Superstars @ Zolder, a beautiful race weekend in which even ex Formula 1 drivers signed on. Also the Supercar Challenge was present with its three classes of racing: Super GT, Supersport and Superlight. The Spork Racing Team took part in Supersport with her two Seat Leon Supercopa’s, driven by Jimmy Adriaenssens (#423) and De Kimpe-Van Paemel (#425). After a succesfull weekend in Spa, the Antwerpian team was thoroughly motivated to score good points in Zolder.
The first race on Saturday was run in sunny conditions. Around 1.00 pm, the Sport classes took off for fifty minutes of racing. Starting from P8, Jimmy Adriaenssens could immediately mix into the leading group. “The level of the drivers around me was high, if you only opened one inch, you’d lose a position. Great racing, that’s for sure but I had to be as fast as I could in the first stint, seen that I had ten penalty seconds due to our successes in Spa.” Everyone who ends up on the podium in Supersport will collect fifteen, ten or five extra penalty seconds for the pit window. Seen that Jimmy ended third twice in Spa, he received ten penalty seconds. “It was obvious that I had to attack already very early in the race, to insure that I wouldn’t rejoin the track after the pitstop behind the other Supercopa’s. Overtaking them could cost me seconds and because we also aim high in Supersport, we couldn’t bare losing time.” After a tight and well calculated pitstop Spork released the white and red Supercopa on the exact right moment. Adriaenssens rejoined the track in sixth position overall, second in Supercopa. “During the second stint I received information that the BMW E92 M3 was approaching slowly. If I could keep the same pace, he would finish right behind with a one or two second gap. I immediately had that déjà-vu feeling from Spa, where the race also lasted one lap too long. One or two seconds in a fifty minutes race is nothing so we had to push constantly.” Lap per lap the Antwerpian Super’SPORK’copa used each inch of the track and this time the luck was on Jimmy’s side. Both the fourth as the fifth car had to give in to the young Belgian and he ended fourth in general, second in Supercopa on exactly one minute of the leader. A satisfying position for a track that’s actually made for rear wheel driven cars.
During the Sunday race, neither the weather nor the results were great. Late afternoon, twenty-nine drivers launched their cars into the first corner and where about to fight their fifty minute battle. “I got away quickly in the first few laps and didn’t lose much time to the leaders. While I was putting the Riwal Seat under pressure, I was put under pressure myself by the BMW E92 M3 of the duo Meijers/Meijers. In an attempt to defend my position we lost the connection with the Riwal Seat and my only concern became defending my position. This worked out properly until a dirty spot on the track surprised us and I spun.” Adriaenssens had to sacrifice a few positions but rejoined the pack and went looking for its competitors. In the ninth lap, the unthinkable happened. “We started overtaking the lower class drivers and whilst exiting the Bianchi corner, Kim Troeijen appeared. When Kim entered the chicane, I noticed some instability and left nothing to chance. I chose the right side of the curbstones, in an attempt to avoid hitting Kim if she totally lost control. Unfortunately she did, and the green Focus shot itself into my lane. The speed difference was too big and a collision was unavoidable. On the camera footage you can clearly see that my attempt to dodge her and the actual impact was a matter of milliseconds. Obviously not enough to reduce speed and decrease the impact. The speed difference should have been around 40 kph, quite a hit, I can assure you…” Luckily the Supercopa stopped right in front of the guardrails. The loose sand worked properly and decreased the speed of the car brilliantly. “From 100 kph to 0 in only 15 meters is quite a performance. For sure a word of thanks to Circuit Zolder and the marshalls for their concerns after the crash!! Thanks!!” This incident meant the end of the race for Adriaenssens and leaded to mixed feelings. Anyway, in the meantime the car has been rebuilt and ready to race in Assen (August 2nd – 4th, Gamma Racing Day). Soon a short test session will have to guarantee the good condition of the car.
Soon the Supercar Challenge will take part in the Gamma Racing Day at TT Assen. On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of August this spectacular championship will be racing in front of 60.000 spectators. An international weekend you shouldn’t miss, be there!!
See enclosed PDF-files for the downloadable (Dutch) race reviews.