The first round of the 2014 Supercar Challenge was held at the Zandvoort circuit last weekend where Henry Zumbrink in his #103 Volvo S60, and the duo of Martin Lanting and Bob Herber in their Ferrari 458 took victories in two enthralling easter-weekend races.
Zumbrink took first blood of the new season, beating out Herber and Lanting for the victory, after suffering 30 minutes of pressure from behind.
Kelvin Snoek took the lead into Tarzan corner at the start from third on the grid, but went careering off the circuit on the exit and into the barriers in his #106 Volvo S60. The incident spread debris all over the track, forcing the safety car to make it’s first appearance of the season on the very first lap.
This left Zumbrink in the lead battling the #108 Martino Rosso Ferrari, the #119 Prosperia C.Abt Racing Audi R8 and the Team Raceart Viper for the win.
The Abt Racing Audi came closest of the rest of the Super GT class runners to grabbing the lead off Zumbrink around the halfway point of the race. But Zumbrink made his Volvo wide and defended well.
Fabian Hambrecht in the Audi R8 couldn’t hold second for the rest of the race however, losing out after the pit stops when his teammate Slobodan Cvetkovic took over. Cvetkovic couldn’t control the R8 at times and slipped down to fourth in the closing stages of the race -benefitting the Martino Rosso Racing Ferrari of Lanting and the Raceart Viper of Roger Grouwels.
Zumbrink would remain untroubled in the second half of the contest by the rest of the field, as he consolidated his lead ahead of the Martino Ferrari which held a considerable gap back to third. The only real battle up front of note was for the last spot on the podium between the Raceart Viper and Abt R8 which saw the gap between them at the end at just under a second.
The Benelux entered #215 Radical RXC of Henk Thuis and Pim van Riet pulled off a superb comeback in the GT class to take the win, ahead of Curbstone FMA Racing’s 458 GT3 and GT3 Racing’s Viper. Van Riet managed to take the lead from the Curbstone Ferrari in the final few laps after their pit strategy forced them to relinquish the lead they held early in the race.
Daan Meijer took the win for the Lammertink Racing team in the GTB class by the narrow margin of just 6.2 seconds over the #348 Team Webb M3 GTR. Ferdinand Kool and Max Koebolt rounded out the podium, finishing third in the Day-V-Tec Corvette.
The Martino Rosso Racing team managed to up their game in race two, finding enough pace to eek out a victory at the historic Dutch circuit.
Bob Herber in the Martino Ferrari took the lead when the lights went out at the start. Herber suffered similar pressure from the Prosperia C.Abt Audi R8 of Fabian Hambrecht in second. He did well to hold off the R8 initally, but Hambrecht was notably quicker, and managed to get by after a five laps of hard fought racing.
Back in third place was race one winner, Henry Zumbrink. But things were not running as smoothly for the Dutchman, as he lost his spot on the podium just before he was due to come in for his stop.
“My car [suddenly] went into emergency mode, [limiting the car’s speed]” said Zumbrink. “Fortunately, it was at that time the pit-window had just started, so I could immediately dive into the pits,” he added. Zumbrink lost a lot of time due to this and series veteran Peter Hoevenaars and Niels Bouwhuis overtook him, leaving him fifth overall.
After the round of stops, Lanting got in the Martino Ferrari and managed to retake the lead in the dying moments from the Abt Audi of Slobodan Cvetkovic – much to the team’s delight.
Zumbrink was also on the move and fought his way back to third place after Hoevenaars crashed his Raceway Venray Vicora V8 out and Bouwhuis’ Vicora slipped back.
Curbstone FMA’s Ferrari 458 GT3 with Patrick Glabeke and Frederique Jonkheere at the wheel won the GT class. The Benelux Radical which won the first race retired with mechanical issues from the lead after only 2 laps of racing, handing the race to Curbstone for the trouble-free win over Brit Craig Wilkins in the GT3 Racing Viper.
Team Webb with Brothers’ James and Tom Webb pedalling, managed to beat out the Lammertink Racing team for the GTB class win this time. It was a close contest, which saw the top three in the class duking it out for the lead all the way ‘till the chequered flag fell – Van Berlo Racing’s 997 took third.
“We did not really expect that we would be so competitive here in Zandvoort because we had never driven on this track,” said James Webb . ” But we have had great fights with the Porsches, I think we and the Porsches are a good match! We look forward to the rest of the season.”
Next up on the calendar is the Nürburgring, which sees the teams tackle the GP circuit on the 25th of May.