at the 2016 season finale and was forced to miss the 2017 season as she battled cancer, but she will now return in a McLaren 570S GT4.
Liesette was set to race the McLaren in 2017, but her condition prevented her from taking part in any of the GT4 European Series Northern Cup rounds last season. This season, the 46-year-old will be back behind the wheel of a GT4 car, which will be entered under the Las Moras Racing by Equipe Verschuur banner.
“The McLaren 570S GT4 really suits me. I recently tested a BMW M4 GT4 as well as the McLaren and found out that the latter was easier for me to drive. For example, in the McLaren I don’t have to push the brakes as hard as in the BMW which means I use less energy,” said Liesette.
“I need to save my energy and focus on the track. Everything I learned in the Lotus Cup a couple of years ago I can use while driving the McLaren. It’s those things that made me chose the McLaren for this season. I tested the car in November and drove it for hours, without feeling any pain. I love the car, it’s agile and fun.”
For Liesette returning to the GT4 European Series is another victory in her battle with cancer. However, she knows she has to take one step at a time and she’s working hard to get fully prepared for the first round of the season at Zolder.
“I’m working out three times a week and walk a lot in order to get fit. I will take part in the official test at Zolder next week to see where I stand. After that there’s stil a full month to get ready for the season. With every week of training I’m making another step towards my goal of getting back into competition. Getting into the car at Zolder would be yet another victory.”
Despite having been on the top step of the podium in 2015, Braams has no real expectations yet for the upcoming season, though she’s eager to race at the front of her class again.
“In 2015 I was in great shape. Right now I have no clue whether I can fight for a class victory or that I will be at the back. We’ll see. Luck is definitely a factor in racing. But again, just taking part is already a victory. It’s now up to me to show what I can do after being ill for such a long time. One thing is certain, I don’t feel ill in the car. ”
Liesette believes her illness and treatment can easily be compared with racing.
“I am a driver as well as a patient. I know I need to have a strong body to make it through the race or an operation. When you race you need a good team to support you and when you’re ill you also need a good team. The medical team is like a pit crew and in my case I had a great team.”
No decision has been made on a teammate for 2018, but all options are open. “I might have a teammate for this season, but I could also run on my own as this is allowed in the AM class. The pit stop would be a moment to rest a bit, before giving it my all again. ”
Liesette’s drive to beat her illness, get back into the car and challenge for victories again is laudable and she thinks she knows what made it possible so far.
“I think that being opinionated and stubborn, in combination with determination and positivity has been an ideal mix in my battle with cancer. And of course the support I get from my husband Luc and my children, Max and Sanne has really helped as well!”