- October 23, 1981
- Fia World Endurance Championship
- Team Project 1
In the world of racing, the drivers can be in generally divided into two categories – those who specialized for just one motorsport discipline and never try something else and those who compete in multiple series and branches of motorsport. The third category is – Jeroen Bleekemolen. Well, maybe it sounds like a joke, but the numbers are the proof.
Impressive career featured more than 40 different series
The Dutch driver, born on October 23, 1981, in Heemstede, started to race as a kid with karts, under the influence of his father Michael, who was also a racing driver with few participations in Formula One races. At the age of 17, Jeroen switched to cars. Since then, in 19 years of career (until the end of 2017), he recorded more than 600 races in more than 40 different racing series.
Double Porsche Supercup and ALMS champion
The list of his achievements, titles and notable victories is very very long, so we would mention just the most significant. He was a back-to-back champion in the Porsche Supercup in 2008 and 2009, he won the GTC titles in the American Le Mans Series two times (2010 and 2013) and he won some of the famous endurance races. At Le Mans 24-hour race, he won the LMP2 class in 2008, at 24h of Nürburgring he was the overall winner in 2013. He also added the victories at Dubai 24h and Gulf 12h to his CV.
Two championship title in debut season
Jeroen entered the car racing in 1998 and immediately showed the winning potential, taking not one but two titles in his debut season. Driving for Geva Racing, he won the titles both in the Dutch Formula Ford and Benelux Formula Ford. In the same year, he represented Netherlands at the Formula Opel Lotus Nations Cup, taking the second place behind the British team.
In 1999, Bleekemolen moved to the Formula Palmer Audi, missing to score and podium and victory. In 2000, the similar results repeated in the German Formula 3. Jeroen was driving for Van Amersfoort Racing in 16 races, without wins and podiums.
Switch to the touring and GT cars
No luck in the single-seaters, he said, and switched to GT and touring cars in 2001, with immediate success. He became the champion in the Dutch Renault Clio Cup and finished third in the International Renault Clio Cup, driving for the family-owned Team Bleekemolen. Jeroen also participated in the 2001 FIA GT Championship, driving the Chrysler Viper GTS-R for Carsport Holland, alongside Mike Hezemans. They won two races at Hungaroring and Estoril to finish second in the championship, behind Larbre Competition.
In 2002, Jeroen's main competition was the Dutch Touring Car Championship. He competed with Verschuur Racing's Renault Clio RS and finished second in the championship, just seven points behind Duncan Huisman with BMW. During the season, Bleekemolen had occasional appearances in many other competitions, such were V8Star, Renault Clio Sport Trophy and British Formula 3.
Bleekemolen joined Opel's DTM team in 2003
A big move followed in 2003, as Jeroen joined OPC Euroteam in DTM, to drive #17 Opel Astra V8 Coupe. In ten races, his best result was seventh place at Zandvoort and he finished 14th in the points. Bleekemolen continued to race in DTM in 2004. His Opel Astra Coupe was outdated car against new four-door sedans Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4 and Opel Vectra, so he didn't get any better of 12th place in three races and didn't collect any points.
Bleekemolen left DTM at the end of 2004 and he had a diverse schedule of races in 2005, competing in seven different series. He joined Spyker Squadron to drive Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R in the FIA GT Championship and Le Mans Endurance Series. He reached the podiums at FIA GT race at Dubai and Le Mans Series race at Nürburgring.
Championship title in the Benelux Racing League
He competed as a guest driver in the Porsche Supercup and Dutch Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge but his biggest success was achieved in the 2005 Benelux Racing League (BRL) V6 series. He won 11 of 14 races and dominantly took the title.
In 2006, the season started at 12 hours of Sebring. Bleekemolen and Mike Hezemans competed in the America with Spyker C8 Spyder and finished 8th in GT2 class. Later in the season Bleekemolen competed for Spyker Squadron in the Le Mans Series and FIA GT Championship.
Le Mans debut with Spyker in 2006
In June 2006, he participated for the first time at 24 hours of Le Mans, alongside Mike Hezemans and Jonny Kane. They retired after 202 laps.
Except Spyker, Bleekemolen was driving the Audi A4 in two rounds of DTM for Futurecom TME and had one-off appearances in the Porsche Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup Germany.
Two wins in the A1 GP series
In October 2006, Bleekemolen entered the A1 Grand Prix series, representing Team Netherlands. He competed for the full season, winning the race in China, to finish fifth in the overall standings. He re-appeared in the series in the following two seasons, finishing 7th in the season 2007-2008 and 4th in the season 2008-2009. He won one more race in February 2009 at Kyalami circuit in South Africa.
First season in the Porsche Supercup
As usual, Bleekemolen continued with the diverse racing schedule all these years. In 2007, his main competition was the Porsche Supercup, as he participated in eight races and scored three wins, to finish 8th in the points. The other series were FIA GT and ADAC GT Masters with Reiter's Lamborghini, Ford Benelux Racing League, Mini Challenge and Porsche Carrera Cup Germany.
At 2007 edition of Le Mans 24-hour race, Bleekemolen partnered Jan Lammers and David Hart in the Racing for Holland's LMP1 prototype Dome-Judd. They finished 25th overall and 8th in the class.
2008 - the most successful year
The season 2008 was definitely one of the most successful in Jeroen's career, as he became the champion of the Porsche Supercup and clinched the victory at Le Mans. In the Porsche Supercup, he was driving for Jetstream Motorsport. With three wins and 10 podiums in 12 races, Bleekemolen dominantly took the title.
Le Mans class victory together with Jos Verstappen
At Le Mans race, Jeroen's car was the #34 Porsche RS Spyder Evo of Van Merksteijn Motorsport. His co-drivers were Jos Verstappen and Peter van Merksteijn Sr. After 354 laps, they finished 10th overall and took the LMP2 class victory.
Second consecutive Porsche Supercup title
In 2009, Bleekemolen defended his Porsche Supercup title, driving for Konrad Motorsport and winning five of 13 races. To the record book of his successes, he added the second place in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany. After four wins in nine races, he missed the title for just five points behind Thomas Jäger.
At 2009 24 hours of Le Mans, Bleekemolen returned with Spyker Squadron, but this time with more success than three years before. Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2-R, driven by Bleekemolen, Tom Coronel and Jaroslav Janiš, finished 5th in the GT2 class.
In his homeland, Bleekemolen competed partially in the 2009 Dutch GT4 championship, driving Corvette C6. He scored five wins in nine races. In the next year, he won two races in the Dutch GT4, again driving Corvette C6.
Brother Sebastiaan joined Jeroen in the 2010 ALMS
His main job in 2010 was in the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Black Swan Racing team in the American Le Mans Series. Jeroen won four races in GTC class and took his first American title. His co-driver were Tim Pappas but at Laguna Seca, they were joined by Jeroen's younger brother Sebastiaan Bleekemolen.
While in America, Bleekemolen participated at 24 hours of Daytona, driving the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup for Magnus Racing, alongside John Potter and Craig Stanton. At 2010 24 hours of Le Mans, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Tom Coronel returned in the Spyker C8 Laviolette, partnered by Peter Dumbreck. They finished 9th in GT2 class.
In 2010, Jeroen competed in the Porsche Supercup for the fourth year in a row, but this time, he scored only three podiums to finish 7th in the points. One more series he competed in 2010 was the Argos Supreme Toerwagen Diesel Cup, at the wheel of BMW 120d.
Third place finish in several racing series
In 2011, Bleekemolen finished in the third place in several competitions. He was third in the GTC class of the American Le Mans Series, again with Black Swan Racing's Porsche. Bleekemolen also drove Porsches in the Mobil 1 Supercup and Carrera Cup Germany, finishing third in the German Carrera Cup. He was also third in the Dutch GT4 championship.
At 2011 Le Mans race, Bleekemolen joined Rebellion Racing to partner Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost in the LMP1 prototype Lola B10/60-Toyota. They finished sixth overall, as the best private team behind factory-backed Audis and Peugeots.
More than 15 different competitions in one season
During 2012, Bleekemolen had the most diverse schedule so far, participating in more than 15 competitions in one season.
Bleekemolen returned to Le Mans with Rebellion Racing in 2012, this time partnering Andrea Belicchi and Harold Primat. They finished 11th overall and 7th in LMP1 class. He also competed at all other notable endurance races during that season.
Second-place finish at Daytona
At 24 hours of Daytona, he finished second in the GT class with TRG's Porsche 997 GT3 Cup. At 12 hours of Sebring, Bleekemolen participated with Rebellion Racing. At Dubai 24-hour race, he scored first place in the Black Falcon's Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3. Bleekemolen competed with Black Falcon's Mercedes at 24 hours of Nürburgring and 24 hours of Spa, retiring bot races. And finally, Jeroen was driving Mercedes of Erebus Racing at Bathurst 12-hour race, finishing second.
Australia and New Zealand were also on Jeroen's schedule
He traveled again to Australia and New Zealand to drive in the V8 Supercars Championship and V8 SuperTourers NZ Championship. Of course, it wasn't all, because he also drove Lamborghini for Reiter in the FIA GT1 Championship, Renault Clio for Team Bleekemolen in the Dutch Clio Cup and Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the Porsche Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup Germany.
Second GTC title in the American Le Mans Series
The similar schedule repeated in 2013, but the focus was in the American Le Mans Series. Driving the Porsche 911 GT3 R for Alex Job Racing and winning two races, Bleekemolen took the ALMS GTC title for the second time in a career.
He also participated in almost a whole season of the Porsche Supercup for Lechner Racing, finishing 7th in the points.
Three endurance victories with Black Falcon's Mercedes
At 2013 Le Mans 24-hour race, Bleekemolen joined the Swiss Race Performance team, alongside Michel Frey and Patric Niederhauser, in the LMP2 Oreca-Judd prototype. They finished 9th in the class. Bleekemolen took the victories in other three endurance races, at 24 hours of Nürburgring, 24 hours of Dubai and Gulf 12 hours, every time with Black Falcon's Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3.
Full season in three different series with three different teams
In 2014, Bleekemolen participated full seasons in three different series with three different teams and cars. In the IMSA United Sportscar Championship, he was driving SRT Viper GT3-R for Riley Motorsports. With two victories he finished 18th in the GTD class of the championship. In the 2014 ADAC GT Masters, Bleekemolen participated in ten races with Callaway Competition's Corvette, missing any podium and win. And finally, in the Blancpain Sprint Series Cup, Bleekemolen took third place in the Grasser Racing Team's Lamborghini Gallardo.
No wins in 2014 endurance races
Of course, Bleekemolen didn't miss endurance races in 2014. He had just one co-driver in the Prospeed Competition's Porsche 997 RSR at Le Mans. It was American Cooper MacNeil and they finished 5th in GTE Pro class. At Nürburgring, Dubai and Yas Marina Circuit he again competed with Black Falcon's Mercedes but without victories.
Tenth Le Mans participation with Viper
In 2015, Bleekemolen joined Bentley Team HTP in the ADAC GT Masters. He won one of eight races and finished 16th in the points. He was more successful in the United States, taking two wins in the GTD class of the IMSA United Sportscar Championship with Riley Motorsports SRT Viper, to finish sixth in the final championship standings. The American team came to Le Mans in 2015, but the #53 Dodge Viper didn't finish the race. Bleekemolen's co-drivers in his 10th participation at Le Mans race were Ben Keating and Marc Miller.
IMSA GTD runner-up for two years in a row
Bleekemolen continued with diverse program in 2016 and 2017. His main competition was the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Riley Motorsports, in which he was driving the #33 Dodge Viper GT3-R in the GTD class. He finished second in the final points, together with tammate Ben Keating.
In 2017, Bleekemolen stayed with Riley Motorsports in the IMSA Championship, but the team switched to Mercedes-AMG GT3. He scored two wins, including the Sebring 12 Hours, finishing again second in the GTD class at the end of the season.
Le Mans podium with Ferrari in 2018
In 2018, Jeroen and Ben Keating finished third in the IMSA GTD class after winning one race (Mosport) in a Mercedes. Outside IMSA Championship, the highlight of the season was a podium at 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ferrari 488 GTE. He finished third in the GTE Am class together with Ben Keating and Luca Stolz.
In 2019, he and Ben Keating continued to share a Mercedes in the IMSA Championship, scoring one victory (Virginia) and finishing seventh in the points of the GTD class. Outside IMSA Championship, the highlight of the season was a provisional victory in the GTE Am class at 24 Hours of Le Mans, together with Ben Keating and Felipe Fraga in the #85 Keating Motorsports Ford GT, but they were disqualified after the race for exceeding the permitted fuel capacity.
For the 2019-2020 FIA WEC season, Bleekemolen joined Team Project 1 to drive the #57 Porsche 911 RSR.