Circuit Park Zandvoort
|Time Zone||GMT +1|
|Major events||Superleague, Supercup|
|Length||4.307 km (2.676 miles)|
|Lap record||1:12.067 (Joe Consiglio, Nordsjoen-Mercedes, 2011)|
Circuit Park Zandvoort is a circuit in Zandvoort, Netherlands. It is on the calendar since 2009. It is also the test circuit of Racing Team Schroten.
Joe Consiglio earned himself a place in the history books as the 2009 GPVWC World Champion after a confident drive saw him finish second in the Dutch Grand Prix last night, the Maltese ace thus scoring the 8 points that put him out of reach of his main rival Janne Tanskanen with one race to spare.
On a race won by Lee Morris, now on his 4th win on 4 races, Consiglio made sure the excellent performances of Mark Wicks (3rd) and Adam Rouse (4th) didn't get in the way of his finest day of simracing since his debut in the GPVWC 2002 season and celebrated wildly after crossing the finish line. "I still can't believe it" were Joe's first words out of the car "I am World Champion, baby!"
The race itself saw very good battles on the spectacular, old-style track in the dunes of the Netherlands. The much-feared turn 1 didn't produce any casualties, and as the leaders took flight, some fierce battles ensued in mid-pack. Kieran Ryan, Nick Rowland and Chris Allen were just some of the names tangled in some tough fights for points, occasionally joined by the likes of Wayne Mullins, Jason Muscat and William Ponissi.
Returning Mark Stanton was the victim of a high-speed crash as he spun in the fast right hander past the hill, and a spectacular crash was the conclusion of Dan Rusu's race as well: neither of the drivers reported any injuries as an outcome of their shunts.
Unlucky Jason Muscat was victim of a brake failure that deprived him of some well-deserved points, and left P8 to Ryan McConkey. Mullins was 7th, preceded by Kieran Ryan in 6th and Rowland in 5th.
As Mark Wicks held Rouse at bay for the last step of the podium and Lee Morris sped to another win, celebrations erupted in the Nordsjoen pits: their man, the man they fought so hard to have in the team after the inaugural tests in Norway, has finally done it. Joe Consiglio is World Champion.
At the start, the Maltese ace was able to leapfrog Kieran Ryan for 3rd, while in the back his team-mate Leontin Nemet fell victim of a collision with CSG Racing's Jyri Lylykorpi, both drivers falling to the bottom of the group. Adam Smith, starting last, made the best of others' misfortunes to find himself 9th at turn 1. Muscat's 3rd place was to be short-lived however, as a braking mistake allowed Ryan to pass him again.
Up front, Mark Wicks set himself hot on the heels of Janne Tanskanen, trying to put the Nordsjoen driver under pressure and force a mistake. Behind them Ryan followed closely, ready to take any opportunity that might have arisen. In the fought-on midfield, the race saw the retirement of Mark Bullivant, who could not avoid a spinning Smith and retired with a written-off chassis after collecting the Williamson Dynamics car and the wall.
The first few laps saw a ferocious battle between Jyri Lylykorpi, William Ponissi and Sam Millar, all competing for P8. The Finn and Millar were able to overtake Ponissi, only for the first to spin and fall to the bottom of the group and for the Italian to have a contact with the wall.
A race of attrition claimed Phil Perkins and Smith through mistakes, before engines started letting the drivers down as Millar, possibly as a consequence an off in lap 2, and Chris Williamson both see their power plants let go in big puffs of smoke, and David Jundt is late victim of the same fate.
As Janne Tanskanen claimed yet another win from the season and Mark Wicks failed to finish for the first time in almost two seasons, Kieran Ryan and Jason Muscat confirmed their position as some of the most in-form drivers at this stage of the Championship by filling up the remaining positions on the podium.
With the race underway, Consiglio got away cleanly and held the lead into the first turn. Behind him, Loknovski jumped into 2nd place with Morris falling rapidly down the field and ending the first lap in 9th position. Nick Rowland on the other hand had a storming start after having to start from the back of the grid, he found himself in 12th position at the end of lap1. At this stage, Nordsjoen looked to have a healthy lead over Red Archer who found their cars in 4th and 6th after lap 1. Viesturs Priede had a nightmare debut and retired 3 laps into his debut after visiting the pits twice. Things got worse for ST Racing as David Stanton retired 16 laps in to end the teams hopes of more points for the season. Ben Warren for Nijo followed shortly after having fallen foul of lag problems. An amusing incident occured just before Ben disconnected as he appeared to take fastest lap of the race though this was induced by the lag he was suffering.
It was on lap 22 that the race really took a turn for the worse for Nordsjoen as their driver Pavel Loknovski entered difficulties. Having been struggling with issues all race with his connection, a freak accident where Christoph Lichtenstein's Synergetic car lagged infront of Pavels, sending him into the air and into the barriers, ending the Estonians race and denting Nordsjoens challenge for the constructors title. Only 4 laps later, Lee Morris made a rare error whilst pushing to get a podium place, putting one wheel on the grass in the fast right hander of turn 2 and crashing out of the race. This crash guaranteed Joe Consiglio the 2011 drivers world championship which Lee was quick on hand to congratulate his rival for the season as he joined the commentary team after the crash.
As the race headed towards the end, little happened on track as everyone found themselves spread out in the field. Ben Morgan suffered another retirement to hurt Computrac's chances in their battle for 11th with Nijo whilst Phil Perkins fell foul to yet another problem in his Draig car. The final retirement of the race was Ojay Clark who retired 22 laps from the end. In the last few laps, Rowland and Carr-Smith had a tussle with Nick letting Dave past who went in pursuit of Lawson but ran out of laps to chase the Englishman down for the final podium spot.
But in the end, it was Consiglio who crossed the line not only to take his 6th victory in a row but also the 2011 Superleague World Drivesr Championship. David Jundt took 2nd place with Red Archer teammate Gregg Lawson in 3rd in what was an excellent result for the team who now look odds on favourite to take the constructors title having a healthy 10 point lead over Nordsjoen going into the final round. Dave Carr-Smith led his teammate Nick Rowland home as they finished 4th and 5th in what was an impressive drive by both the Midnight drivers, Nick using a 2 stop strategy to his advantage after starting from the rear of the grid was a real highlight of the race for many people. Christoph Lichtenstein took a very impressive 6th place after an extremely calm and mature drive from the German with Mark Stanton crossing home 7th with Ryan Walker, Abdel Damghi and Ric Scott claiming the last points of the race. Boyd Bryson did a good job to finish 12th on his debut for Woods after keeping the car on the road whilst avoiding trouble.
After this result, the top 3 positions in the drivers championship were secured with Joe Consiglio taking the title with Lee Morris runner up and David Jundt taking 3rd place. 4th place is held by Jason Muscat though with his retirement from racing and Dave Carr-Smith only 2 points behind, its looks as if Jason will lose that place. The battle for 6th is more intesified as 4 drivers are seperated by 10 points with Loknovski on 56, Wicks and Clark on 52 and Rowland on 46 with De Vos only 6 points adrift of the Midnight Motorsports driver. No less than 7 drivers are in the battle for 11th in the final standings as they are seperated by only 6 points. Millar currently sits in 11th but Mark Stanton, Kieran Ryan, Lawson, Adam Rouse, Lichtenstein and Ryan Walker are all hot on his heels. In the constructors championship, top spot is currently held by Red Archer and they hold a comfortable 10 point gap going into the final race of the season over a depleted Nordsjoen Racing. After that, the table is mainly sorted with Draig in 3rd and Midnight in 4th. A battle for 5th between Woods Racing and Triple-Double Racing is there with only 2 points seperating the teams. 7th currently held by Synergetic who look comfortable ahead of 8th placed Williamson Dynamics who are expected to fold after the Singapore Grand Prix. 9th place is held by Constant with 10th place occupied by ST Racing. The final 2 spots are still being fought for between Computrac and Nijo with Computrac holding a slight 2 point lead over the Japanese based team.
The race weekend at Zandvoort started with the notable absence of championship leader Christoph Lichtenstein. This provided a great opportunity for rival Chris Williamson to close the gap once more after a disappointing performance at Spa. Qualifying proved to be a closely fought affair with the top 5 drivers separated by less than a second. Jason Muscat managed to claim pole position with Finn Jyri Lylykorpi alongside, followed by the PB Racing cars and Sam Millar.
Muscat managed to get a textbook getaway and soon set about building a comfortable cushion over the rest of the field. Further back Jundt and Williamson both got slow starts, while Adam Smith collided with local driver Stephan van der Wulp in the first corner. Lylykorpi managed to hang on to 2nd place initially, but soon came under pressure from Millar, Jundt and Williamson, who one by one were able to get past.
Attrition set in and led to half the field retiring by half distance. David Jundt managed to get past Millar and started to close the gap to race leader Muscat. However sloppy pitwork by the PB Racing crew saw him once more lose ground to his rivals and meant he had to pass Millar again to reclaim 2nd.
In the end Jason Muscat did enough to win by 7 seconds from Jundt. Millar was set for 3rd, but a spin a few laps from home saw Chris Williamson take the final podium spot. This meant Lichtenstein had only a 4 point advantage over Williamson going into the final round in Singapore.
At the start, it was Redshaw and Jason Muscat able to jump ahead of De Vos, dropping him to 3rd place. Jundt, able to regain his grid slot after another 'eventful' formation lap lost one place down to 4th, and Parker remained in 5th. Further down the order, Ben Warren was forced into a very early retirement after crashing off whilst stuck in the squabbling midfield battles. At the end of the first lap, the top 5 remained as previously mentioned, whilst Walker and Perkins were battling for 6th and 7th place, with Walker able to get the better of the Draig after Turn 1 of Lap 2. The best start of the race without doubt went to another local hero in the form of Roy Schroten. Having qualified in 13th, Roy found himself up to 8th place as the field rounded for the start of Lap 2. Hoekstra remained close behind in 9th, and Ben Morgan rounded out the top 10.
As the next few laps unfolded, we lost the likes of Ric Scott, Erik Tveit, Ben Morgan and Ojay Clark to retirement. Shortly after his battle with Walker, Perkins slid off the track and lost his front wing, elevating Roy Schroten to 7th and Hoekstra to 8th. With Walker now clear of Perkins, he set about catching Parker and Jundt who had now traded positions, and were involved in a great battle for 4th place. The battle got slightly messy though with errors from Parker and Walker dropping them off the back of Jundt, and Parker even losing a position to his teammate Hoekstra. With all the shenanigans happening a few seconds behind him, it almost went unnoticed that Bart De Vos had made his way past Muscat for 2nd place, and had set off to try and catch his teammate Redshaw who was now 3 seconds up the road. Lap 7, and with Muscat seemingly struggling to hang onto the two Malta Force cars ahead of him, his attentions would be forced to go to 4th placed Jundt. With the two drivers clearly going different routes on the setup, it was all set up to be an enthralling battle, and they didn't disappoint. Jundt was mighty through Sectors 2 and 3, but running higher wings than Muscat meant that he was never able to get a good run on the Maltese driver coming out of the final turn, and Muscat's straightline speed was definitely an advantage. Just a few seconds down the road, another battle was set to rumble between Walker and Parker. However, the young Scot accidentally double downshifted, causing his engine to cry enough, and he was forced into retirement on Lap 8, allowing Parker to jump into 5th and set off after Muscat and Jundt.
By Lap 10 De Vos was all over the back of Redshaw, and the Belgian clearly had the pace of his teammate. Redshaw seemed to be suffering heavily with tyre wear, struggling to get traction out of the corners. On the exit of Turn 1, Redshaw span his tyres up just slightly too much, causing him to spear off into the barrier which cost him his front wing, and any hope of beating his teammate. With Jundt and Muscat trading positions a few times during the proceeding laps before the scheduled pitstops, Parker was closing in on them by a good half a second a lap, and knowing the advantage he'd receive by going on fresh tyres, he decided to pit earlier than his battling rivals, hoping to leap the pair of them once they had made their own stops. Sadly for Parker, despite trying the undercut by stopping a few laps earlier, he was unable to get past Muscat once the Maltese finished his own stop. Despite being unable to leap him, with warmer tyres on, he was able to close behind Muscat to within a second, and once Jundt completed his own pitstop, coming out just ahead of Muscat, those three were now separated by just 2 seconds. Further down the order, two Dutchman Wopke Hoekstra and Roy Schroten were having the race of their lives, battling for 6th and 7th position with their home crowd cheering them on. With it being fairly uncharted territory for both, the sometimes erratic Dutchmen were battling hard, but fairly and safely, desperate to hold onto their strong points positions.
Lap 27, and the potential for a three way battle for 2nd place was over, with Jundt getting the final section of the track all wrong, trying to correct a mistake and spearing left into the barrier, costing him his front wing, and any chance of a podium. This elevated Parker into 3rd place, and was now hunting down Muscat. Meanwhile, a cruising Bart De Vos now had a 20 second gap over 2nd placed Muscat, and would untroubled until the end of the race. With Jundt out of the picture, the only notable battles for points position were Muscat and Parker for 2nd, and Hoekstra along with Roy Schroten for 6th place. Jundt rejoined from his incident in 4th place, ahead of the recovering Redshaw in 5th. While Parker generally had a slightly better pace than Muscat, the difference was pretty minimal, so the Englishman was only able to trim the Globe Racing driver's by a few tenths each lap. In the end, Muscat held onto his 2nd place, just 6 tenths ahead of Parker, who took his second podium finish of the season. It was indeed De Vos who took the win though, with a comfortable 23 second gap over 2nd place. The Belgian able to celebrate his championship win in style, was completely untouchable around Zandvoort. Despite Jundt's off on Lap 27, he was able to take 4th place and still have a shot at holding Lewis Redshaw off for 3rd place in the championship. Redshaw himself finished in 5th place. One of the fiercest battles that raged throughout the whole race was Hoekstra and Roy Schroten. The Dutch crowd was delighted to see them both cross the line almost side by side, taking part in a clean, but hard battle, with Hoekstra taking 6th over Schroten by the narrowest of margins, easily career best races for the pair. Georgios Davakos had a quiet race for once, taking 8th place, with Chris Williamson in 9th, and a recovering Phil Perkins taking the final point in 10th.
|2011||Joe Consiglio||Nordsjoen-Mercedes||1:25:02.792||Circuit Park Zandvoort||Report|
|2010||Janne Tanskanen||Nordsjoen-Mercedes||1:26:04.897||Circuit Park Zandvoort||Report|
|2009||Lee Morris||CSG-Honda||1:04:13.590||Circuit Park Zandvoort||Report|
|2011||Bart De Vos||Malta Force GP||47:31.623||Circuit Park Zandvoort||Report|
|2010||Jason Muscat||Platform GP||45:42.523||Circuit Park Zandvoort||Report|