Pole-sitter Mads Siljehaug held the lead on the run to the first corner, with Nicolaj Møller-Madsen behind the #24 KTM in second place. A great start from Ricardo van der Ende resulted in the Dutchman taking third behind the leading duo. Shortly after a brief full-course yellow to recover the stranded #61 Academy Motorsport Aston Martin, Van der Ende was all over Møller-Madsen in the battle for second place. The Dutchman tried to pass the Dane into Tarzan corner, but Møller-Madsen kept his Audi in front of the Ekris.
The gaps between the top three cars remained the same for several laps, with Pro-Am leader Duncan Huisman in the #69 V8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro closing in on Van der Ende. As the pit window opened, the two Dutch drivers were battling for track position and by lap 13 Huisman had won the position. Four laps later race leader Siljehaug and Huisman came into the pits for the mandatory stop, one lap after Møller-Madsen had come in to hand over the #1 Audi to Cédric Freiburghaus.
Nicolai Elghanayan rejoined in the lead, but shortly after all teams had completed their stops Freiburghaus passed the American to take the lead. On the same lap, Elghanayan’s teammate Reinhard Kofler crashed into the tyre wall at turn 2 and soon after Kofler retired the KTM in the pits. Behind them, it was Euan McKay in third, until he was given a drive-through penalty for track limits. This allowed V8 Racing’s Olivier Hart to take third overall.
At the front, Freiburghaus had established a comfortable lead over Elghanayan, who saw Hart closing in on him lap after lap and on lap 29 the Dutchman overtook the American into Tarzan corner. There wasn’t enough time left for Hart to go after Freiburghaus and two laps later the Swiss driver crossed the line in first place, taking Phoenix Racing’s first win of the 2019 season, with the V8 Racing Camaro of Olivier Hart and Finlay Hutchison taking second in its first outing of 2019.
Behind Freiburghaus and Hart, Elghanayan secured the final podium step for Valvoline – True Racing, with Daniel McKay (Equipe Verschuur) and Jan Kisiel (Leipert Motorsport) taking fourth and fifth in the Silver Cup. The #25 MDM Motorsport BMW completed the overall and Silver Cup top six.
RN Vision STS And Selleslagh Racing Team Take The Class Wins
Just like the opening race at Misano two weeks ago, RN Vision STS and Selleslagh Racing Team were victorious in Pro-Am and Am. Gabriele Piana and Marius Zug took their third win of the season in the #111 RN Vision STS BMW, finishing seven seconds ahead of the #15 NM Racing Team Ginetta G55 GT4 of Lluc Ibanez and Jorge Cabezas Catalan.
Pro-Am points leaders Luci Trefz and Marcus Paverud finished the first race at Zandvoort in third place, ahead of the Allied Racing Porsche of Jan Kasperlik and Nic Schöll. The #69 V8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro ended the race fifth in class, after reaching third place overall earlier in the race.
The two Schwede Motorsport Mercedes-AMG cars were sixth and seventh, with Jan Rehnig and Dominik Schraml beating Marc Basseng and Phillip Bethke. Sixth in Pro-Am was the second Allied Racing Porsche of Constantin Schöll and Benjamin Mazatis.
Alessandro Giovanelli and Bob Herber won the Am class with the #31 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG. It was the #48 CMR Alpine that had started the race from pole position, but in the second part of the race the Selleslagh Racing Team crew overtook the Alpine and then went on to win the race. Eric Mouez and David Loger finished in second place, ahead of Street Art Racing’s Clement Seyler and Pascal Bachmann.
Nicolaj Møller-Madsen, #1 Phoenix Racing Audi: “It feels so nice, I’m so happy! Really happy for myself as we finally won, happy for Cedric as it is a new partnership this year, but I think I’m most happy for the guys at Phoenix Racing. They had a hard time this year. They gave us a good car in many races, sometimes we were not able to fight for the win but still managed to get good results and now finally we won.”
Cédric Freiburghaus, #1 Phoenix Racing Audi: “It feels really good. The first victory for a long time. We already had some podiums, but this one feels a lot better. We put it all together with the team. The team did an amazing job, a really good pit stop, Nicolaj did a proper start and kept it clean and I just needed to finish and overtook one car. I’m really happy!”
Gabriele Piana, #111 RN Vision STS BMW: “This is the confirmation that when a race goes normal, we win. We are clearly the fastest pairing there is now in Pro-Am. It is good to bounce back after Misano, but of course, us being us we don’t bounce back easily. I had a good start, 80% of the job was done there and then I had some good battles, so it was a good stint.”
Marius Zug, #111 RN Vision STS BMW: “I need to thank the team to get the car repaired in time. Even though we didn’t have time to put in the setup we wanted, we still won the race, so we can be happy with the win. We gained some points in the fight for the championship, but tomorrow we’ll have to fight again.”
Alessandro Giovanelli, #31 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG: “First time with my new, strong teammate. I learned a lot from him and I tried to do my best. I knew I had a fast teammate, I only did my job to finish the race.”
Bob Herber, #32 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4: “This was really good. I was a bit unlucky at the start and I was fighting myself in the beginning and lost some time during the full course yellow. I had some great fights, Alessandro did a great job and under pressure, he put the car in P1. Really good. Looking forward to tomorrow.”
The second race of the weekend at Zandvoort got off to a bad start when six cars collided on the pit straight only moments after the lights went to green. All drivers involved walked away unscathed. The race was red-flagged and was restarted behind the safety car after all debris had been cleared.
On the restart, Daniel McKay retained the lead, followed by Jan Kisiel, Jamie Vandenbalck and Simon Knap. Kisiel stayed within striking distance of the race leading Equipe Verschuur McLaren, while behind him Knap closed in on the cars ahead of his MDM Motorsport BMW.
The Dutchman rapidly closed the gap to the Street Art Racing Aston Martin and on lap 5 he passed the Belgian driver into Tarzan corner. One lap later the safety car was deployed, after Jorge Cabezas Catalan’s race ended in the gravel trap after contact with the #22 Allied Racing Porsche.
Daniel McKay pulled away immediately at the restart, with Knap launching a successful attack on the #4 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG for second place. In front of his home crowd, Knap went on to chase McKay and two laps after he had moved into second position, he passed the Equipe Verschuur McLaren to take the lead. The battle for the lead allowed Kisiel, Ekris Motorsport driver Euan McKay and True Racing’s Reinhard Kofler to close in.
As soon as the pit window opened, Knap came in to hand over the BMW to teammate Alec Udell, which allowed the Equipe Verschuur McLaren to move back into the lead. Three laps later the McLaren also made its stop and Reinhard Kofler in the KTM briefly took the lead for True Racing. Unfortunately, the team lost a couple of seconds in the pits when the KTM briefly stalled after its stop, but Patric Niederhauser managed to recover some of the lost time later in the race.
After the pit window had closed, MDM Motorsport’s Alec Udell was leading Ricardo van der Ende, whose Ekris Motorsport team jumped from fifth to second place during the pit stops. Benjamin Lessennes returned the Equipe Verschuur McLaren in third place. The top three was separated by just one second, with Max Koebolt another second behind in fourth place.
Behind them, Nicolaj Møller-Madsen initially battled for fifth with Niederhauser, until the KTM driver lost momentum at the Hans Ernst corner. This gave the Phoenix Racing Audi driver some air to breathe and a chance to focus on Koebolt ahead and attack the Mercedes. The battle for position allowed Niederhauser to get back as well, but time ran out for any of the drivers to gain a position.
After one hour, Udell crossed the line to secure MDM Motorsport’s third victory of the season. The #8 Ekris of Van der Ende was second across the finish at 1.265s from the winner, with Lessennes taking third place in the Equipe Verschuur McLaren at 1.723s. Max Koebolt secured valuable points for Leipert Motorsport by finishing fourth, followed by the #1 Phoenix Racing Audi of Møller-Madsen and Freiburghaus, the True Racing KTM of Kofler and Niederhauser and the #68 V8 Racing Camaro of Finlay Hutchison and Olivier Hart.
Leipert Extend Pro-Am Lead – CMR Wins in Am
In Pro-Am Luci Trefz and Marcus Paverud ruled from lights-to-flag. The Leipert Motorsport crew started from pole position and only briefly handed over the lead to the Rédélé Competition Alpine during the pit window. After all the teams had completed their stops, the #2 Mercedes-AMG was back in the class lead and Marcus Paverud, who had taken over the wheel from Luci Trefz, went unchallenged to the chequered flag.
The #30 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG of Kay van Berlo and Angélique Detavernier came home in second place, followed by the #69 V8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R of Luc Braams and Duncan Huisman. Huisman passed the RN Vision STS BMW three laps from the end, to secure his first podium finish of the 2019 season. Behind the #111 BMW, the #35 Alpine took fifth place, with the #13 Schwede Motorsport Mercedes-AMG finishing in sixth place.
A late pass resulted handed Eric Mouez and David Loger the win in the Am class. The CMR drivers had been in second place behind the #31 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG, but right before the end of the race, Loger passed the Mercedes. Liesette Braams and Gaby Uljee in the #11 Las Moras by Equipe Verschuur McLaren finished their home race in third place.
Simon Knap, #1 MDM Motorsport BMW: “It’s a great feeling and a fantastic day for us. My stint was okay, I overtook the other guys, brought the car home in first place for Alec and Alec then delivered a fantastic job.”
Alec Udell, #1 MDM Motorsport BMW: “It’s awesome. Obviously, at the home track of the team, you want to show well. We hit our peak today. We’re happy to come home in first place. Simon did a great job at the beginning of the race, did a lot of hard work. I was able to get in and just run clean to the finish.”
Luci Trefz, #2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG: “My race was really good. I picked up one position. I then had a little fight with a BMW, but overall it was really good. Marcus then did a fantastic job and we won!”
Marcus Paverud, #2 Leipert Motorsport Mercedes-AMG: “I’m really happy with my stint and with Luci’s stint. He kept the car in the lead. I struggled a bit with the tires in the end, but I managed to keep it on the track and in the lead. I’m really happy with the weekend.”
Eric Mouez, #48 CMR Alpine: “I had a good stint. In our category, we were all together. David had a great second stint and overtook the leader in the last lap.”
David Loger, #48 CMR Alpine: “I found the right rhythm in the car and it was easy to drive. I tried to catch up, as the Mercedes was quicker. It was quite complicated, but on the last lap I tried to overtake but went onto the grass, after that we battled and I passed him.”