- Zandvoort and the Pinksterraces the third event of the season
- Derdaele leader of the general classification, Grouwels leader of the B drivers
- The Cayman Clubsport Class of the Porsche Endurance Trophy also in action
After the Belgian rounds at Spa-Francorchamps and Zolder, the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux will this weekend open the first of two Dutch chapters of its 2019 campaign. Before starting the second part of the season with the DTM in Assen (19-21 July), it is the Zandvoort track that will host the twenty or so competitors in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, headlining the Pinksterraces.
For a large number of the competitors, this round on the shores of the North Sea will be on their home soil. And yet, it is a Belgian who arrives as leader in Zandvoort. With a win and then a second place finish at Zolder, Dylan Derdaele took a lead in the competition. But the Belgium Racing driver, who was also champion in 2016, knows that he will have much to deal with against the Dutch, who are still formidable at home!
Since the beginning of the year, young Loek Hartog has continued to surprise, to the point of occupying second place in the provisional ranking. At 16, he has no lack of ambition and can rely on a blossoming Bas Koeten Racing team. Not only has the Dutch team been able to place their protégé at the forefront, but they will also be welcoming a newcomer in the future in the person of Kay van Berlo. Barely older than Loek Hartog, the driver from Veghel will be competing for the end of the season.
“So we are doubling our involvement,” smiles team boss Bas Koeten. “Loek’s progress curve has been impressive since the beginning of this year and we hope it will be the same for Kay. At 18 years of age, he already has a wealth of experience in karting, LMP3 prototypes and even tests at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. With these two young drivers, we will work hard to develop ourselves in the GT world by focusing first of all on the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux.”
Van Splunteren extremely ambitious
In addition to Loek Hartog and Bas Koeten Racing, another driver and another team are eagerly awaiting the Zandvoort event. A year ago, Max van Splunteren was able to win among the dunes. Third in the championship, the spearhead of Team GP Elite is ready to repeat his performance in order to get back into the title race. And what about Xavier Maassen? The 2017 champion and reigning vice-champion had a first event to forget before finally stepping onto the podium in the first race at Zolder. The Dutchman and DVB Racing know that this meeting is crucial if they want to retain their chances of winning the crown.
Alongside these favourites, there will be no shortage of outsiders, starting with Jesse van Kuijk (Team GP Elite), fourth in the championship, Jurgen Van Hover (Speedlover) and Sandra van der Sloot (Snoexx Motorsport), the 2018 B drivers’ champion who has always distinguished herself in Zandvoort.
B drivers: Grouwels and Saelens head to head
Two drivers took advantage of the first two rounds of the season to take the lead in the B drivers’ standings. With three victories, Roger Grouwels (RaceArt) is logically the leader, but Nicolas Saelens (Belgium Racing) is right in his slipstream. While the Dutchman will be racing at home in Zandvoort, the Belgian is determined not to be left behind on the North Sea coast. Having twice stepped on the podium in Zolder, Ziad Geris (Team GP Elite) intends to play the role of referee.
For the others, it will be a matter of counter-attacking in order to pass the mid-season mark with flying colours. Jeroen Kreeft (Squadra Aragosta by Snoexx) will aim for a first podium in his class, to stay ahead of Bas Barenburg (RaceArt) and Wim Meulders (Speedlover).
Let us also note the debut of Tijn Jilesen (PG Motorsport) at the heart of the pack. For his trip out in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, the Dutchman will be entered in the Guest category.
The two 15-minute qualifying sessions will follow one another on Saturday from 10.10, before a first race a few hours later at 13.30. The second 30-minute confrontation will take place on Sunday at 15.30.
Porsche Endurance Trophy: the Caymans in the spotlight
As the 24 Hours of Zolder will not be on their calendar, the competitors of the Cayman Clubsport Class of the Porsche Endurance Trophy will also meet in Zandvoort this weekend, but without their counterparts of the 911 Class.
The Caymans will this time be part of the STWC pack, a Dutch competition which will feature two 50-minute races (Saturday at 14.15 and Sunday at 16.50). RED ANT Racing, with Bert Redant and his sons (Yannick and Ayrton), won two of the first three races and is leading the way in the championship. But the Dutch (including Niels Nipperus and Lars Poell, entered by PG Motorsport) aim to reverse the trend. It should be noted that Paul van Splunteren (Team GP Elite), winner of the first race at Zolder, will be joined this time by a journalist to whom he will give an opportunity during the race to discover the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
Calendar for the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux
3-4 May: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps – FIA WEC Spa
17-19 May: Circuit Zolder – DTM
7-9 June: Circuit Zandvoort – Pinksterraces
19-21 July: TT Circuit Assen – DTM
13-15 September: Nürburgring – DTM
28-29 September: Circuit Barcelona – Blancpain GT Series
Calendar for the Porsche Endurance Trophy (Cayman Clubsport class)
3 April: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps – Official Roll-Out
17-19 May: Circuit Zolder – DTM (2 x 60 minutes)
1-2 June: Circuit Zolder – Superprix (180 minutes)
7-9 June: Circuit Zandvoort – Pinksterraces (2 x 50 minutes)
12-13 July: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps – 25H VW Fun Cup (180 minutes)
4-6 October: Circuit Zolder – American Festival Nascar Finals (125 minutes)
18-20 October: TT Circuit Assen – Final Races (125 minutes)