With no GTP’s on the entry list, Assen provided a level playing field for the NKHTGT racers. In a busy qualifying session, that was interrupted by a long red flag period, it was Lotus Elans to the fore. Luc de Cock was just 0,1 of a second quicker than Jos Stevens. Roelant de Waard was not far behind in his GTS12 Shelby Mustang. Bob Stevens could not match these laptimes due to coolant leaking on to his rear tires. Multiple Assen winner Andy Newall could not make it to Assen this weekend, which meant Rhea Sautter was driving both races. She qualified fastest of the E-types and second in GTS12. In the touring cars Bart-Jan Deenik was fastest of the Falcons by a second, from Cees Lubbers, Jaap van der Ende and Henk van Gammeren who were all within 1/10th.
Race 1: First corner drama
Many races are won or lost in the first corner, and that is what happened in Sauturday’s NKHTGT race at Assen. Roelant de Waard made a demon start from the second row to take the lead in the first corner. Jos Stevens’ Lotus Elan was short on grip. He tried to hang on but eventually the car swapped ends and he had to let the whole field pass before he could rejoin. Luc de Cock thus found himself in second, but had to contend with a battling group of MG/Triumphs that he wisely offered some space. De Waard duly led from start to finish in his Shelby GT350, with De Cock in his Lotus Elan in second but unable to strike. Rhea Sautter took a well deserved third place overall in her Jaguar E-type. Jos Stevens sliced through the field and recovered to fourth. Bart-Jan Deenik was unbeatable in CT10, his Ford Falcon even surviving a short flight when he had to avoid an errant TVR in the GT chicane. The battle for second TC was intense, with Henk van Gammeren being chased by Cees Lubbers and Jaap van der Ende, all in Falcons. Van Gammeren got away as Lubbers succesfully fought of Van der Ende, although the pair of them was nearly passed by Roel Korsten in his Mustang. In GTS11, there was heartbreak for championship leader Theo van Gammeren as his Porsche 911’s ignition broke, which gave the win to Brian Lambert in the MGB.
Race 2: Shelby beats Elans
On Sunday Roelant de Waard scored win no. 2 in his Shelby Mustang GT350. He took the lead at the start, with a determined Luc de Cock in his Lotus Elan in pursuit. Bart-Jan Deenik made a good start and immediately had a healthy lead over the other touring cars, until a halfshaft broke, leaving the car stranded in the complex after the first corner. The safety car was deployed while the stricken Falcon was towed away. With the green flags waved, De Cock again found himself in the middle of the fastest of the MG/Triumph guest drivers on their stickier tires. They kept De Waard on his toes as well, being able to brake later and turn in sharper. Meanwhile Jos Stevens (Lotus Elan) had managed to pass Rhea Sautter (Jaguar E-type) and was closing on De Cock. The experienced Belgian driver decided to speed up and try and get some MG’s between him and the orange Lotus. The plan did not quite work out, when he tried a different line he ran wide at the very fast Ramshoek corner. This handed second place to Stevens. De Cock finished third and Sautter fourth. The demise of Deenik made for a great scrap in CT10. Initially Cees Lubbers had been ahead of Martin Bijleveld and Henk van Gammeren, all in Ford Falcons. After a couple of laps Bijleveld managed to pass Lubbers, but it was Roel Korsten who was truly on the move. Having started on the back row he passed all and sundry and finally finished 5th overall and a resounding first in CT10 in his Ford Mustang. Bert Mets drove impressively in his Cooper S, managing to stay ahead of Lars Bondesson (Lotus Elan) and Brian Lambert. Mets (CT08) and Lambert (GTS11) both took their second class win of the weekend. The same went for Magnus Lillerskog in his CT08 Lotus Cortina, who could be seen chasing Jeroen Hoep (E-type) and Mark Schmidt (Healey 3000).
Championship positions: all change
It is all change in the rankings, as Theo and Thijs van Gammeren scored zero points when they had to retire their trusty Porsche 911. Bob Stevens also remained pointless, his not-so-trusty Lotus Elan letting him down…again. Bart-Jan Deenik scored one class win, always good for a nice points haul in the busy CT10 class, but then recorded a non-finish on Sunday. And so it is Roelant de Waard whose two resounding wins have propelled him to the top of the table with a healthy 137 points. Jos Stevens has moved up to second, Deenik is in third and the Van Gammeren family occupies the next two places in the top-5. Mind you, with five races to go (yes, 3 at Anderstorp!) there are still over a 100 points on offer, so nothing is settled.
Full results can be found here: https://getraceresults.com/Results/organisator/2022?evenement=TT-Circuit+Assen&race=Jack%27s+Racing+Days+2022
Championship standings: https://www.nkhtgt.nl/en/standings/
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