Marc Goossens, nicknamed The Goose, is a Belgian racing veteran who is active in racing competitions all over the world for thirty years. He experienced many different racing disciplines, from open-wheelers and sports cars to stock cars and touring cars.
Early in a career, during the 1990s, he spent four seasons in the International Formula 3000 Championship, scoring three wins and finishing third in the points two times. In 1996, Goossens made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans and since then he competed thirteen times at Circuit de la Sarthe, finishing best in the fourth place overall.
He was much more successful in another endurance race, the 24 Hours of Zolder, winning six times between 1997 and 2016, holding the record number of wins. Goossens also won two championship title in his home country, winning the Belcar championship in 2005 and 2011.
Most recently, Goossens was a regular competitor in the IMSA SportsCar Championship until 2017 and in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series until 2018.
European karting champion in 1989, UK's Formula Ford champion in 1991
Born in November 1969 in Geel in the northern part of Belgium, Marc reached the peak in his karting career in 1989, winning the European Championship and finishing third in the World Championship. In 1990, he switched to car racing, competing in Formula Ford in the UK and Benelux. In 1991, he won British Formula Ford and triumphed in annual Formula Ford Festival.
In 1992, Goossens made a step up to the British Formula 3 Championship, driving a Reynard-Honda for West Surrey Racing. Scoring three podiums, he finished sixth in the points. He made an improvement in 1993, finishing third in British Formula 3, behind Kelvin Burt and Oliver Gavin.
Three victories in the International Formula 3000
In 1994, Goossens joined Nordic Racing in the International Formula 3000 Championship, the last step on the single-seater ladder to Formula 1. In his rookie season, he finished ninth in the points. He improved a lot in 1995, still driving for Nordic Racing, scoring one victory (at Hockenheim) and finishing third in the points. Outside championship, Goossens won Formula 3 Madras Grand Prix with West Surrey Racing.
In the 1996 Formula 3000 season, Goossens joined Team Astromega and finished third in the points again. He was a race winner two times, at Pergusa and Magny-Cours.
DNF at Le Mans 24h debut, DSQ at Spa 24h debut
In 1996, Goossens also made a debut at two major endurance races - 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Spa. At Le Mans, he joined Belgians Eric van de Poele and Eric Bachelart in the #17 Ferrari 333 SP of Team Scandia. They retired after 208 laps.
In July, he participated for the first time at Spa 24 Hours, driving the #21 BMW 325i for Castrol Juma Racing. His co-drivers were Jean-Michel Martin and Stephane de Grodt. They were disqualified because of outside assistance.
Class podium at Le Mans, two overall wins at Zolder 24h
A year later, Goossens returned to Le Mans with Courage Competition, driving the #13 Courage C41-Porsche to the fourth place overall and second place in LMP class. His co-drivers were Didier Cottaz and Jerome Policand.
The even greater result he achieved at Zolder 24 Hours in September, winning the race in a Porsche 911 RSR which he was sharing with Vincent Vosse and Patrick Huisman. One more victory in the same car followed a year later, in September 1998. This time, he was sharing a car with Patrick Huisman and Thierry Boutsen.
At Le Mans in 1998, Goossens raced again with Courage Competition, not finishing the race in a Courage C51-Nissan.
Two seasons in Japanese championships
After three full seasons in the Formula 3000 from 1994 to 1996, Goossens moved his career to Japan in 1997, entering two major championships (Formula Nippon and GT Championship) with Team 5Zigen. He scored no points in Formula Nippon, being more successful in the #5 Toyota Supra which he was sharing with Eiichi Tajima, scoring one victory and finishing sixth in the points.
In 1998, he stayed in the #5 Toyota Supra, sharing a car with Yasutaka Hinoi. Without wins or podiums, he finished 13th in the points. He improved his performance in Formula Nippon, scoring two podiums in 1998 and finishing sixth in the final standings.
Back to Formula 3000 in 1999
In 1999, Goossens returned from Japan to Europe, joining Lukoil Arden in the Formula 3000 Championship. The results were catastrophic, with four DNQs, one DSQ, and four DNFs. Goossens raced two more seasons in the Formula 3000 on a part-time schedule, recording four starts with Astromega in 2000 and three starts with Coloni in 2001.
In June 1999, Goossens was a member of Nissan factory team at Le Mans 24 Hours, driving the #21 Courage C52-Nissan to the eighth place overall. His co-drivers were Didier Cottaz and Fredrik Ekblom. In the next two Le Mans attempts, in 2000 and 2001, Goossens was driving Cadillac Northstar LMP for DAMS, recording DNFs in both races.
Goossens raced in a Cadillac also in selected races of the Sports Racing World Cup and American Le Mans Series, but without any notable result.
Third place at Sebring 12 Hours in 2002
In 2002, Goossens joined Riley & Scott Racing to drive their prototype in the American Le Mans Series. Sharing the #36 Riley & Scott MkIII with Guy Smith and Jim Matthews, Goossens finished third at Sebring 12 Hours. A few months later, he raced in the same car at Le Mans, not finishing the race.
In 2002, Goossens participated in both major endurance races in Belgium, not finishing Spa 24h in a Chrysler Viper GTS-R of Zwaart Racing and finishing third at Zolder 24h in a Porsche 996 GT3-RS of Bokkenrijders team.
In 2003, he raced the most in Belgium, driving a Porsche 996 GT3-RS for RTM Racing in Belcar championship. In Belgian endurance races, he retired both at Spa and Zolder. Outside Belgium, Goossens was driving Riley & Scott prototype at Sebring and Le Mans, recording DNFs in both races.
In 2004, Goossens races in a variety of cars. The most notable result was the fourth place at Daytona 24 Hours in a Doran-Lexus prototype of Doran Lista Racing. He was also driving Chrysler Viper GTS-R for Zwaans Racing Team in the FIA GT Championship and Chevrolet Corvette C5-R in Belcar and French GT Championship.
Belcar champion in 2005 in a Chevrolet Corvette
In 2005, Goossens won his first championship title in Belcar series, driving a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R for Selleslagh Racing Team. He won five out of seven rounds, sharing a car with David Hart. He also won Zolder 24 Hours in a Corvette, sharing a car with David Hart, Guy Verheyen and Jan Heylen.
Outside Belgium, he raced with many different teams (Spyker, Orbit Racing, Prodrive Aston Martin9 in different competitions (American Le Mans Series, Grand-Am Rolex Series, FIA GT) but without notable results.
In the 2006 Belcar season, he was defending a title with Eurotech Racing's Marcos LM600, scoring six podiums to finish third in the points. He also raced with the same team in the BRL V6 Series, scoring three wins and finishing fifth in the points. He also raced occasionally in sports car races in the US.
NASCAR debut in 2006
In 2006, Goossens expanded his racing programme with stock car races, making a debut in two NASCAR national divisions. First, he raced with Yates Racing in the Mexican round of the Busch Series, finishing in the ninth place in the #90 Ford.
Then, he made a debut with the same team in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series at Watkins Glen in August, driving the #90 Ford. He crashed out. Goossens recorded one more Cup Series start in 2007, driving the #91 Toyota for Riley-D'Hondt Motorsports at Sonoma. He retired with mechanic failure.
Two seasons in the Grand-Am Rolex Series
In 2007, Goossens spent his first full season in the Grand-Am Rolex Series, driving the #91 Riley-Pontiac prototype for Riley-Matthews Motorsports. His co-driver over the season was Jim Matthews. They were race winners once, at Miller 1000 km race, finishing 13th in the final standings.
Outside North American sports car championship, Goossens raced only at Zolder 24 Hours in September, winning the race in the #56 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup of GPR Racing. His co-drivers were Guillaume Dumarey, Maxime Soulet and Maxime Dumarey. It was the fourth win for Goossens at Zolder's endurance race.
In 2008, Goossens stayed in the #91 Riley-Pontiac, again scoring one victory in the Rolex Series. He and Jim Matthews won the 250-mile race at Mexico City. In 2008, Goossens returned to Le Mans for the first time since 2003, driving LMP1 prototype for Creation Autosportif.
In 2009, Goossens returned to Europe and his main competition was the Benelux Racing League (BRL V6). Winning one race, he finished fifth in the points. He stayed in the same competition in 2010, again winning one race to finish 8th in the points. He also spent half a season with Jaguar RSR in the American Le Mans Series, also driving a Jaguar XKR GT2 at Le Mans, not finishing the race.
Belcar champion again in 2011
In 2011, Goossens clinched his second championship title in Belcar. He was driving a Porsche 997 GT3 R for ProSpeed Competition, taking a title together with Maxime Soulet. Goossens also spent a season with ProSpeed in the Le Mans Series, not scoring wins or podiums. With the same team, he finished 8th in GTE Pro class at Le Mans, sharing a car with Marco Holzer and Jaap van Lagen.
Outside Europe in 2011, Goossens joined Michael Shank Racing at Daytona 24 Hours, finishing 10th in a Riley-Ford.
In 2012, Goossens stayed with ProSpeed Competition, driving a Porsche in the Blancpain Endurance Series as his main competition. He won one race, the Nurburgring 3 Hours, finishing third in the points. In the US, he raced in TRG's Porsche and SRTs' Viper.
Two seasons with SRT Motorsports' Viper
In 2013, Goossens joined SRT Motorsports to spend a full season in the American Le Mans Series driving the #91 SRT Viper GTS-R. His full-time partner was Dominik Farnbacher. They were GT class winners at Road America and finished fifth in the points. They also raced in a Viper at Le Mans, finishing 8th in GTE Pro class.
In 2014, Goossens stayed with SRT Motorsport in newly formed IMSA United SportsCar Championship, driving the #91 and #93 Viper in the GTLM class. Scoring no wins and five podiums, he finished fourth in the final standings.
Two more wins at Zolder 24 Hours in 2015 and 2016
In 2015, Goossens participated in five IMSA races, taking GTLM class victory at Watkins Glen, but the main story was his fifth victory at 24 Hours of Zolder. He won in a Porsche 991 Cup, sharing a car with Dylan Derdaele, Kenneth Heyer and Peter Hoevenaars.
The same crew in the same car, plus Yannick Hoogars as the fifth driver, clinched a victory at 2016 Zolder 24 Hours, what was the sixth win for Goossens and he equaled the record of Anthony Kumpen.
Combining sports cars and stock cars in 2016 and 2017
In 2016, Goossens returned to the full-time schedule in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, driving the #90 Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype for VisitFlorida Racing. Scoring two podiums, including third place at Daytona 24 Hours, he finished fifth in the final standings. In June 2016, Goossens recorded his last Le Mans race so far, driving an Oreca LMP2 for Murphy Prototypes to 15th place in the class.
His second competition in 2016 was the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, in which he scored two podiums with Braxx Racing's Ford. Next year, he won one race in the European NASCAR and one race in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. This time, he was driving the #90 Riley-Multimatic prototype for VisitFlorida Racing, winning a race at Laguna Seca together with Renger van der Zande. They finished the season 7th in the points.
In 2018, Goossens left North American sports car racing and concentrated on stock car racing only, driving a Chevrolet for Braxx Racing.
Photos: Marc The Goose,