Eric van de Poele official web site
Vous êtes ici > Accueil > Carrière > Bio
Eric van de Poele official web site

Bio

Nationalite

Belgian

Lieu et date de naissance

Verviers - Belgium

residence

Incourt - Belgium

Famille

Married with Nadine ; 5 children : Alexis, Kelly, Nicolas, Diego, Luana

Hobbies

Motorbike, tennis, golf ...

"Eric van de Poele from Belgium is one of those drivers who, if he happened to be in the right place at the right time, might well have been World Champion. Being born in Verviers, near Spa, he was probably destined for a life behind the wheel. However, he was a comparatively late started in motorsport, only first coming to prominence in 1983, when he took part in the Volant Avia F3 school at the La Chatre circuit in France, and went home with the victory trophy....

... One of the most versatile racing drivers of the past 20 years, a man who has excelled in touring car, sports car and open wheeler racing, with the ability to drive anything, anywhere to its maximum potential. And, these days, that is a rare talent indeed."

These sentences, extracted from the famous F1 driver's biography website F1rejects , are perfectly summarizing Eric's motorsport career ! That is not yet finished, for sure!

Eric tells us in his full bio, with his own words, how he has been living each race season...

Full biography

Before

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage7.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gif

Coming soon...

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage7.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gif

First race

Finally 18...time to get my driver's licence and of course to start my first race with Roland and Olivier.
The Flappy Racing Team is born...

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gif

With father's R12

My father's Renault R12 was perfect for the first experiences...let's go to Zolder.
A good experience too with Andre Pilette for a test day (the instructors were : M. Duez, JP. Devaux, W. de Brackelaere and Th. Boutsen...)

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gifcareer-bio-panautage1.gif

First Victory

No way to spend one cent for racing! I just have my motivation, let's go to the friends and little shops for sponsorships. Few stickers and scissors will do the job. No sponsors...no races, that's the spirit. Time for my first victory at the Mettet 6 hours (BMW 2002 Ti), thank you Jean-Nicolas Clerc.

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gifcareer-bio-panautage2.gif

Racing is expensive !

Racing is too expensive, how can I do? One race with my dad on his car and maybe 1 or 2 others. Any pictures ? Please send them to me !

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gifcareer-bio-panautage3.gif

Driving school
Avia La Châtre

The only way for me is a Driving school... if I win. And I did.
Few races on two wheels still with Roland and Thierry Allard (no no, not on bike...in cars.) I finished 2nd between the WU and the F1GP at Zandvoort. We had the real podium with flowers and trophy...in front of F1 fans. I though I reached already F1... Any pictures ?
I did also the "Hill climb race" at Namur with the FFord of my hero: Eric Bachelart...Any pictures ?

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gifcareer-bio-panautage4.gif

French F3

My professional career is launching : French F3 championship and ... military duties in parallel.

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gifcareer-bio-panautage5.gif

F Ford, F3, BMW
First 24H Spa

I dropped one step, going to Formula Ford and won Belgian and Benelux Championship with ERP team (so many adventures with Michel, Vincent, Yves, Philippe,...). I finished 9th at the F. Ford Festival !
I had the chance of my life, being enrolled by BMW Belgium in the Belgian touring car championship (thanks to BRPC : the Belgian Racing Press Club of Belgium choose me for racing under their name. I kept as promised the BRPC's logo on my racing suits overall all way to F1).
I did one race in F3 with Prosper Mollekens.
First participation at the famous Spa 24H with one Opel Manta.

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gifcareer-bio-panautage6.gif

Gr N
Gr A
F Ford
British F3

I did many categories : FFord, F3 (thanks to Ian Khan and Mike Row), GrN, GrA (European Championship).
That year, I spent a weekend with 3 races (GrN, GrA and British F3).
Following that, I' ve got the full support from Hugues de Fierlant, Chris and Julien Mampaye from JUMA, the famous LUIGI, Herbert HARTGE, Pascal WITMEUR and Jean-Michel MARTIN (my future managers), Daniel PEETERS, and from BMW Motorsport.
But the most incredible was Hugo Levecke from Lease Plan who never stopped to believe in me and sponsored me during the following 18 years...
I had the chance to participate at the "Race of Champions" of F.FORD in England. An incredible 2 weeks spent with Roland Ratzenberger, JJ Lehto, Philippe Gache, Paul Tracy, Mark Blundell, Schoenstrom,... Any pictures ?

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gifcareer-bio-panautage7.gif

German F3
DTM champion
1st victory
24H Spa

I am one real pro now.
DTM and F3 in Germany (2 podiums).
First victory at the Spa 24 with Didier Theys and Jean-Michel Martin.
And a dramatic final race in DTM at Salzburgring who saw me Champion !!!

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gif

BMW works driver
F Opel

Starting beautifully this year (the Life...! ) with my wedding with Nadine.
BMW works driver full time with the big boys...Schnitzer and my star Charly Lamm.
On race in F.OPEL at Spa (European Championship) where I did the pole and finished second behind Frentzen.

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gif

F3000
DTM

Whaouh ! A full season in F3000. Without Hugo, Pascal, Jean-Michel, Daniel, Edward, John, Jean, Jean-Luc, Roland ... No way to do it. I can really begin to dream about the reality of F1. Incredible motivation, some luck and good background from BMW Motorsport, will build a couple of podiums for my first season.
Few races still for BMW Motorsport in DTM.

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage1.gif

F3000 Vice Champion
IMSA
Gr C
First test F1

A F3000 season up and down. But finally 3 wins (Pau, Birmingham and Nogaro) and the title of vice-champion behind Erik Comas. It was a good way to thank all my supporters.
I had the privilege to get into the famous Fiorano track with all the developpement tests for the F40 LM.
Jean Sage asked me to be part of the adventure...what a present! So, I drove 2 races in IMSA with the "Red Beast"!
First experience also in GrC (World Championship), I did 2 races with Spice works team and had famous team-mates : Bruno Giacomelli and Wayne Taylor.

And finally the fiction stopped and I did my first lap in F1. Thank you to Giovanni Aloi (F3000 team-mate).

Many tests in F1 in the last part of the season with Modena Team with Marco Apicella.

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage1.gif

World FIA F1 Championship

That's it! I've got my F1 super license and I am a F1 driver... Nightmare of pre-qualify but an incredible exercise of concentration. A Month that I will never forget: April! Kelly is borned on Tuesday (my number 2). Imola Friday, I am for the first time pre-qualified; Saturday I am for the first time qualified and Sunday I'll start my first Grand Prix!!! 5th during the last lap, running out of fuel, I have to give my two first points in the World F1 Championship to a rookie like me, Mika Hakkinnen...

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage2.gif

World FIA F1 Championship

With Pascal Witmeur the magician, and the assistance of my faithful sponsors, I can sign with Brabham! In spite of the exploit to have to pass the finishing line to the first GP of the season without to have made the least kilometer of winter tests, I will change TEAM right before Hungary; Three GP with Fondmetal, but the financial difficulties to meet by the TEAM will condemn it has not to finish the season... tough F1, but a fantastic human Year with Damon Hill and my race engineers Dave Morgan & Tim Densham!

2nd at Spa 24! My worst souvenir of that race... don't speak to me about it!

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage3.gif

F1 Tests & Procar in Belgium

Very hard to quit my dream's job! F1 is too expensive! What can I do? I setup a nice program in “Procar” (Belgian touring car Championship) as a base. First drive for Nissan in the World Cup. I do not want to give up and I managed to deal to be test driver with Tyrrell in exchange of not money!- a technical idea. Seating in a Tyrrell was a dream coming trough, in fact my hero has always been François Cevert…so, 20 Years later…

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage4.gif

BTCC & IMSA

With my close relationship with Nissan, I signed with NME in the BTCC. Hard time in UK, so I switched to IMSA still with Nissan with the 730 HP beast, the 300ZX GTO! 3 podiums , two faster laps and an obvious attraction to the US for racing!

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage5.gif

IMSA & Spainish Touring Car

Definitely in love with the US, I drove the fantastic Ferrari 333sp for the first time at Daytona. Than a week before Sebring, Andy Evans recalled me to be back in the beauty.. Even if I had no clue where Sebring was a week before, we won the race, and even better, I finished fourth with the sister car and Alboreto ! Incredible. But my main program is in Spain with Nissan in the Spanish touring car Championship. A lot of fun and success. Fantastic team with Chus and “Mediter”. Good atmosphere and beautiful memories.

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage6.gif

Spanish Touring Car, TransAm, WSC

Back to Spain, that's real racing in a dream atmosphere. I love my job! And again Sebring! Yes, victory again, I cannot believe.

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage7.gif

<......>

Coming soon

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage8.gif

< ...>

Coming soon

career-bio-panautage1.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gifcareer-bio-panautage9.gif

<......>

Coming soon

career-bio-panautage2.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gif

<......>

Coming soon

career-bio-panautage2.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage1.gif

<......>

Coming soon

career-bio-panautage2.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage2.gif

<......>

Coming soon

career-bio-panautage2.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage3.gif

<......>

Coming soon

career-bio-panautage2.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage4.gif

<......>

Coming soon

career-bio-panautage2.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage5.gif

<......>

Coming soon

career-bio-panautage2.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage6.gif

<......>

Coming soon

career-bio-panautage2.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage0.gifcareer-bio-panautage7.gif

<......>

Coming soon

Conditions générales Mentions légales | Powered by Atoms | Designed by defimedia