Bleekemolen Stuns The A1GP Crowd
And Makes The Dunes Move!
Jeroen Bleekemolen has been doing great things in
Spykers this year, and briefly in the DTM, but a last minute chance
to drive the Dutch A1GP car at Zandvoort last weekend might be the
turning point of his career.
Verstappen must have his own reasons for not taking up the drive
in the second year of the A1GP – but missed out on a chance
to race in front of 75,000 crazy Dutch fans. Bleekemolen jumped
at the chance, led the Feature Race by 20 seconds, in changing conditions,
and came home an excellent fourth. His overtaking around his home
track was a sight to behold.
The young Dutchman made his way to the front despite
two pit stops, at the second of which he took on wets. The crowd
cheered him on as if it was the World Cup (soccer), which it was
in a way.
When the rain stopped, the Dutch car remained on
wets, and was overtaken by three cars which had pitted for slicks,
but it was still a very special performance.
Post-race, Jeroen Bleekemolen was lifted onto the
shoulders of the A1 Team Netherlands mechanics, and the ensemble
headed to the spectators in the main grandstand for a well deserved
thank you. Bleekemolen climbed the fences, the public started singing
and almost none of the locals were aware of the podium ceremony…
Well done Jan Lammers, and all the Dutch A1GP team.
“Just missing out on the podium was of course
a pity but when you do a lap along the circuit with all those people
and everyone is happy you can be only happy yourself,” said
a deliriously happy Bleekemolen afterwards. “I could never
have held on to third place, there was too much difference between
the slicks and wet weather tyres. No matter how you look at it,
it was a very good race. In the rain there is a little bit less
noise and you drive a bit slower and I actually heard the people
scream. That is so bizarre, when you overtake someone you see the
whole dunes move. There was no way you could not miss that. Of course
you are focused on your driving, but you do see everybody cheer.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen will be driving the Dutch car
for the whole season.