Another strong weekend for Kelvin and René in Zandvoort
Local Zandvoort favourite Jaap van Lagen (37) and French partner Kévin Estre (25) recorded a second victory of the weekend in their shared Porsche 911. After winning a rain-affected Race 1 on Saturday, the GW IT Racing Team // Schütz Motorsport duo claimed a second winner’s trophy in the second equally wet race of the weekend on Sunday afternoon. South Africa’s Kelvin van der Linde (17) and René Rast (27) from Frankfurt in a Prosperia C Abt Audi R8 finished second, thereby securing a fourth podium appearance in as many races. Fabian Hamprecht (18) and Denmark’s Nicki Thiim (25) in another Prosperia Audi completed the podium party. “In really difficult conditions this weekend, we had a perfectly balanced car, plus of course the necessary element of luck,” said a jubilant van Laagen who now leads the drivers’ championship after four races.
Jaap van Lagen used his knowledge of the circuit to best advantage at the start of Race 2 as the weekend’s appalling weather continued. From fourth on the grid, the Dutchman overtook the PIXUM Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 driven by Austria’s Dominik Baumann on Lap 1 and then passed Nicki Thiim’s Audi R8 one lap later. Van Lagen’s next target on his home track was race leader René Rast. Rast und van Lagen slugged it out lap after lap for the lead before van Lagen pulled off a neat passing manoeuvre on the outside of Turn 1. From that moment on, there was no holding back the yellow-and-black Porsche, and when the time came to hand over to team-mate Kévin Estre, the gap to the pursuing pack was a healthy 2.4 seconds. As the rain continued to beat down, the Frenchman then proceeded to extend the lead, ultimately crossing the line 8.3 seconds ahead of van der Linde and Rast.
“Two victories in my home race – that’s just incredible,” said a delighted van Lagen. “In the first stint, I really benefited from my familiarity with the track, which helped me to take a different racing line through the wet than the opposition. That’s what enabled me to go past René Rast and take the lead. It was a fabulous passing move, and he conducted himself very fairly.”
“Our strong start to the season has continued here. When we were in second position, we concentrated on managing the gap to the leading Porsche and the Audi just behind us. Although we have now been knocked off the top of the championship table, we are still well placed. The GT drivers in this series are amongst the best in the world. I’ve enjoyed competing in this championship so far.”
– Kelvin van der Linde
Kévin Estre: “Jaap did a fantastic job in the first half of the race and handed over the Porsche in the lead. On my first few laps, I was probably too cautious, which allowed the Audis to get a bit closer. The team told me that my lead was getting smaller, so then I pushed harder and opened up the gap again. It was more straightforward than in yesterday’s race, because all I had to do was manage my pace over the final phase, and also I didn’t have any attacking to do.”
Strong team showing from Prosperia C Abt Racing
Van der Linde and Rast were at the vanguard of an impressive team performance from Prosperia C Abt Racing at Zandvoort. The three Audi R8s entered by the team championship title holders monopolised second, third and fourth places. Having briefly run second after the mandatory pit stop, Hamprecht and Thiim finished third, while Christer Jöns (26) and Markus Winkelhock (33) narrowly missed out on a podium in fourth.
The two BMW Z4 GT3s entered by PIXUM Team Schubert came fifth (Claudia Hürtgen, 42, and Dominik Baumann, 21) and seventh (Max Sandritter, 25, and Jens Klingmann, 23) respectively. HTP Motorsport’s Maximilian Götz (28) and Maximilian Buhk (21) finished sixth in the fastest of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMGs.
Sebastian Asch (27) and Swiss co-driver Philipp Frommenwiler (24) in a Farnbacher Racing Porsche got past the Callaway Competition Corvette driven by Andreas Wirth (29) and Daniel Keilwitz (24) to secure eighth position. Jan Seyffarth (27) and Maro Engel (28) in their ROWE Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG bagged the remaining championship point with a P10 finish.