- Double victory for Max van Splunteren at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit
- Dylan Derdaele runner-up by one point
- Roger Grouwels wins the Class B title
At a joint meeting with the French competition, the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux ran its last event on the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit this weekend. Under the Spanish sun, the Dutch drivers Max van Splunteren and Roger Grouwels won the two titles at stake.
Race 1: van Splunteren and Grouwels ease the suspense
There was no need to wait for the very last race of the season during the final of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux to know the names of the champions. Max van Splunteren (Team GP Elite), who was already the fastest in the Benelux rankings during qualifying practice, won his sixth race on Saturday after a first round which was twice interrupted by the safety car following incidents. It must be said that life in the pack, which included some thirty Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, was particularly hectic! On the first lap, contact between Roger Grouwels (RaceArt) and Nicolas Saelens (Belgium Racing) sent the Belgian into the tyre wall. And although the Dutchman received a 30-second penalty, this did not prevent him from scoring the maximum number of points and thus securing the Class B title.
Behind van Splunteren, the contest was fierce. Loek Hartog (Bas Koeten Racing) first of all kept the second place he had gained in practice, before being overtaken by Xavier Maassen (DVB Racing) just after the first safety car intervention. But, having hoped to take a podium place, the 16-year-old Dutchman was forced to retire when his radiator was pierced by flying gravel. It was the same misfortune which had forced his team-mate Kay van Berlo to retire a little earlier. Dylan Derdaele (Belgium Racing) was the one to benefit, taking third spot on the podium. Didier Van Dalen (Kronos Porsche Centre), fourth in the Benelux contest and winner of the Guest class, was also satisfied with his result.
Race 2: van Splunteren in complete control
Just as he was the day before, Max van Splunteren was the best placed competitor in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux on the starting grid for the second race. Free of any pressure in the championship standings, the Dutchman was determined to be on the podium in the overall standings. Fourth after the first lap, the leader of Team GP Elite immediately attacked the Porsche Carrera Cup France leader (and reigning Benelux champion) Ayhancan Güven. After twice exchanging positions, it was the Benelux champion who took his place on the podium overall.
“Naturally I am very happy with this title.” smiled Max. “The first race was extremely lively! In fact, I am the only one from Team GP Elite who avoided contact. It really is a shame that Loek was forced to retire, because I would have preferred our battle to continue to the end. On Sunday, I had a great time fighting against Ayhancan Güven and to take the podium overall was a great reward. For my second year in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux with Team GP Elite, I am proud and very happy to have won the tile.”
Just behind van Splunteren on the grid, Loek Hartog had a more difficult start to the race when he lost positions in the overall classification. But by finishing second in the Benelux competition, the teenager confirmed his status as the rising star of the season. Not far from Hartog, former champions Xavier Maassen and Dylan Derdaele did not stop fighting for the bottom step of the podium, Xavier finally having the last word. But Dylan Derdaele was comforted by taking the silver medal in the championship, just 1 point ahead of Loek Hartog. After his retirement on Saturday, Kay van Berlo completed the Top 5 ahead of Jesse van Kuijk (Team GP Elite), Lucas Groeneveld (also Team GP Elite) and Didier Van Dalen.
In Class B there was no suspense, since Nicolas Saelens did not start after the incident on Saturday. So Roger Grouwels took the title with another win. “As the championship had been won Saturday, I was driving just for the fun today,” explained Roger. “I had a great time on this circuit and the battle with my French friends was intense. So the weekend was great.”
The final curtain has fallen on the 2019 season of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux. The promoter is working busily on preparation for a new campaign, and its schedule will be announced shortly.