• Superb opener of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux at Spa-Francorchamps
• Five nationalities on various stages prove the international appearance of the Benelux competition
Spa-Francorchamps. Britain's Harry King became the big winner of the opening weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux 2022 in the Belgian Ardennes with two victories. But he was not the only winner. Jan Lauryssen, Tom Boonen, Sebastien Lajoux and Joan Vinyes also took the highest podium place in their class, immediately proof of the international appearance and sporty intensity of the fastest brand cup in the Benelux. The next appointment is on 11 and 12 June at Circuit Zolder, of course in Belgian Limburg.
The World Endurance Championship or FIA WEC was a perfect setting for the first races of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux 2022 and the first weekend of the competition was also a direct hit on all fronts.
“The grandstands of the circuit in the Ardennes were packed, the races were very pleasant to watch and a lot of different drivers from different countries were able to enjoy the champagne on the podium. The season could not have started in a better way and this first appointment in the Ardennes gives us the best hopes for the rest of this season”, was the witty summary of Series Manager Olivier Aerts.
Sporty, the first weekend was also a direct hit with a double victory for Harry King in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Type 992 of Parker Revs Motorsport. The young Briton also started from pole twice and is obviously championship leader after this first weekend.
“I knew last season's competition when I made a guest appearance at the Red Bull Ring,” the smiley young driver told the podium on Saturday. “I am of course happy with my debut here, but also the reception and the way of working of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux 2022 means that I am sure that I have made the right choice. I drive parallel here and in the Porsche Supercup, with two brilliant calendars.”
In the first race he beat last year's vice champion Glenn van Parijs (NGT Racing) and Ghislain Cordeel (Team GP Elite) who has clearly taken a step forward during the winter months and wants to fight for places of honour. On Saturday it was again Glenn van Parijs in second place, ahead of 'debutant' Sam Dejonghe (#TeamPGZ by RedAnt Racing) and fourth place went to Ghislain Cordeel.
“The first race was a bit difficult, especially since I hadn't practiced a stationary start beforehand. Gradually, however, I got into the rhythm and finished sixth. On Saturday the start was already much better and this third place is proof of the fact that we can certainly compete with this at the front. Harry is the benchmark for me and if I don't want to reach his level, I shouldn't start here," said Sam Dejonghe, who made a great debut.
But the other Pro riders also made it a nice sight, with a fourth and fifth place for Maxime Soulet (August Racing by NGT Racing), a fifth and sixth place for champion Dylan Derdaele (Belgium Racing) and other places of honor for Xavier Maassen (#TeamPGZ by RedAnt Racing), Rik Koen (PG Motorsport) and Sebastian Freymuth (PG Motorsport).
Fight on all fronts
In the Pro-Am class we had two different winners, with Jan Lauryssen (Q1Trackracing) and Tom Boonen (#TeamPGZ by RedAnt Racing), while Koen Wauters (Belgium Racing) and Didier Glorieux (Speedlover) also took the podium.
“It was great to be able to win immediately during my first weekend”, Tom Boonen beamed in front of full stands on Saturday. “Moreover, the races are fun and fair, at a high level. This Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux is a really nice track for me.”
And what about the battle in the AM category… There was really a fight for every meter, not only for the victory, but for all positions in the nicely filled starting field. It was the Frenchman Sebastien Lajoux (DUWO Racing) and the Andorran Joan Vinyes (Baporo Motorsport) who took the top honors, but they did not get the victories. In the first race, Stijn Lowette (NGT racing) also seemed to have won, but a regrettable racing incident at the finish meant that he could only reach the podium on Saturday, as second in the result.
On Friday those podium places were for Philip Wils (Speedlover) and Luc Vanderfeesten (#TeamPGZ by RedAnt Racing), but they were held back by bad luck on Saturday. Friday's winner, Sebastien Lajoux, was third on Saturday, behind Vinyes and Lowette.
"Of course I was disappointed after the first race, but that's racing too," said Stijn Lowette, "but the second place on Saturday made up for a lot."
The second meeting of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux will take place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June.