· Two victories and the championship lead for Van Splunteren
· Derdaele in difficulty at Assen
· Geris and Saelens stand out among the B Drivers
After a month and a half break, the competitors in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux met this weekend at the famous TT Circuit Assen, the venue for the fourth event of the season. And once again they were competing in a very prestigious context, with a second appearance as part of a DTM meeting. It was enough to start the second part of the season in the perfect way!
Race 1: Van Splunteren defeats Hartog
The least we can say is that the Benelux competition played its part. After a demonstration in the streets of Assen on Thursday, the fastest single make cup in the Benelux was also a talking point for the great battle on track from the first laps in qualifying. Loek Hartog (Bas Koeten Racing) set the first fastest time, ahead of Max Van Splunteren (Team GP Elite) by 82 thousandths of a second!
Race 1 promised to be hotly disputed on Saturday. But this time, it was Max Van Splunteren who managed to do best. Taking advantage of the pole sitter’s missed start, the Dutchman took the lead from the first corner and never let go. Falling back to third place, his 16-year-old compatriot was nevertheless back close on his tail by mid-race, but he was unable to find a way through. Loek Hartog finally took second place, 3 tenths behind the winner.
Behind him another young buck emerged. Despite a 5-second penalty for a jump start, Dutchman Kay Van Berlo (Bas Koeten Racing) took third place on the podium ahead of Dylan Derdaele (Belgium Racing) and Jesse van Kuijk (Team GP Elite).
In the B Drivers class, there was also a great duel between Ziad Geris (Team GP Elite) and Roger Grouwels (RaceArt). Starting in front of his opponents, the Dutchman Geris was able to retain his lead until the chequered flag, ahead of Grouwels and Bas Barenbrug (RaceArt). Things did not go so well for the Belgian driver Nicolas Saelens. The championship leader suffered a puncture and had to settle for 5thplace behind Yves Noël (Car Tuning Lease Motorsport).
Race 2: Van Splunteren repeats his performance
Winner of the first race and on pole position for the start of the second, Max Van Splunteren did not miss the opportunity to enjoy a perfect weekend. The representative of Team GP Elite won Race 2 without ever being worried by his pursuers. This was enough to post a fourth win of the season and take the lead in the championship.
Although his domination was total, the battle for the runner-up spot was exciting to follow! Whether it was Loek Hartog, Kay Van Berlo, Xavier Maassen (DVB Racing), Jesse van Kuijk or Dylan Derdaele, all of them could have taken silver. Kay Van Berlo finally emerged victorious in this contest, the 18-year-old Dutchman taking advantage of Loek Hartog’s 5-second penalty (for going outside track limits) to finish in second place. Xavier Maassen completed the Top 3 ahead of Hartog, Jesse van Kuijk and Lucas Groeneveld (Team GP Elite). Forced to make a pit stop, Dylan Derdaele fell back to 10thoverall.
Unlucky the day before, Nicolas Saelens set his sights perfectly on Sunday among the B Drivers. The Belgian easily beat Ziad Geris and Roger Grouwels to first place in the “Gentlemen’s” competition. Bas Barenbrug and Yves Noël finished fourth and fifth respectively.
“We had a great event!” smiled Severine Ulenaers, Operations Manager for the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux. “The collaboration with the DTM worked extremely well and we are very proud of what our drivers demonstrated on track. The crowds enjoyed two first class races.”
The Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux motorcade is looking forward to the penultimate meeting of the season, scheduled for 13-15 September at the Nürburgring. For the third time this year, it will join the DTM.
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