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.”

Drivers starting: 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.

Behind Vosse, 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 behind him.

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 and Severich.

dailysportscar.comAnd 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 go.

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 Touring division.

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.

“I received 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.

David 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!”

Christian 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.”

Bert Longin: “I’m so happy for both GLPK and RTM. This is a surprising result.”


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