After two thrilling races at Zandvoort to kick off the 2014 season, the teams headed southeast to the Nürburgring for the second round of the championship, where the new GT3 Viper of Team Raceart and Day-V-Tec’s Volvo S60 would take wins.
Race 1 – Grouwels and van der Zwaan score the Viper’s first win
Under constant pressure from Kelvin Snoeks throughout the race, Roger Grouwels and Arjan van der Zwaan held on to take the victory in their new Dodge Viper GT3-R. Championship leaders’ Martin Lanting and Bob Herber came home third.
Grouwels and van der Zwaan took pole position, but lost the lead at the first corner after Snoeks’ good start from second. The battle for the lead raged on throughout the first half of the race, with Snoeks managing to keep the Raceart boys behind until the pit window opened.
Henry Zumbrink’s Reede Racing Volvo and Bob Herber meanwhile were fighting hard for the final podium spot. Zumbrink also did well to defend, but both he and Snoeks would relinquish their positions after the round of pit stops.
Even with the lead, however, Grouwels couldn’t create a gap back to second. Snoeks kept in touch with the Raceart Viper all the way till the end, with the margin of victory in the Super GT class just seven-tenths of a second as they crossed the finish line.
Behind it was all change – Lanting took over from Herber at the pit stops and managed to keep the 458 ahead of the Volvo of Zumbrink behind. In the end, though, Zumbrink slipped down the order with mechanical issues and would finish three laps off the leaders, giving Lanting some breathing room. The closest competitor being the Blueberry Racing Mosler of Berry Van Elk down in ninth overall and a lap down.
In the GT class, the win was taken by Pieter Dubois and Thierry Verstraete in the NSC Motorsports Lamborghini Gallardo, ahead of the Curbstone Racing Ferrari of Patrick Glabeke and Frederique Jonkheere.
The D&F Engineering Ferrari Challenge 458 challenged throughout the race, but once Pol Stoffel got in the car at the pit stops, his pace couldn’t match those around him and the car slipped down to fifth in class, handing Aaron Scott and Craig Wilkins third place in their GT3 Racing Viper.
The GTB class saw a dominate performance from the Day-V-Tech Corvette of Max Koebolt and Ferdinand Kool, who took the win by over 30 seconds.
Race 2 – Snoeks takes first win of 2014
Kelvin Snoeks once again put in a great performance in Race 2 to help his championship hopes, taking the win over the Raceart Viper in what was a reverse result of Race 1 upfront.
Once again the battle for the lead left nothing to be desired, but it was another case of Bob Herber and Martin Lanting cruising to third, unable to keep up with the Volvo and Viper in front, and lacking any pressure from behind.
Snoeks had another great start and took the lead into Turn 1, but this time the 26-year-old Dutchman wouldn’t give up his lead. Henry Zumbrink made his way through the field after starting from the back to challenge the leaders, but further issues – this time to the suspension – meant he would finish the race last of the classified runners.
After the stops, Lanting in the 458 GT2 had to serve a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane, putting his third place under threat from the Speedtec Motorsport Vicora V8 behind, but luckily Lanting had enough of a gap to maintain the spot on the podium.
It looked like Wilkins and Scott could take the win in the GT class, after taking the lead from the start but Radical Benelux’s RXC of Henk Thuis and Pim van Riet took the win after a long fight with the British squad;, getting by the Viper just before the pit window opened and consolidating their position out front thereafter.
The Curbstone Racing Ferrari of Patrick Glabeke and Frederique Jonkheere scored another podium, but could only manage third this time out, after the pace of the GT3 Racing viper was too much for the Dutch Duo.
Issues for the Day-V-Tec Corvette left the GTB battle wide open in Race 2.
The battle for the lead lasted almost the entire race between the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup cars of Lammertink Racing with Daan Meijer driving and Van Berlo Racing team with owner Marcel van Berlo at the wheel.
But the skirmish was somewhat spoilt in the end, after van Berlo had to serve a penalty in the final stages of the race for speeding – he came home second and 30 seconds behind.
Next up on the calendar is the round at Spa-Francorchamps on June 8th.