- Ryan Ratcliffe and Aaron Mason do it in the PRO-AM category
- Newcomer Ralph Poppelaars twice in AM
Spa-Francorchamps, 29 April 2023. Spa-Francorchamps had a heyday for motorsport this weekend. The visit of the FIA WEC to the circuit mobilized the large masses of yesteryear. The Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux also contributed to the great motorsport weekend with two fantastic races. Glenn Van Parijs in the colors of August by NGT and Robert De Haan, who drives for Richardson Racing, shared the victories among themselves and each finished second once. It is the Belgian Van Paris who, thanks to a fastest lap and a pole position in the first race, leaves as leader in the championship for Hockenheim, where the second meeting of the season will take place on 10 and 11 June.
The field of 32 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Type 992 – impressed from the first seconds of free practice. Never before has the fastest one-make cup in the Benelux had such a strong starting field, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and motorsport fans and enthusiasts of the brand celebrating its 75th birthday thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Friday morning qualifying was right up the street for Glenn Van Parijs and Keagan Masters (Ombra Racing), but the gaps at the front were very small, which boded well for the races. Both drivers also scored maximum points in the Tag Heuer Pole Position Award.
Spectacle and excitement right up to the mark
The first green light of the season followed Friday afternoon and the spectators got a good half hour of unadulterated spectacle. Both at the front, in the midfield and in the PRO-AM and AM classes there was a continuous exchange of pennies and the differences therefore remained very small. Glenn Van Parijs started the strongest, but Robert De Haan never let it go. The young Dutchman put constant pressure, but also had to look behind him, where Keagan Masters, Benjamin Paque (August by NGT), Lucas Groeneveld (Team GP Elite) and other Sam Dejonghe (RedAnt Racing) provided the spectacle. After 30 minutes and one lap they crossed the finish line in that order.
Glenn Van Parijs: “Obviously I'm very happy with the start of the season and the team has done a lot of work. This is a very good cocktail to fight at the front for the rest of the season. I really want to go for the title this year.”
In PRO-AM, victory went to Ryan Ratcliffe (Revs Motorsport), ahead of Didier Glorieux (Speedlover) and Joan Vinyes (Baporo Motorsport), while in AM, Ralph Poppelaars in the colors of Hans Weijs Motorsport made a fantastic debut in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux made it, with a victory for Marc Waechter (G2 Racing) and Luc Vanderfeesten (RedAnt Racing).
Rain provides an extra dimension
On Saturday, the stands filled up very early. Now it was Robert De Haan, who got rid of poleman Masters to move into the lead. Behind him, Glenn Van Parijs made up a lot of places to eventually move into second place, ahead of Flynt Schuring (Huber Racing). Sam Dejonghe drove another solid race, finishing fourth to keep Porsche Challenge Middle East champion Ariel Levi (Huber Racing) in fifth place.
Robert De Haan: “Of course I am happy with my victory and I am very happy with the high level of the competition. However, it is still too early to really define my ambitions.”
Aaron Mason (Revs Motorsport) was the strongest in PRO-AM, ahead of Sacha Norden (Team GP Elite) and the previous winner Ryan Ratcliffe. In AM we saw a second victory from the surprisingly strong Ralph Poppelaars ahead of Philippe Wils (RedAnt Racing) and Cedric Chassang (Team GP Elite)
Naturally, Robert De Haan also won the Rookie standings twice.
Like everyone else, Catherine Van Geel, PR officer at Porsche Import Belgium, had a great motorsport weekend: “We also highlighted Porsche's 75th anniversary here. 100 VIP guests from Porsche Import Belgium experienced an unforgettable weekend with a wonderful reception in the hospitality of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux, a visit to the Porsche boxes and the grid walk before the race. Motorsport is in our genes and it showed once again here in Francorchamps.”
Now to Hockenheim
The second race weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux season is a special event: on 10 and 11 June, the Festival of Dreams will celebrate Porsche's 75th birthday. During this unique event, of course, two more races will be held. The Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, the Porsche Sprint Challenge Classic Deutschland and the ADAC GT Masters are also on the program during this festival.