Belcar – Spa Racing Festival – Race Report
Corvette In Belgium Too
© Joost Custers
Before the race, we spoke to Vanina Ickx. “I
will not do the last Belcar race as I’m going to China for
the FIA-GT race over there. As Renaud Kuppens is racing in Monza
(that weekend) in the Mégane Trophy, I will partner Bas Leinders
in the Gillet Vertigo. I raced the car before and I like it. What’s
more, this race will be my debut in China, going over there is like
a dream. Some weeks after, I will end my season in Asia again (with
Rollcentre, at Istanbul). Even though the Audi, Pescarolo and Zytek
are much faster, we still hope to perform well and end the LMES
season in a good way.”
Vosse – Hart – Bouvy – Palttala – Maes –
Steinberg – Longin – Lamot – Schreurs –
Snel – Euser …
What a difficult
opening period of the race for the Kuismanen Viper. Right after
the start Vincent Vosse eased away, but two early safety car interventions
reduced his lead each time.
After five laps,
the safety car came out as the #25 Markant and #32 S&P Porsche
996 GT3-R come to a halt in dangerous places and only one lap after
the first intervention, the #GPR Supercup of Guillaume Dumarey goes
off and the SC appears again.
most regular frontrunners stayed together in the opening half of
the race. The only one to lose time was Palttala; the choice of
PSI to put intermediates on the Palttala car seemed to be the wrong
one. The Finn came in after only three laps and lost precious time.
But whereas Vosse was the loser in the SC situations, Palttala was
the winner. He regained ground very easily and took the lead after
1 hour; Vosse followed with Maes, Longin (below), Menten etc. right
Hart and Lamot
were the first frontrunners to make their pitstops. Marc Goossens
went out after 50 minutes and he immediately flew, proving the strategy
right. He lapped in 2.20 and closed in on the leaders.
Important retirements after the first hour: Snel
what a race for Stef Van Campenhoudt (above) in the #40 Supercup:
he was fifth overall and 1st in GTB in a standard Supercup after
the early stop of Lamot and the retirement of Euser in the Vertigo.
Stef is an instructor for Audi and Bentley. He puts in his fastest
lap, a 2.34.318.
The second half of the race was characterized by
a multitude of retirements (Audi TT, BR Ultima, RS Biturbo …)
and a walk-over for Goossens. After the late stop of the Van Sande
/ Palttala car, the Corvette led by 45” from the Menten /
Bouvy car. The other PSI Porsche, the Kuismanen Viper and the GTB
champions Lamot / Penders completed the top-5 with 35 minutes to
Another safety car intervention 25 minutes before
the end of the race was not what Goossens wanted. The #91 GS BMW
went off and this is very important for the title battle in Touring.
Beliën now grabbed full points and reinforced his lead in the
The last part of the Nascar look-a-like Belcar race
only took nine minutes. The race was wide open again, but Kuismanen
in the Viper received a 10” stop & go and Wauters / Schreurs
hit trouble some minutes before the end. This was an excellent outcome
for Penders / Lamot, ‘virtually’ fourth - as Kuismanen
remained out on the track.
a penalty because I left a gap between me and the car in front under
the SC. Clutch problems forced me to do so and I really feel unhappy
about this penalty,” explained Kuismanen.
The result stayed unofficial with the stop &
go story in mind:
1. #7 SRT Corvette
Goossens / Hart 43 laps
2. #4 PSI Porsche Biturbo Menten / Longin on 4”
3. #1 GLPK Porsche Biturbo Longin / Couwberghs on 35”
4. #2 Kuismanen Viper Vosse / Kuismanen on 54”
5. #31 TT Porsche 996 GT3-RS Lamot / Penders (GTB) on 1’02”
6. #5 PSI Porsche Biturbo Van Sande / Palttala on 1’10”
7. #75 G&A BMW M3 GTR Kenis / Smets on 2 laps (below)
8. #33 Qvick Ultima Qvick / Geoffroy
9. #27 Markant Porsche Supercup Van Rossem / Van Hoepen
10. #37 First Porsche Supercup Van Loo / Colman
Post-race, Kuismanen received a one-minute penalty
and dropped back to sixth. There was also a complaint against Longin
/ Couwberghs for overtaking under the SC. They get a 30”-penalty
but GLPK lodged an appeal against this decision, so the result remains
unofficial, until the sporting committee has met.
Hart: “I did not enjoy the race very much with all
the SC interventions but I’m happy with the result, we’ll
now accomplish the task in Zolder!”
Schumacher (PSI): “I’m very happy with the
result for Menten and Bouvy but we should now find a solution for
Palttala (below) because after such a great race losing 'everything'
is a shame.”
Longin: “I’m so happy for both GLPK and RTM.
This is a surprising result.”