Zandvoort & Lausitzring Last Weekend
Two independent GT meetings took place on the weekend of 7 / 8 August, but only one of them can be called a success.

Exuberant Euser’s 500th
The EuroGT organisation hosted its traditional support event to the Formula 3 Masters at the Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands. The EuroGT series itself was cancelled this year owing to the lack of permanent entrants, but it has its roots in the Netherlands, and the Formula 3 Masters is one of the highlights of the Dutch racing calendar, so a solid grid of predominantly Dutch teams gathered to do battle in front of a crowd of approx. 40000 people baking in glorious summer sunshine. The track itself has little in common with the circuit that was used in the days of the Dutch Grand Prix: although the distance covered per lap is now back up to what it used to be in the old days, the characteristics have changed significantly; today's Zandvoort is a much twistier track. Close-quarters racing was expected, and delivered.

In a battle of "GTU(nhomologated)" vs. FIA-legal machines, Cor Euser's Marcos International racing fielded four rainbow-coloured cars, three of them LM600s for "Mr. Marcos" himself, Jos Menten, and Herman Buurman, against Rob Knook's Stealth B6, and the works BMW M3 GTR of Duncan Huisman. The FIA world was represented by the Vipers of David Hart and Pertti Kuismanen. In the N-GT category, the sole V8STAR silhouette racer of Thomas Mutsch took on a host of Porsche 996s and Marcos Mantis. Cor Euser celebrated a special anniversary on this weekend: in his 30th year of racing, these would be the Dutch veteran's 499th and 500th races.

He claimed pole position for Saturday's first 40 minute race, and defended P1 into turn 1, the famous Tarzan Corner, with Huisman's BMW snapping at his heels. Buurman, Menten, Hart, and Kuismanen were never far behind. This close battle was broken up somewhat by a pace car situation; Euser timed his compulsory pit stop just right, and retained his lead. The Schnitzer team for once made a wrong call, and Huisman dropped a number of places. With Euser now drawing away from the rest of the field, the battle was for second place, with Menten, Kuismanen, Buurman, and Hart circulating in very close formation, and trading paint wherever possible; Huisman would later join in the fun, headlights ablaze on the M3 GTR. Just when Pertti Kuismanen, under remorseless pressure from Hart and Huisman, had established himself in second place, he spun his Viper into the gravel and handed the podium places to the chasing pair. It was race win #153 out of 499 for an exhausted but nevertheless exuberant Cor Euser, could he go 154/500?

The N-GT race was won in convincing manner by Mutsch in the thundering V8STAR; behind him, a closely matched contest between Peter van Soelen in Marcos Racing International's fourth entry, a Mantis, and Porsche driver René Snel saw them both spin off the track, but recover to finish on the podium; Snel had the advantage over van Soenen at the flag.

Results Race 1
GT:

1. Euser (NL) Marcos LM600 20 laps in 40:00.374
2. Hart (NL) Chrysler Viper GTS at 3.706
3. Huisman (NL) BMW M3 GTR at 4.294
4. Buurman (NL) Marcos LM600
5. Knook (NL) Stealth
6. Schulze (D) Ferrari 550 Maranello
7. Menten (NL) Marcos LM600
8. Kuismanen (Fin) Chrysler Viper GTS-R
Fastest lap: Cor Euser (NL) Marcos LM600 1:41.430

N-GT:
1. Mutsch (D) V8 Start Audi A6 20 laps in 40:37.438
2. Snel (NL) Porsche GT3 RS at 22.606
3. van Soelen (NL) Marcos Mantis at 2.591
4. Bakker (NL) Porsche GT3 Cup
5. Moro (NL) Porsche GT3 RS
6. Zentveldt (NL) Porsche GT3 Cup
7. Van den Heuvel (NL) Marcos Mantis
8. Von Garrel (D) Porsche GT3
9. Backelandt (NL) Porsche GT3 Cup
10. Van Soelen (NL) Marcos Mantis
11. Swart (NL) Marcos Mantis
12. Schulz (NL) Porsche GT3 Cup
13. Unteregger (D) Chevrolet Corvette C4-R
14. Brom (NL) Marcos Mantis
15. Happé (NL) Marcos Mantis
Fastest lap: Thomas Mutsch (D) V8 Star Audi A6 1:46.471
Not classified: Van der Kolk (NL) Marcos Mantis, Brugman (NL) Porsche GT3 RS

The Sunday race was held in equally hot and sunny conditions; it was a perfect day for watching the racing action from the shade of a covered grandstand, but perhaps a less-than-perfect day for driving a racecar. It would be another test of the drivers' physical strength. The scenario looked oddly familiar as once again, Euser was on pole; and once again, he made the best of it from the start, determined to finish his 500th race in P1.

Knook's Stealth was the main challenger in the initial laps, but he was soon handed down the order by a pack of cars. With the mandatory pit stops out of the way, Hart was now the man under pressure as Huisman & Co. were clearly able to go faster, but could not find their way past the Viper. Several laps
of a very entertaining dog fight between the Hart and Huisman followed. They had lapped traffic to contend with all the while, and it was in one of these situations, when the Viper was held up by a slower car, that the BMW finally got past and set off in pursuit of Euser's Marcos, with only a few precious
laps remaining. Hart now found himself harassed by Kuismanen in the other Viper, and Menten in the second LM600. An all-Dutch podium was secured when Kuismanen and Menten tangled; the Viper recovered and came home in fourth place; Menten's race was over but he was classified in sixth. Hart drove his third place home, while at the front, Huisman was catching up with Euser all the while. 2.5 seconds separated them at the finish line, but Cor Euser got his picturebook result, and scored his 154th race win in 500 races. Needless to say, he also got the lion's share of the champagne on the podium, most of it down the back of his suit.

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In N-GT, it was "nothing new on the western front" for Thomas Mutsch who did not encounter much resistance on his way to the class win, and put a lap on all his direct opponents. Once again, Snel and van Soenen crossed the line in second and third place.

Results Race 2
GT Class:

1. Euser (NL) Marcos LM600 23 laps in 41:52.186
2. Huisman (NL) BMW M3 GTR at 2.498
3. Hart (NL) Chrysler Viper GTS at 13.802
4. Kuismanen (Fin) Chrysler Viper GTS-R
5. Chikhani (Lib) Porsche GT2 Evo
6. Menten (NL) Marcos LM600
7. Buurman (NL) Marcos LM600
8. Grimm (D) Ferrari 550 Maranello
Fastest lap: Cor Euser (NL) Marcos LM600 1:42.118
Not classified: Knook (NL) Stealth B6, Schrey (D) Porsche 935

N-GT:
1. Mutsch (D) V8 Start Audi A6 23 laps in 43:01.053
2. Snel (NL) Porsche GT3 RS at 1 lap
3. van Soelen (NL) Marcos Mantis at 1 lap
4. Brugman (NL) Porsche GT3 RS
5. Von Garrel (D) Porsche GT3
6. Backelandt (NL) Porsche GT3 Cup
7. Bakker (NL) Porsche GT3 Cup
8. Van Soelen (NL) Marcos Mantis
9. Schulz (NL) Porsche GT3 Cup
10. Moritz/Happé (NL) Marcos Mantis
11. Brom (NL) Marcos Mantis
12. Schultis (D) Panoz Esperante
13. Swart (NL) Marcos Mantis
Fastest lap:Thomas Mutsch (D) V8 Star Audi A6 1:46.026
Not classified: Unteregger (D) Chevrolet Corvette C4-R, Norbart (NL) Porsche
GT3 Cup, Van den Heuvel (NL) Marcos Mantis, Moro (NL) Porsche GT3 RS, Brecht
(D), Ferrari 360 N-GT, Van der Kolk (NL) Marcos Mantis, Olij (NL) BMW M3
Coupe

Disappointing Interserie
Meanwhile at the Eurospeedway Lausitzring in Germany, the Interserie debuted its Endurance 100 format with a race for prototypes and GTs at the "GTP" Porsche club racing weekend. If the weather conditions were equally good, the grid was not. Only four cars took the start. The Lista Dallara did not
show up, and so the prototype contest was between the Renauer Tampolli SR2 and an aging Reynard Sports 2000 "rental". Two Porsches made up the rest of the sparse field, one of them also a Renauer entry. This car paid an early visit to the pits with a flat tyre, and lost a lap; Manfred Jurasz spun and
nearly ended up in the retaining wall when he tried to outbrake Robert Römer's Porsche 993 GT2 going into the banked oval section; when he eventually found his way past Römer, the order was established. The Renauer Porsche crew took it as a test and tried to match the other Porsche's pace.
Only these three cars finished the race.

1. Manfred Jurasz / Petr Valek, Tampolli-Alfa SR2
2. Robert Römer, Porsche 996 Cup
3. Hannes Gsell / Ingomar Reich, Porsche 996 GT3

The EuroGT Series is now working to regroup itself for a full season of racing in 2005, while the Interserie is looking at the possibility of staging another 100 minute enduro later this year.
Johannes Gauglica

 

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