- Before the Barcelona final, the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux will visit the Eifel Mountains
- Third meeting within the framework of the DTM
- Max van Splunteren and Nicolas Saelens provisional leaders
The Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux is entering its final phase this weekend. After a summer break of almost two months, the fastest one-make cup in the Benelux is heading for the first time in its history to the Nürburgring. As a prologue to the DTM, and in front of the expected thousands of spectators, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will be taking part in the show.
While some drivers will be discovering the German track for the first time, this will not be the case for the championship leader, Max van Splunteren. The spearhead of Team GP Elite raced there in the Blancpain GT Series two years ago and he intends to put his experience to good use. The 23-year-old Dutchman, who has won four races out of eight, hopes to take a hold on the championship before the Barcelona final, scheduled for the end of the month.
But his two main opponents do not see it that way. Two-time winner Dylan Derdaele has not been placed as well since his 2016 title and is only 13 points behind. Three lengths behind the Limbourg driver for Belgium Racing, the young Dutchman Loek Hartog is undoubtedly the revelation of the season. Of course, this 16-year-old had shown all his talent by winning the Junior Recruitment Programme of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, but who would have dared to imagine that he would be aiming for the title in his first year? Perfectly managed by Bas Koeten Racing, Loek now dreams of donning the crown. With four races still to go and three drivers more than ever motivated before the final sprint, the suspense promises to be overwhelming!
Behind this trio, the others know that they will have to make do with the lower places at the end of the season. But 2017 champion Xavier Maassen (DVB Racing) wants at least to win once more! Among the candidates for the podium for the last two rounds are also three representatives of Team GP Elite: Jesse van Kuijk, Lucas Groeneveld and Daan van Kuijk.
Although they will be entered in the “Guest” category, the surprising Kay van Berlo (winner of a race in Zandvoort with Bas Koeten Racing), the returning Didier Van Dalen (Kronos Porsche Centre) and the Dutchman Tijn Jilesen (PG Motorsport) also hope to distinguish themselves in the chasing pack.
Class B: Saelens-Grouwels, the duel continues
Race after race, the duel continues in Class B! Nicolas Saelens (Belgium Racing) and Roger Grouwels (RaceArt) are indeed neck and neck before the last two races of the season. While the Belgian has two wins, one fewer than the Dutchman, he has been more consistent and will arrive in Germany 6 points ahead. Some could influence this battle for the crown, such as Bas Barenbrug (RaceArt) and Yves Noel (Car Tuning Lease Motorsport). Wim Meulders, who is injured, will unfortunately have to forfeit.
Two free practice sessions are on the schedule this Friday before the qualifying session on Saturday at 11.55. A few hours later, the start of the first race will be on Saturday at 16.45, while the second race is scheduled for Sunday at 09.35.
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