The GT World Sprint Series, a mix of beautiful cars, close fights, champagne and sunshine. Summarized a great weekend for having the Kick-Off of the Supercar Challenge season. In the Antwerpian Super’SPORK’copa’s, we saw some familiar faces. On the one hand, Jimmy Adriaenssens as a solid value within the Spork Racing Team, keen on making a good impression during the first weekend. On the other hand De Kimpe – Van Paemel who will defend the colors of Petronas. Jimmy’s former teammate David Nye had to forfait the first racemeeting because he had to compete in the third and fourth round of the British Touring Car Championship.
“When it started to rain on Friday just before the qualifying session, we had to take a guess concerning tires and setup. Just before the session I decided to fit raintires and made some quick setup changes. Seen that the car felt extremely stable, it was a decision that paid off right away. Although my tires had already gone through one heat cycle, we succeeded in conquering the third place. I went for another fast lap because of the new rule in which the organisation takes your two fastest laptimes for the starting grid positions of both races. During the last minute we dropped back one place when a BMW shod on slicks clocked pole. Nevertheless starting from P4 and P5 was the ultimate proof that the Spork Racing Team had delivered some astonishing work this winter.” Jimmy Adriaenssens.
The start of the first race was close, the Riwal Seat tapped the BMW 1, just in front of Jimmy’s white and red Supercopa. The Riwal Seat got into a drift that made him touch the wall smoothly. Adriaenssens saw this as an opportunity and took off with the two leading BMW’s, but unfortunately Jimmy started to feel a braking problem. “Each time I hammered the brakes my rear wheels locked, I changed the braking pressure all the way to the front but it wouldn’t help. I couldn’t get enough pressure in the front braking system so I tried to be easier on the brakes. Being easier on the brakes I started losing valuable seconds and I had to accept the locking rear tires, hoping that my rear tires would last through the race. After about 40 minutes of racing, I started to feel vibrations, I knew I got to the core of the tire and that rubber was coming of.” explains Adriaenssens. “Approximately fifteen minutes before the finish, my left rear tire exploded and I was forced to pit. After having lost a few places, we regained a few but we had to accept being fourth Supercopa and eight overall.”
After having made profound adjustments to the braking system of the car, Adriaenssens was keen on translating the hard work of Spork into good results during the second race. Jimmy got off the line quickly and got into a fight with the BMW M3 WTCC of Ronald Van Loon. After multiple spectacular actions, Jimmy could create a gap and took off. “Settled in fifth position I was racing about 10 seconds in front of the main pack and 10 seconds behind the leading group. It was impossible to find a slipstream and close the gap with the leading group. After the pitstop, the situation was kind of similar but eventually we did gain one place and became fourth overall, with a second place amongst the Seat Supercopa’s. A very satisfying result after this braking issue of the previous day!” The first podium for Supercopa n° 423 was a fact and the team was overjoyed to see that competing in the top five is possible now!
The whole team is looking forward to their trip to Slovakia on May 18th – 19th. In Slovakia, Jimmy’s co David Nye will rejoin the team and exploit his BTCC-skills in the international Supercar Challenge.
See enclosed PDF-files for the downloadable (Dutch) race reviews.