Home victory for Bleekemolen, Tandy gives chase
Stuttgart. Round two of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland in Zandvoort delivered everything that makes racing gripping: a clear winner, non-stop two-way fights – and a spirited charge through the field like no other. Jeroen Bleekemolen (Deutsche Post by tolimit) from the Netherlands clinched a clear pole to flag home victory. Second by 3.3 seconds was former Porsche-Junior Martin Ragginger (Austria, Schnabl Engineering). But the ultimate hero after 19 laps on the 4.307 kilometre dune circuit was Nick Tandy. Taking off into the race from the very last spot on the grid, the Briton from Konrad Motorsport ploughed his way through to snatch third. With this, the winner of the season-opening race retains his points’ lead after the Zandvoort race.
For pole-sitter Bleekemolen, double Porsche Mobil1 Supercup champion, everything worked to his favour at his home race. After a rocket start, he won the sprint to the first corner and was away, with the rest of the field following along behind champion Nicolas Armindo (France) like beads on a necklace. The Hermes Attempto Racing pilot was not able to repeat his good qualifying result in the race, held on to second for a several laps, but was promptly overtaken, by one after the other, to be finally pushed into spin by a competitor. With this, last year’s champion has yet to earn points this season and is deeply disappointed. Martin Ragginger, however, was thrilled with his second place at his first race of the season, not least because the 23-year-old’s 911 had only been delivered to his team on the Wednesday prior to the race and was prepared just in time.
Celebrations as well in the Konrad camp – and all the more so because they hadn’t really expected to achieve third. Last year’s winner Nick Tandy secured the twelfth grid spot but was relegated to start from the back of the pack after ignoring a yellow flag during Friday’s practice. After a brilliant start and an equally brilliant first lap, the Briton had already passed six opponents to slot into position ten. On a track not known for its overtaking manoeuvres, the inspired Englishman worked his way through to third. He was only foiled in an attempt to nab Ragginger when he made a mistake in braking on his badly worn tyres.
Stefan Wendt (Attempto Racing) also had no answer to the Briton’s foray to the front. Yielding fourth, the young German narrowly missed out on clinching his first podium place in Germany’s fastest one-make race series. Sean Edwards (Britain, Deutsche Post by tolimit) was also not able to defend himself against his compatriot and finished fifth. Sixth went to Dutchman Jaap van Lagen (Land Motorsport), who last year secured second here in Zandvoort. Also the battle-tested and well-versed Uwe Alzen couldn’t hold off Tandy’s charge and only managed to claim seventh on one of his favourite race tracks. Finishing in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively were Denmark’s Nicki Thiim (Hermes Attempto Racing), Jan Seyffarth (Germany, SMS Seyffarth Motorsport) and Robert Lukas (Poland, Förch Racing).
Jeroen Bleekemolen (winner): “To win at home is perfect. The race was almost boring for me. I took off at the start and could extend my lead because the boys behind me were squabbling amongst themselves. I slowed the pace a little towards the end because I didn’t want to risk my win.”
Martin Ragginger (second): “A huge thank you to my team. They had only received the car on Wednesday evening and in that short time had managed to get it ready to race. Early on in the race I was held up a little by Armindo, and because of that I lost the chance to catch Jeroen later. But second is fantastic. Now I’m looking forward to my home race on the Red Bull Ring in three weeks.”
Nick Tandy (third): “What a great Sunday. My bad luck yesterday made today’s race great fun. We knew from free practice on Friday that my car was perfectly set-up and that made me very quick in Zandvoort. You might think I’m crazy, but this morning I thought to myself that second might be possible. I can’t count it as the best race of my life – I didn’t win.”
1. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, 33:04.431 min. (148,455 km/h)
2. Martin Ragginger (A), Schnabl Engineering, + 3.350 seconds
3. Nick Tandy (GB), Konrad Motorsport, + 4.902
4. Stefan Wendt (D), Attempto Racing, + 6.176
5. Sean Edwards (GB), Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, + 10.486
6. Jaap van Lagen (NL), Land Motorsport, + 14.761
7. Uwe Alzen (D), PZ Aschaffenburg Uwe Alzen Automotive, + 16.479
Drivers’ classification after 2 of 9 races
1. Nick Tandy (GB), 36 points
2. Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL), 34 points
3. Sean Edwards (GB), 28 points
4. Uwe Alzen (D), 21 points
5. Jaap van Lagen (NL), 19 points
Team classification after 2 of 9 races
1. Team Deutsche Post by tolimit, 62 points
2. Konrad Motorsport, 47 points
3. Förch Racing, 32 points
Round three of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland takes place on 5 June on the new Red Bull Ring in Austria.
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