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The 2024 Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux season gets off to a great start

- Benjamin Paque (D'Ieteren Luxury Performance) and Dirk Schouten (Q1 Trackracing) win the opening races during the Belgian meeting of FIA WEC in Spa-Francorchamps

- Sam Jongejan (Team RaceArt) and Kobe Pauwels (D'Ieteren Luxury Performance) are the strongest Rookies, while Jani Käkelä (39 Racing) and Jules Grouwels (Team RaceArt) share victories in Pro-Am

Spa-Francorchamps, May 11, 2024. The first weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux 2024 has been a huge success. Not least because of the enormous public turnout, of more than 88,000 spectators and two great races, with no fewer than six different winners spread over the general classification and the various classes. Dirk Schouten and Robin Knutsson are ex-equo leaders in the championship. They will defend their lead in the championship on June 7, 8 and 9 during the traditional trip to Circuit Zandvoort where two-time world rally champion Kalle Rovanperä will appear in the colors of RedAnt Racing.

Benjamin Paque and Paul Meijer had the privilege of starting from pole position for races 1 and 2 respectively, with Paque taking the first victory of the season on Friday after a battle that lasted over thirty minutes and one lap.

“I got off to a good start and pushed very hard at a high pace during the first laps, then controlled my lead. The car was very good, thanks to the D'Ieteren Luxury Performance team, which translated into an aamzing victory and therefore an excellent start to the season," said Paque.

Behind him, Sam Jongejan rode to a first victory in the Rookie category and second place overall. “Beautiful and the best I could have done in these circumstances,” says Jongejan. “Benjamin was stronger today, but I am very satisfied with this victory in the Rookie category and it motivates me to do even better.”

Robin Knutsson crossed the line in third place, ahead of numbers two and three in the Rookie rankings, Valters Zviedris and Kobe Pauwels respectively. In Pro-Am, victory went to Jani Käkelä, who made his first appearance at Spa-Francorchamps. He preceded Jules Grouwels and Maik Rosenberg.

Other names on Saturday

On Saturday there was a real head-to-head battle in Spa-Francorchamps and that clearly inspired the drivers even more to make a spectacle of it. Two of Friday's trendsetters, Benjamin Paque and Sam Jongejan, unfortunately had to leave the track early due to incidents during the race and that clearly inspired Dirk Schouten to go for the win. Despite a five-second time penalty, the Dutchman was able to register his first victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux.

“Wonderful, especially after the more difficult first race and those five seconds, but I did everything I could to get that victory, the first in my career and what a win. A huge thank you to my sponsors and Q1 Trackracing for making this possible!”, says the Dutchman with 300,000 followers on Instagram and more than 200,000 on YouTube. “I want to fight for the title!”

Paul Meijer and Robin Knutsson finished second and third, ahead of Sacha Norden and Niels Langeveld. Kobe Pauwels became the winner in Rookie after a strong race, “what a great first weekend to start the season, this is a lot of fun and I must say that this competition is of a very high level. My experience in rallycross, with close battles, is very useful here.” Pauwels finished ahead of Colin Jamie Bönighausen and Jurriaan de Back.

Finally, Jules Grouwels was first in Pro-Am, ahead of Friday's winner, Jani Käkelä and Maxime Bertho.

The next round of the season is on June 7, 8 and 9 at Circuit Zandvoort.

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