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As usual there was a bumper entry for Holland’s most important historic event with over 50 cars taking to the track in qualifying. Even though the NK HTGT was the second group to go out, there was already a lot of oil and powder on the track thanks to the historic F1 brigade. However, with 50 cars needing to qualify and a slot of just 20 minutes, going out early and setting a time immediately was a good strategy, oil or no oil. No young hotshoes were entered in any of the leading cars this year, and it was Michiel Campagne who set the pace in the Grand Sport Corvette, posting a 2:02,0. Second place was hotly contested and was alternately held by Graham Wilson and Sander van Gils in Lotus Elans, Tom Kuiper and Roeland Voerman in Corvettes and Hans Hugenholtz in his Cobra until Alex van der Lof made it his in the Bizzarini, posting a 2:02,3. Sander van Gils was third fastest on 2:04,2, but fluctuating oil pressure and the subsequent discovery of metal particles in the lubricant unfortunately meant he would take no further part in the weekend’s proceedings. Hugenholtz ended up fourth in the Cobra, just ahead of Kuiper and Voerman in their Corvettes. Patrick Koel was seventh in the beautiful Porsche 904. The CT10 battlewent between the usual suspects: Martin Bijleveld and Norbert Gross in their Ford Falcons. Bijleveld looked to have the upper hand, until Gross eked out a lap that was 0,16 of a second quicker. These two were way ahead of the number 3 in CT10, Stephen Perry. Young guns Olivier Hart and Joshua Waaijenberg in their Mustangs were a bit slow, just 6th and 9th in class, while Lars Esselius, all the way from Sweden, was in trouble, managing just a couple of slow laps in his Falcon. Nico Zonneveld set a blistering pace in his Morgan +4ss right at the start, but at the last moment it was Mark Dols who took the GTS11 pole by a full second, just before his Marcos’ fanbelt parted company, stranding him on the cooling down lap. Robert Hamilton of Silvertonhill only managed third in class, and even then he was lucky that Richard Evans only managed 5 laps before his Marcos expired. Next up was van Lieshout in the Porsche 911, with Egbert Kolvoort the fastest of the MGB brigade. René de Vries was very happy with a sub 2:10 lap in his Mini Cooper, the fastest he had ever been around Zandvoort, 17th overall and 4 places ahead of the pairing of Bert Mets/Nick Swift. Rob Rappange and Roger Ebdon were next up in CT07, a couple of seconds behind. With no Lotus Cortina’s entered, the intermediate touring car class was a fight between Adrian van Hooydonk in the “works” BMW 1800 and Thomas Ardelt in the Volvo Amazon, the BMW designer having the upper hand by some 4 seconds. Last of the bunch was Melroy Heemskerk in the Renault 4CV, a big step down from the Coloni F1 he was also driving at the weekend. Armand Adriaans had qualified his Corvette in 15th but had to withdraw from racing after an excursion in his Mustang in the another qualifying session led a couple of painful ribs.
There were some empty spaces on the pre-gird for Saturday’s race, most notably Hugenholtz in the Cobra, but we also missed van Hooydonk and Alexandru Ciolan in the Mini. And we nearly lost another Mini when Roger Ebdons bonnet flew open on the warming-up lap. After a quick pitstop he rejoined at the back of the field. Lights out and it was Alexander van der Lof who took the lead ahead of Michiel Campagne. Tom Kuiper slotted into third ahead of Voerman and the fast starting Bas Jansen in the TVR Griffith. Norbert Gross took the lead in CT10, with Michael Koel as a handy buffer to Bijleveld, while Dols was just ahead of Zonneveld in GTS11. Olivier Hart tried to make up places by going over the grass while Adrian van Hooydonk joined the race from the pits. De Vries was way ahead in CT07 but Ebdon had made one of his lightning starts, propelling him into third ahead of Rappange, only to be black flagged, his bonnet still flapping. We also lost Voerman and Esselius at this stage, both in mechanical trouble. Van der Lof and Campagne made a great spectacle of it, as they did the previous year, Campagne taking the lead on lap 3. Kuiper was on his own in third, while Gross had moved up to fourth ahead of the TVR. Graham Wilson had steered his Lotus Elan past the GTS11 battle which was still led by Dols. Third in CT10 was being contested by Olivier Hart, Max Boodie (Mustang) and Stephen Perry (Falcon). Egbert Kolvoort was another visitor to the pits, rejoining after a quick check for damage, having tapped Michel Oprey (Shelby Mustang) into a spin. Rappange waseyeing second in class, moving in on Bert Mets, with Jac Meeuwissen in the Healey 3000 in close company of this pairing. Further down the field Ardelt in the Volvo was fighting it out with Köhnen in the Porsche 356, with Van Hooydonk and Oprey closing in. Newcomers Marc Nouwens (Austin Healey) and Dierk Adoms (MGB) were having a good scrap but this time it was not for last as they were ahead of Melroy Heemskerk, who was revving the little Renault’s heart out. Van der Lof regained the lead with a great outbraking manoeuvre on the inside at Tarzan, Perry passed Boodie and Ardelt was now only yards ahead of van Hooydonk, with Oprey and Köhnen just behind. Meanwhile Adoms was coming up to the chicane and straightlined it too much. The kerb launched his MGB into a triple roll, the car landing on its wheels. The hardtop flew off in the impact and it looked serious, but in fact the rollcage had done its job and after the medics had made sure he was alright, Adoms stepped out of the car.Meanwhile the safety car had been deployed and the decision was made to red flag the race, the result being declared after just seven laps. This was unfortunate for Campagne, who normally would have had plenty of opportunity to go for the win, but was now stuck in second. Kuiper was third and first in GTS12, quite a way ahead of Jansen in the TVR (7th overall) and Maarten Fokke in the fastest of the Shelby Mustangs. In fourth was Norbert Gross, winner of the big touring car class in his Ford Falcon. Patrick Koel was fifth in the GTP Porsche, ahead of GTS10 winner Graham Wilson who was way ahead of the other Lotus Elans of Haddon and Bondesson. Bijleveld and Hart were 8th and 10th, 2nd and 3rd in CT10, sandwiching GTS11 winner Dols. Zonneveld was second in GTS11 and Richard Evans had taken 3rd from Hamilton, whose Marcos seems to have lost its dominant speed together with its trick rear suspension. René de Vries took the win in CT07 in his Mini Cooper, from Rappange and Mets while Thomas Ardelt had used all of the track and a bit more in keeping his Volvo Amazon ahead of Adrian van Hooydonk in the BMW1800.
For Sunday’s race we had lost Lars Esselius and his Falcon as well as Alex Korle and his Lotus Elan, both cars refusing to run properly. Van Hooydonk didn’t appear and understandably Adoms was missing as well. Ciolan and Hugenholtz were present however as was Nykle Meijer, not in an MGB or E-type but in Bas Jansen’s Ford Mustang. Voerman’s Corvette had been repaired and Andy Newall was in Rhea Sautter’s E-type so we had three quick GTS12 cars starting from the back. Van der Lof was first away, ahead of a very fast starting Kuiper (who would later be penalized 10 seconds for this) and Campagne. Behind them, things got very hectic, Zonneveld braking too late and blocking his wheels, leaving him no option but to take to the grass on the right before Tarzan, while the grass on the left was also frequented by some. Contact was made on several occasions, but everyone was able to continue, although Zonneveld had to visit the pits to have a rubbing front wing pulled clear. Campagne and Van der Lof continued their battle at the front. This time Campagne ruled out any surprises by making sure he stayed in thelead most of the time. Kuiper again was in third ahead of Gross while Dols had jumped to fifth, for which he would also receive a jump start penalty. Newall, Voerman and Hugenholtz were making great progress, Newall scraping the Jaguar’s tail against the wall in Hugenholtz corner while trying to go around the outside of a bunch of cars. Dols was leading GTS11 a long way ahead of Evans, whose Marcos was smoking again, while Hamilton made it an all-Marcos top-3. In CT07 Jonathan Lewis was leading with Nick Swift closing in, then it was Rappange from Klaas Span, while Ebdon had had a tangle that dislodged his rear bumper. Jaap van der Ende was second in CT10, from Frits Campagne, both in Falcons and Max Boodie in his Mustang. Olivier Hart had dropped a number of places in the melee at the start but was moving up, while Stephen Perry had sustained bodywork damage and pulled into the pits. Further back Cees Lubbers (Falcon) and Joshua Waaijenberg had a good scrap. In GTS12 things were very hectic as well. Pieter Boel initially led in his Shelby Mustang, from Bas Jansen’s TVR and Frans van Maarschalkerwaart in another Shelby. Voerman was leading the pursuers and did some demon overtakingmanoeuvres, at one point outbraking three cars in one go into Tarzan. Van der Lof managed to outbrake the Corvette Grand Sport into the chicane on a number of occasions and at one point the two leaders went through the long final corner side by side, but Campagne nosed ahead. Voerman was still going well in fifth, but Newall had reeled him in and was looking for a way past. Norbert Gross knew that he only needed to win his class to take the championship lead and made sure he didn’t get involved in any heated arguments, dropping a number of places. Frans van Maarschalkerwaart retired with a broken diff and Jac Meeuwissen also pulled into the pits, while Ciolan had a quick spin into Tarzan but was able to continue. Frits Campagne was having a good scrap with Roel Korstenin his Mustang and there was a great midfield battle, Lubbers keeping the door closed as usual for Niek van Gils (MGB), Harmen van Putten (Shelby), Rob Rappange, Lars Bondesson (Lotus Elan) and Nick Swift. By now we had a double yellow in the final corner because of a stranded Mustang. The marshals set to it, but their work was made rather difficult as most competitors hardly slowed down. The race director was not amused and sent out thesafety car. Things were cleared up in no time and the safety car was ready to come in when Bas Jansen’s TVR lost a front wheel in Scheivlak. He went a long way into the gravel trap, so the tow truck had to come out and thus the safety car stayed out. By this time 11 laps had been completed and we had another premature finish, with Campagne taking the win from Van der Lof. Kuiper was third past the post but his jumpstart penalty cost him four positions, the trio of Newall, Voerman and Hugenholtz moving up into the GTS12 top-3. Patrick Koel was sixth in the Porsche 904 after another solid race. Gross was 8th and again won CT10, thereby taking the championship lead from Robert Hamilton. Young Olivier Hart came second in CT10 from old hand Jaap van der Ende. Lewis was first on the road in CT07, but all the Mini’s were put on the weighbridge at scrutineering and several turned out to be underweight. With suitable penalties applied, Swift won the class from Rappange while Lewis dropped to third. In GTS11, Dols got lucky as his 10 second jumpstart penalty meant that he still won, from Evans and Hamilton. Niek van Gils was first non-Marcos home, from Erwin van Lieshout and Egbert Kolvoort. Graham Wilson had been going very well, outbraking van der Ende into the S-curve and moving up into fourth for a while, until he had to pit with a problem. This handed the GTS10 win to the other British Lotus Elan of Haddon, with Bondesson in second. Wilson still came third as Köhnen was penalized for not wearing flameproof underwear!
With just two races in Dijon to go, Norbert Gross now leads the points table at 69,4 points, from Robert Hamilton at 61,4. Nico Zonneveld is third on 52,4, closely followed by René de Vries/Jonathan Lewis on 51,2 and Lars Bondesson on 47,8.
Van der Lof en Campagne winnaars tijdens Historic Grand Prix
Net als vorig jaar ging de strijd in het NK HTGT powered by Gamma tussen Michiel Campagne in de blauwe Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport van en Alexander van der Lof in de gele Bizzarini GT. Tom Kuiper deed zijn uiterste best om bij te blijven in zijn “gewone” Corvette, maar kon het tempo van de twee leiders niet volgen. Campagne en Van der Lof maakten er op de zaterdag een mooie race van, ze wisselden regelmatig stuivertje. Na zeven ronden zorgde een vervelend ongeval in de Hans Ernst bocht, met gelukkig alleen een zwaar beschadigde auto als resultaat, voor een neutralisatie van de wedstrijd. Het opruimen kostte veel tijd en dat leidde ertoe dat de race vroegtijdig werd afgevlagd. De winst ging zodoende naar Van der Lof. Norbert Gross won de grote toerwagenklasse in zijn Ford Falcon, René de Vries won bij de kleine toerwagens in zijn Mini Cooper en de tussenliggende klasse was voor Thomas Ardelt die in zijn Volvo Amazone de BMW 1800 van Adrian van Hooydonk versloeg. De zwaarbevochten GTS11 klasse was voor Mark Dols (Marcos 1800).
Op zondag ging het er bij de start hectisch aan toe, maar iedereen kon uiteindelijk zijn weg vervolgen. Campagne en Van der Lof zetten hunstrijd voort, maar Campagne was deze keer vastberaden zich niet te laten verrassen en zorgde dat hij voorop reed. Diverse rijders waren na problemen op de zaterdag achteraan het 50 auto’s tellende veld gestart en dat stond garat voor spektakel. Andy Newall (Jaguar), Roeland Voerman (Corvette) en Hans Hugenholtz (AC Cobra) haalden de ene na de andere concurrent in en reden al snel in de top-10. Een stilgevallen auto in de laatste bocht zorgde opnieuw voor een neutralisatie. Toen dat obstakel uit de weg was geruimd, verloor Bas Jansen een wiel van zijn TVR en daar moest de takelwagen aan te pas komen. Zo eindigde de wedstrijd opnieuw onder neutralisatie en deze keer werd Campagne beloond voor zijn inzet. Norbert Gross won opnieuw de CT10 klasse en nam daarmee de leiding in het klassement over van Robert Hamilton, die slechts een vierde en een derde plaats scoorde. Mark Dols was opnieuw de winnaar in GTS11 en de Mini-klasse was voor de snelle Brit Nick Swift in de auto van Bert Mets.