Berlcar News: "Racing Festival Spa-Francorchamps 6,7 & 8/10 2006"
SRT in pursuit of another victory
Next weekend at Spa the sixth round of the Mediagroep Van Dyck Belcar Original takes place. After the very hard Zolder 24 Hours, the teams and drivers have had 6 weeks to recover and to get back on full force. After this penultimate round at Spa, only a fortnight remains until the next and last race at Zolder.
The preceding race of the championship, the Zolder 24 Hours, caused a real turnover in the championship. GLPK lost precious points by only finishing third, after they hit gearbox troubles, behind both the Eurotech Marcos LM600 and the winning SRT-Corvette. Luckily the team of Kumpen took the spoils after 6 and 12 hours and managed to control the damage.
This penultimate round will be a real clash of the titans. The Williams-Corvette is now 20 points behind the GLPK-C5-R and as such is still a championship threat for the team of Kumpen and Longin. And SRT will do everything to win this upcoming race. On the car #1 we find Maxime Soulet, after his great win earlier in Zolder, and Jos Menten, who had no seat in Belcar anymore. “Jeroen Bleekemolen dropped out at the last minute due to the international commitments he has with his country. He will be defending the colours of The Netherlands in the A1GP and this is something you quite simply cannot refuse. But we have reinforcement from another northern neighbour, even if Jos Menten might be the most Belgian of all the Dutch drivers”, explains Patrick Selleslagh of SRT.
But we also find David Hart on the entry-list. David needs to be on the list if SRT wants to run the car in class-1. “David Hart will in fact be part of the team at Spa, even though it might be somewhat premature to talk about strategy. The various qualifying sessions will determine how we take on the race and we will be discussing which strategy to follow after the sessions”, as Patrick Selleslagh also explains the choice of drivers.
SRT will also run a second Corvette C5-R for Jan Heylen and Christophe Bouchut, but this car will have to run in the guest class. This has two consequences: first, the car won’t score points and second, it will not carry any ballast, which means that Heylen and Bouchut will be at 1180 kg or 100 kg less than the class-1 Corvettes.
“And still we want to try to win the race”, is the answer of Anthony Kumpen of GLPK. “Of course, the championship is important too, but at the beginning of the season, our aim was to win every single race. We sadly lost the 24 Hours, but the two remaining races should be ours, even if we know that Heylen and Bouchut will be difficult to beat.”
Another issue for GLPK is the drivers challenge. “We find it important to win the drivers challenge together”, explains Kumpen. “There is now one point separating Bert from myself and we want to balance the score again. With three points for the pole and one for the fastest lap, this will not be an easy exercise and a little mathematics will be necessary.”
The only other team, theoretically in competition for the title is the Eurotech Marcos. But with 80 points left and a difference of 76 between them and GLPK, their chance is only a mathematical one.
Other class-1 runners in Spa will be the AD-Porsche Biturbo of Kris Wauters and Patrick Schreurs, the Stealth of Van Moerkerke-Hillebrand and the Porsches Biturbo of Steegmans-Steegmans (AD Sport), Bouillon-Kuus (McDonalds), Meulders-Grutman (S&P) and Ham Car.
Class-2 will see an epic battle between the GS Motorsport BMW M3 V8 of Severich-Josten and the ProSpeed Porsche 996 GT3-RSR of Penders-Lamot in Spa. The BMW showed a remarkable reliability during the Zolder 24 Hours and now leads the class by 12 points. The gap between the BMW and the Porsche is of course partly due to the mechanical problems of the ProSpeed Porsche in Zolder last month. Both cars dominated the season, but there could be some real opposition this weekend, an opposition playing a role not only for class victory, but also for the outcome of the championship.
The G&A Mosler showed both speed and strength during the 24-hour race and should be very quick at Spa too. Kenis-De Keersmaecker will be a victory contender at Spa and later this month at Zolder. CEO, the team of Bert Van Rossem, acquired a new Porsche 996 GT3-RSR and team boss Van Rossem will race it together with Ruben Maes.
Other outsiders are: the CEO-pair De Laet-Vollebergh with their Porsche 996 GT3-R, the Thiers brothers, on a Porsche also, the KS-BMW’s and last but not least the Grauwels brothers in the GT3 Dodge Viper.
In Class-3, the Belgium Racing Ultima of Derdaele & co lost the championship lead after a disastrous 24 Hours and is now 19,5 points behind the First Motorsport Porsche Supercup of Haane-Meert. But Haane-Meert also experienced their share of bad luck when the First Porsche was destroyed in a crash during tests at Spa a few weeks ago. Peter Van Delm was the victim of a tyre problem, went off and hit the barriers rather heavily.
It’s unsure what the solution of First Motorsport will be, so the battle in class-3 remains wide open, especially with the Porsches of Jurgen Van Hover-Jean-Pierre Verhoeven (Bongou/Speedlover) and Marc Maton-Stef Vancampenhoudt (NGT) on only 3,5 and 6,5 points of the second placed Ultima.
Other competitors for victory will be the Flandria Rent-Porsche of Mattheus-Boden winners of the opening round, the GS Motorsport Porsches of Steinberg-Neyens and Van Loo-Thomas, the First Motorsport Porschne of Van Rompuy-Jamers, with Jamers in competition for the Ladies Challenge with Stephanie Boden and last but not least the CEO-Porsche of Bouvy-van Riet.