Gamma Racing Day TT Assen 2013, a wordy motorsport event that guarantees action for everyone! Roaring GT’s and Touring Cars, Superbikes, Sidecars, Superkarts,… are all part of the action, so the 80.000 spectators were right to join this event from the first moment on and didn’t regret their presence just once during the entire weekend! The Spork Racing Team, respresented by Seat Supercopa #423 would defend its colors with Jimmy Adriaenssens and Jeroen Dik.
The qualifying was about to be something special. Due to a broken driveshaft in the first free practice, Jimmy needed to qualify without even having done one lap in Assen since 2012. Thanks to the fast and thorough repair by the team, the car was ready to concur the Dutch track again. Because Jimmy’s first laps on the track would immediately be in qualifying, he couldn’t adjust the car to the track and had to copy the exact settings of the last race in Assen 2012. Not ideal, but doable. “From the first moment on, the car felt very oversteered. The slightest movement of the steering wheel loosened the back of the car. I have to say that I love driving an oversteered setup, but after having taken 70% of the Ruskenhoek corner in opposite-lock with one wheel off the track, I knew it would become difficult to clock tight laptimes.” mentioned Adriaenssens who was quite frankly impressed by the aggressive character of the car. After about two laps, Supercopa #423 clocked P2 amongst the Seats for the first race and pole position for the second. After the qualifying session it appeared that all the drivers had to cope with massive oversteer which eventually was caused by the protective white sand on the track. The white sand was in fact a souvenir from the Truck GP several days ago. Then, the sand was spread to protect the tracksurface from being wrecked by the trucks.
To summarize the first race in one word? ‘Terrifying’! “The race was almost halfway when I spotted a broken driveshaft on the ideal line, about hundred meters before the Ramshoek-corner. In that moment I was being overtaken by a Porsche BiTurbo, who’d clearly didn’t see the shaft and ran right over it. One chance in a hundred that the shaft would be thrown up in my direction but I had it! At 220 kilometers per hour, the shaft launched itself into my headlight, punctured the bottom of my windscreen and my dashboard to finally hit a third time into the top of the windscreen. I was considered very lucky, because if the driveshaft would have been thrown in the air staticly it would have completely penetrated the car with a more tragic end…” told a bewildered Jimmy Adriaenssens. Soon after the incident Jimmy realized there was nothing the team could do to help him, so he closed his visor to protect his eyes from the glass and dust and continued the race. Unfortunately a manufacturing defect caused one of his driveshafts to fail too and kept Adriaenssens from winning.
After the accumulation of emotions and quite special events, the team didn’t lose its faith! Team manager Herman and chief mechanic Ronny returned to Belgium to the Spork Racing workshop Saturday night and collected a new windscreen and driveshaft. Around 5 am in the morning they arrived in Assen again, took some sort of powernap and started working on the car. Sunday late afternoon, the white red Supercopa appeared on the grid, ready for the second race. After an almost incident free race Spork finished second amongst the Supercopas and seventh in Supersport with only two thousands of a second before P8. A so called photo finish, which actually required a photo to determine the positions.
“I’d like to thank the Spork Racing Team for their great efforts this weekend, faith kept me from collecting my hundredth podium twice so this Sunday at Assen will be memorable forever! I’d like to thank the other drivers as well for their compassion after the horrific driveshaft-incident in the first race. The solidarity amongst the Supercar Challenge drivers can be close, so as I’m saying: thanks to everyone!!”
See enclosed PDF-files for the downloadable (Dutch) race reviews.