Michelin becomes tire partner
First collaboration with Porsche Carrera Cup France hits the mark
The fourth season of the Porsche Challenge Benelux confirmed the growth of the fastest brand cup in the Benelux with very well filled fields throughout the entire season and a battle until the last race of the season. The fourth season of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, which started at the beginning of May on the 'most beautiful circuit in the world' during the visit of the FIA WEC to the Belgian Ardennes, was concluded at the end of October of that year in the South of France, in particular at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet. With a very strong performance, Dylan Derdaele, supported by the Porsche Center Antwerp, won the 2016 title in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux in the sunny south. He beat Roger Grouwels, the winner in the Gentlemen category.
2016 was an extension of the first three seasons, with meetings for the second consecutive season with two 30-minute sprint races. The 2016 edition was also one with two major changes. In 2016, the Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup Benelux switched to a collaboration with the French tire manufacturer Michelin, which already supported countless other Porsche cups in Europe at the time and still does today. The organizers of the Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup Benelux saw the switch as a guarantee of reliability and performance.
The second major novelty for the 2016 season was the collaboration between the Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup Benelux and the Porsche Carrera Cup France. Four of the six matches on the calendar of both competitions would be contested jointly. That calendar took the participants to Spa-Francorchamps twice, followed by a meeting at Zandvoort, the small circuit of Le Mans, Zandvoort again and a final at Paul Ricard.
“I have gradually grown into it”
The title therefore belonged to Dylan Derdaele, then 24, with the support of Porsche Center Antwerp and in the colors of Belgium Racing.
“I already raced with Porsche for a while, not only in the Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup Benelux, but also in various GT championships and I had even completed a few races in the Porsche Supercup”, recalls the champion at the time. “In 2013, I had become acquainted with the new competition and actually I quickly got the hang of it. I've gradually grown into it and 2016 was actually the first season that I really felt ready to take the title. As far as I'm concerned it was the strongest year of the competition so far and the title was certainly not presented to me on a silver platter. Such a brand competition is in itself a separate fact, because you start with about twenty identical cars, so it really comes down to details. Moreover, it was a season with a lot of young drivers and some strong veterans and that made me quite proud of that title.”
Dylan Derdaele has remained loyal to Porsche almost throughout his career and he won his second title in 2021, in addition to four victories with the brand in the 24 Hours of Zolder. In 2022 we will of course see Dylan Derdaele again in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux and still with his family team, Belgium Racing.