Laurens Vanthoor is a Belgian racing driver who started his career in single-seaters but later switched to GT racing and won numerous titles.
The Zolder Circuit determined Laurens’ life
He was born on 8th of May 1991 in Hasselt, Belgium, and lives near Zolder Circuit where watched his father race when he was a boy. At the same time, Laurens began to race karting and over the years achieved some good results. In 2005 Vanthoor won both Belgian and French ICA-J championships and also finished 4th in the European Championship.
Two years later Vanthoor became factory driver of the CRG Team in the KF2 category but missed most of the season after having a serious accident that resulted in six fractures. However, he was able to finish as a runner-up in the North European Championship before switching to open-wheelers.
Laurens Vanthoor was the youngest ever German F3 champion
In 2008 Laurens debuted in the German Formula 3 with Van Amersfoort Racing and did a good job in his rookie season. The young Belgian scored two wins and other seven podiums before finishing 4th in the standings. The same year Vanthoor debuted at Macau Grand Prix becoming the youngest ever in the history of the event. He again did well and finished 6th in the prestigious race.
Vanthoor celebrates win at Oschersleben, 2008
After a successful debut in single-seaters, Laurens became Volkswagen factory pilot, thanks to the support of Belgian Motorsport Federation. He stayed in the German F3 in 2009 and became the youngest ever champion in the series. It was really the brilliant year for the Belgian as he triumphed in 11 out of 18 races with Van Amersfoort Racing and had other four podium finishes. That year Vanthoor also experienced racing in the Belgian Touring Car Series.
Laurens Vanthoor, Formula 3 Euro Series at Valencia
In 2010 Vanthoor progressed to Formula 3 Euro Series. Driving for the Signature team he had 4 podium finishes and took 6th place in the Championship. That year Laurens also finished 2nd in the Macau Grand Prix, losing to his teammate Edoardo Mortara. Belgian driver stayed with the team for another year in F3 Euro Series and again finished 6th overall, failing to win the race for the second year in a row.
Switch to GT racing was a good decision
The year of 2012 brought a big change for Laurens. He switched to GT racing and very soon he was established as one of the best GT racers in Europe. His debut was with the Belgian Team WRT in the FIA GT1 World Championship and Vanthoor impressed by winning the title driving and Audi R8 LMS Ultra alongside Stephane Ortelli. They won the races at Zolder, Zandvoort, and Baku, scored other six podiums before taking the title in front of their teammates Frank Stippler and Edward Sandstrom.
With Stephane Ortelli, 2012
The same year Vanthoor also raced in the Blancpain Endurance Series, again with Ortelli, but the results weren’t as good and he finished 14th in the standings, with one podium finish on his account.
The 2014 season was probably the best so far for the Belgian driver
In his second year with the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, Vanthoor raced in both Endurance and Sprint Cups of Blancpain GT Series and was crowned as the series overall champion. He scored a total of eight wins in both cups, including a triumph at 24 Hours of Spa when his co-drivers were Rene Rast and Markus Winkelhock.
On the shoulders of Cesar Ramos and Christopher Mies after victory at Nurburgring
In 2014 Laurens also won the title in the Sprint Cup, while in Endurance Cup he finished 4th overall. Vanthoor also helped his team to win Blancpain GT Series Teams’ Championship title.
Successful stream continues
The start of 2015 was very good as he finished 2nd in 12 Hours of Bathurst. Later in the season, he won 24h of Nurburgring and 12 Hours of Sepang. However, his main duty again was racing in the Blancpain GT Series and driving alongside Robin Frijns, the Belgian driver finished 3rd in the standings after winning 5 out of 12 races.
The same year Vanthoor debuted at Le Mans 24 Hours, driving for OAK Racing in LMP2 class, alongside Kevin Estre and Chris Cumming but they retired on lap 329. He also appeared as a guest in the Stock Car Brasil series.
Laurens Vanthoor, 2016 FIA GT World Cup, Macau
In 2016 Vanthoor again had an excellent start as he triumphed at 24 Hours of Dubai. For the second year in a row, he won 12 Hours of Sepang and also was crowned as GT World Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge champion. Finally, Laurens in the Blancpain GT Series again finished 3rd in the Drivers’ Championship confirming his class.
His last success with WRT Audi was the victory at the World GT Cup in Macau. It was an unusual victory at one of Vanthoor’s favorite tracks. His Audi went upside down after the accident. The race was stopped and wasn’t resumed because there wasn’t enough time to restart and Laurens was declared a winner as he led in the last completed lap.
Move to Porsche
Since January 1st of 2017, Laurens is a driver of Porsche Motorsport. He will share the seat of Porsche 911 RSR with Kevin Estre in GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship and other prestigious GT3 races all over the world.