Double Dutch victories at home races: In Rounds 6 and 7 of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, changeable weather met highly motivated drivers. In the end, after numerous safety car periods, the "Orange Army" celebrated its local heroes and historic podiums.
For the third consecutive year, the Circuit Zandvoort was on the Porsche Supercup calendar. And once again, it was high-calibre motorsport on show. However, mixed weather conditions made the dune circuit a real challenge for the 31-strong field. The constant changes in the weather, which caused interruptions to some sessions, also affected the host, Formula 1. Nevertheless, the weekend once again provided historic highlights, including a 100% Dutch podium that not only delighted the 300,000 spectators at the circuit, but will also go down in the Supercup's history books.
Friday's practice was red-flagged when #16 Gianmarco Quaresmini (ITA/Dinamic Motorsport) hit the barrier in the third corner, Hugenholtzbocht. Altogether, several drivers suffered from braking problems in difficult track conditions. Before Saturday's double qualifying session, all participants, including the eleven Dutch drivers, wanted to test the limits of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Top of the timesheets was #3 Harry King (GBR/BWT Lechner Racing). He was closely followed by #4 Morris Schuring (NLD/FACH AUTO TECH) and #25 Larry ten Voorde (NLD/Team GP Elite). However, the Briton was unable to maintain his pace in the subsequent Qualifying Session.
Wet qualifying double pole for the Dutch.
The Qualifying Session on Saturday morning was a proper thriller as the pace on track slowed down due to the persistent wet weather conditions. In addition, the starting grid for both of the weekend's races had to be decided during the session: The fastest lap time would determine the starting position for Race 6, while the second fastest qualifying lap time would determine the starting position for Race 7. Numerous yellow flags followed the deteriorating conditions as some drivers misjudged the famous first corner of Tarzanbocht. Those who managed to put in two fast laps early on, despite the heavy traffic, were rewarded for their efforts.
In qualifying for the sixth round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, the top three spots on the grid were occupied exclusively by Dutch drivers. The presence of the tens of thousands of orange fans at their home race added to their motivation. Morris Schuring, the youngest Supercup winner, secured consecutive pole position for his FACH Auto Tech team for the second time in a row at the Swiss team's 100th start in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. However, he was unable to improve on his second fastest lap. He qualified for Sunday's race in ninth place. Second place went to compatriot #24 Loek Hartog (NLD/Team GP Elite), with his team-mate Larry ten Voorde starting from P3. Other title contenders such as Porsche Junior #1 Bastian Buus (DNK/BWT Lechner Racing), Harry King and, of course, #11 Dorian Boccolacci (FRA/CLRT) also qualified in the top seven. French rookie #22 Alessandro Ghiretti (FRA/Martinet by Alméras) also put in a strong performance. He finished in P6 and P5 for the weekend's two races.
The wet track was a challenge. But my experience on my home track helped me.
The top spot on the grid for the seventh round of the Supercup went to Loek Hartog, who will start from the front row in both races. The Dutchman, who grew up just a few kilometres from Zandvoort, qualified on pole for the first time in his Supercup career. He was closely followed by championship leader Bastian Buus in P2 and two-time Supercup champion Larry ten Voorde in third.
It was tricky conditions in Qualifying. It was very wet in the beginning, but that's where the tires delivered. After that, I think the sand went onto the track surface a bit. No one could go out and improve.
2nd consecutive victory - 1st win at Zandvoort on home soil: Morris Schuring at the top of his game at Round 6.
The sixth Round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup took place in front of full grandstands and started with two formation laps, which shortened the race distance to 16 laps. The reason for this was that some sections of the track were still damp and giving the drivers a little more time to warm up their tyres.
18-year-old poleman Schuring made a good start and was able to maintain the lead in front of his compatriots. There was a bit of contact between the Danish Porsche Junior Buus and the Rookie #28 Huub van Eijndhoven (NLD/Team GP Elite). Both Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars remained undamaged. The Finn #23 Jukka Honkavouri (FIN/Martinet by Alméras) spun on the kerb at the exit of Hugenholtzbocht, bringing out the first of two Safety Car periods.
On the restart, Schuring was in control of the field and held his ground well against his rival Hartog. On the very first lap after the restart, things got heated between BWT Lechner Racing team mates Buus and King. The Briton gave the leader of the standings a bit of a push into the first corner, only for the Porsche Junior to overtake him in the Hugenholtzbocht and close the door. King then made a complaint on the radio about Buus' direct counter-attack pushing him off the track. Shortly afterwards, guest starter #13 Lucas van Eijndhoven (NLD/GP Elite) spun and got stuck in the grass off the track. This brought out the second safety car period, during which Schuring was again able to defend his lead over Hartog on the second restart of the race.
From the top group in the overall standings, Dorian Boccolacci did not live up to expectations. The Frenchman received a 5-second penalty for his self-inflicted collision with Harry King and took only 3 championship points to his name. The Briton was forced to continue the race with a damaged steering unit and was eventually taken out of the race by the Rookie #12 Benjamin Paque (BEL/CLRT). For his failed manoeuvre into the first corner, the Belgian received a 10-second penalty. The surprise driver of the first race was Rookie Alessandro Ghiretti, who finished fifth.
On the penultimate lap, Larry ten Voorde tried to overtake his team-mate Hartog for the last time, but another attempt was thwarted by yellow flags. Behind them, Porsche Junior Buus was lurking, hoping to benefit from the two Team GP Elite drivers battling each other. As a result, Morris Schuring gave his team FACH AUTO TECH the perfect anniversary present with a flawless lights-to-flag victory in their 100th race of the Porsche Supercup, while team boss Alex Fach celebrated the 18th victory of his Swiss team. There were also two historic sensations: Schuring became the first local winner at Zandvoort in the history of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. And his two compatriots completed the first ever all-Dutch podium in the series' history.
I’m exceptionally proud of my team and of course of my drivers, who are only 18 and 20 years old and who have already won three Supercup races this year.
Round 7 saw Loek Hartog celebrate his first Supercup victory.
The second race of the weekend at Zandvoort was also decided by a Dutchman. Loek Hartog celebrated his first and long-awaited Supercup victory and continued his top performance in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. However, the 20-year-old Dutchman had to fight hard for it, as his rivals kept up the pressure after an early safety car period, triggered by a collision between the guest entrants, #41 Bashar Mardini (ARE/Huber Racing) and #42 Niels Troost (NLD/GP Elite). Over the entire distance of the race, he was able to fend off the attacks of Porsche Junior Bastian Buus and relegated him to second place with a lead of half a second.
Behind the 20-year-old Dane, Hartog's teammate and fellow countryman Ten Voorde repeated his result from race 6 on Saturday by finishing third. Yesterday's race winner, Morris Schuring, finished fourth. He made a remarkable recovery from ninth on the grid. The Dutchmen dominant performance at their home race at Zandvoort postponed the decisions in all three classifications - Overall, Rookie and Team - until the Monza finale.
I had a great duel with Bastian. We both went for it but kept it fair at all times. A dream has come true for me with my first Supercup victory.
Majority of Rookies within the Top 15.
At Zandvoort, the youngsters again showed their class. A total of 6 and 5 rookies respectively made it into the top 15 in the two races. In the fight for the Rookie Championship title, Alessandro Ghiretti is the undisputed leader of the standings with 64 points. #2 Harri Jones (AUS/BWT Lechner Racing) follows in second place with 49 points and is the only direct rival for the title, although his prospects are slim. Behind him, however, the battle for third place is a very close one: Huub van Eijndhoven, #18 Keagan Masters (ZAF/Ombra Racing) and Benjamin Paque are separated by just one point.
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Overall Standings after Rounds 6 and 7 in Zandvoort