Round eleven and twelve of the European Supercar Challenge took place on the Dutch racetrack of Zandvoort. The Trophy of the Dunes promised to be another spectacular event in which the Supercar Challenge took place. Spork, racing this track for the second time in Supercar, were very much looking forward to the weekend. Represented by Jimmy Adriaenssens and Britisch Touring Car driver David Nye, the team was keen on creating a gap between themselves and the other competitors in the championship standings.
Due to the success of the Supercar Challenge, the entry list of the SuperGT, GT, GTB and Supersport divisions was well crowded. No less than 35 competitors took part in these four divisions, so it would become quite a difficult task to qualify for the races on this rather narrow track. Having qualified second and third in Supercopa, the team was living towards the first race at ease.
Jimmy Adriaenssens: “David and I decided that I’d take the start of the first race. Due to the well filled grid, it was a matter of getting on the throttle early in the rolling start. My pursuers didn’t seem quite awake and they lost about hundred meters in the first straight. Unfortunately a crash in the leading group justified their mistake of starting bad and they could reconnect to the pack. Bits and pieces flying through the air, but luckily not one flying driveshaft.” Once through the first lap, the speed finally got into the cars because in the first lap lots of Supersport cars had to queue behind the GT cars. A comical view that indicates the competiveness of the Touring Cars nowadays.“After a tight stint of Jimmy, I took the wheel and launched myself for the second part of the race. In my mirror, the Supercopa of Jonas DK appeared and I thought: ‘Great! Always in for a battle!’ About four laps, the white and blue Seat tried to pass me and even tapped me in the back. Not intentionally and without further damage. It seemed that the attack was to aggressive and had ruined his tires, meaning that I could take off at ease without having to take any risks.” David Nye. David easily continued his race and enlarged his advance by even complete seconds each lap. Adriaenssens-Nye became second in Supercopa and scored good points for the championship!
David, who was clearly looking forward to the start of the second race, also had a great start and was about to prepare the Supercopa in front of him until he sensed something strange on the car. “After half a lap I sensed serious vibrations on a rear wheel. We decided to do another lap, hoping it was just a rather large amount of pick-up hanging on the surface of the tire but when I entered a fast straight, the car almost shook to pieces. Never have I experienced such vibrations in a car. I decided to loosen my pace a bit, not to damage anything and postpone my attack on the Supercopa of Jonas.” As David reduced his pace, a BMW M3 WTCC came aside in the braking zone before the Nissan-corner. The BMW overtook him and was about to overtake Jonas DK, but he didn’t grant him one inch of space and unfortunately contact was unavoidable. Both the Seat as the BMW were damaged and couldn’t fulfill their race. “While the team and I were waiting for the first wall pass, we didn’t know anything about the horror that had passed David’s eyes. Almost immediately we were approached quite aggressively by the Seat driver, being shouted at that it wasn’t sportsmanlike that David crashed into the other Supercopa. We were very surprised, especially because David didn’t mention anything about the incident over the radio. We tried to get in touch with David over the radio, but he was clearly having a hard time coping with the vibrations in his car. During his pitstop he explained what had really happened and we were relieved not to have taken part in the accident. Spork is a very sportmanslike, optimistic team with a lot of respect for each competitor, so of course we were surprised to be accused of such facts!” After a shot but decisive pitstop David rejoined the track. Eventually the vibrations were caused by dirt and pick-up inside the rim, one chance out of one hundred to suffer such simple problem but unfortunately we had it. David rejoined the track with a ‘vibration-free’ car and finished his stint. After about half an hour, Jimmy and David switched places and Adriaenssens got out. “The car felt great and I could push immediately. There still was a slight chance on a podium, so I grabbed it. Seen that the SuperGT’s and Supersport cars share sessions, it always is a matter of being passed without losing too much time. To avoid any problems during such a pass, I went off my line and the car drifted into the sand with two wheels at 210 kph in a braking zone. Meanwhile the Ferrari lined up next to me and I was out of options, result: sideways into the dirt. In opposite-lock I tried to get my nose back into the right direction and luckily I didn’t get stuck in the dirt. A pitstop after such an ‘exit’ is mandatory for cleaning the car, so again our chances on winning went out of reach.” Eventually two other Seats also got into trouble, which made Adriaenssens-Nye become third in Supercopa in race two.
Seen that the race on Sunday was spectacular in each aspect, the Spork Racing Team hopes to have a more regular course of events during the last four rounds of the Supercar Challenge. Adriaenssens-Nye are now 21 points in front of the third Seat and get a little bit of space. Nevertheless with still two races at Spa and two races at Assen, they’ll fight hard for the championship! Meanwhile the team is concentrating on the Britcar Silverstone 1000km, 20-22ndof September, before they arrive in Spa only one week after. September is pretty busy month for the team, seen they compete in three raceweekends.
See enclosed PDF-files for the downloadable (Dutch) race reviews.