- TT Circuit Assen and DTM as the setting for the fourth meeting
- Dylan Derdaele leader, but the suspense is complete
- The duel continues between Saelens and Grouwels in Class B
As we have seen since the beginning of the season, the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux is on the up. The starting grid is well filled, the races are exciting and the meetings increasingly prestigious. This weekend, the Benelux competition will start the second half of its season with a second appearance at a DTM meeting. This time, it is the TT Circuit Assen – known as the Cathedral of Speed by MotoGP fans – which will serve as the setting for both races on the programme.
While the public are expected to gather in strength in the stands, a demonstration in the streets of Assen for the DTM competitors will also give the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux a chance to spread the word. Two representatives of the fastest single make cup in the Benelux countries will also be on hand on Thursday at 17.25 to provide a show on a boulevard in the very heart of the city. A great atmosphere is guaranteed!
On the eve of this fourth meeting of the season, Dylan Derdaele (Belgium Racing) is in charge. Already champion in 2016, the 27-year-old Belgian is one of the leading drivers in the pack. But the man from Limburg, winner of two races this year, is only 4 points ahead of Max van Splunteren (Team GP Elite), who has also won two races. After a few fine performances at an international level, the 23-year-old Dutchman intends to launch his career with the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux.
And so is Loek Hartog! At only 16 years old, the young Dutchman from Bas Koeten Racing was the undeniable revelation at the beginning of the season. Champion in the Ford Fiesta Sprint Cup in 2018, he made a successful transition from a 150-bhp touring car to a 485-bhp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. After winning the Porsche Junior Recruitment Programme last winter, Loek received support from the promoter of the Benelux Cup to make his debut this year. With a victory and a provisional third place in the championship, only 13 points behind the leader, he proves that the confidence placed in him is definitely not misplaced!
Behind this trio, the others must now focus on the bright spots… and hope for a little success to catch up with the leaders. This is particularly the case for 2017 champion and 2018 runner-up Xavier Maassen (DVB Racing). Particularly unlucky at the beginning of the season, the 39-year-old Dutchman has stepped onto the podium twice, but still has no victory to his name. That will be his goal!
On the other hand, a driver who made his debut at the third meeting in Zandvoort has already won. Entered by Bas Koeten Racing, Kay van Berlo is only 18 years old, but he already has a lot of experience, especially in the LMP3 prototype. For his very first race in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, he managed to hang on to a first win which says a lot about his potential before his second appearance in the Cup.
As expected, the leading roles are played both by experienced drivers and young bucks. But some outsiders plan to be involved in the party in Assen. These include the brothers Jesse and Daan van Kuijk (Team GP Elite), Jürgen Van Hover (Speedlover) and the young Lucas Groeneveld (Team GP Elite).
Class B: Saelens against Grouwels
In Class B, since the beginning of the year there has been a duel between Nicolas Saelens (Belgium Racing) and Roger Grouwels (RaceArt). The Belgian has regularly taken the lead over the Dutchman and he intends to keep it on this Belgian national holiday weekend. But Roger Grouwels will have the advantage of being on home soil! The arbiter of this battle should be Ziad Geris (Team GP Elite), who had not scored a point in the first race, but who won both races in Zandvoort. An other Dutchman, Bas Barenburg (RaceArt), is lying in ambush. After an accident during the Porsche Endurance Trophy Benelux race at Spa-Francorchamps last Saturday, Rik Renmans’ car (Speedlover) unfortunately cannot be repaired in time.
Two free practice sessions are scheduled before the qualifying sessions on Saturday at 08.40. As usual, two races are on the programme: Saturday at 17.50 and Sunday at 15.25. It remains to be seen who will start the summer break at the top of the championship!
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