Dijon BTCS – April 24 – dsc Polo Adventures
A Result (Two In Fact) For The dsc Polo

Dijon last Saturday saw the third and fourth rounds of the 2004 BTCS: two 90-min races were run, with practice and qualifying on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. The weather was a sunny 20°C. Polo pilot Bob Winter tells the story...

dailysportscar.com"This was mine and the team's first taste of Dijon, the capital of Burgundy (that's where, apart from the wine, the garlicky snails come from). The last time I visited the track was in the late eighties for the WS-PC round, and I remember thinking then the track must be quite a handful. And guess what? It is! The corners are all either blind ones just behind a crest, or going downhill and off camber, or off camber and uphill, or flat-out and drifting with all four wheels. At half of them you're constantly deciding which gear to use: a lower one to get grip uphill and then maybe revving too high just before the next one; or a higher one, going a bit slower uphill but having the luxury of being able to hold both hands on the steering wheel at the next corner. And that, of course, doesn't take into account that you also have to watch both rear view mirrors to keep an eye or two on the silhouette cars and the Porsches, which go about twenty seconds lap faster (which in turn means they are passing you every for or five laps). The track as a whole is still exactly the way it was when Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux had their wheel-banging laps in the 1979 French Grand Prix. The 3.8 kilometers of asphalt are still as narrow as they ever were, and if you lose it in one of the corners you have a near guarantee of getting to know the tire walls up close and personal, just as it was then. Even the toilettes in the paddock are still of the very French variety.

"Qualifying went well, but we felt we could do with a little more grip, so we set the roof wing a bit flatter and used rear wheels an inch smaller than the front ones, which is called "prancing" the car. The mass shifts to the rear and the front wheels get a better bite because they have less weight to carry. That set us up nicely for qualifying, in which we set the second time in our class."

dailysportscar.com"At the start of the first race there was an accident in the Parabolique hairpin, with waved yellows all round. Being the good boy that my mother thought me to be, I of course lifted, only to be passed by all the other cars in our class, which left me dead last. So catching up was the name of the game from then on, but an excellent pitstop, and a brilliant drive by Marc van Hoof, enabled us to come home second. The class-winning Peugeot was just unbeatable, so we'll be having our hands full this season. By the way, unwillingly Marc helped decide the outcome of the race at the front as well. The works silhouette Audi A4 turbo of Hemroulle and Verbergt (the 2003 champions) was leading by a handful of seconds from the Porsche 996 Supercup of Nef and Lemeret (the 2003 vice-champions) when the Audi tried pass Marc in the long, 4th-gear, flat-out Pouas right-hander, which leads onto the straight. This is the kind of corner where you just don't move off-line once you're committed. A rather unnecessary move on the last corner of the last lap, methinks. The Audi hit Marc and both cars spun off. Both managed to get back on the track, but while Marc resumed in second place, the Audi lost the race there and then."

“Race two was less eventful, but nevertheless good fun. Dijon is one of those tracks where you learn a bit more every lap. My fastest race lap was actually nearly one and a half seconds faster than my qualifying lap. I again took the start, handing the car over to Marc mid-race. He had a good scrap for third, and we just missed out on a second podium finish by one tenth of a second. Overall the race was won by the Audi over the Porsche, both cars again dicing the whole way. Next up is the Spa 12 Hours on May 15, when we're racing from 2pm till 2am. One wonders whatever happened to the Noon Till Midnight concept..."

Result Race 1
Overall
1. Nef/Lemeret Porsche 996 Supercup 1h31m01s633

2. Hemroulle/Verbergt Audi A4 Turbo Silhouette + 15s160
3. Voets/Mathieu Porsche 996 Supercup + 1 lap
Class B
1. Deridder/Thiebault Peugeot 106 1h31m10s226
2. Winter/Van Hoof VW Polo Lehmann + 2 laps

3. Lefebvre/Quenon Opel Corsa + 2 laps
Result Race 2
Overall
1. Hemroulle/Verbergt Audi A4 Turbo Silhouette 1h30m20s868

2. Nef/Lemeret Porsche 996 Supercup + 8s657
3. Delcour/Loix BMW M3 Silhouette + 1 lap
Class B
1. Deridder/Thiebault Peugeot 106 1h32m23s085

2. Clermont/Vandamme Honda Civic + 1 lap
3. Lefebre/Quenon Opel Corsa + 2 laps
4. Winter/Van Hoof VW Polo Lehmann + 2 laps

 

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