Race report from France
Five way battle
To decide the 2022 championship, NKHTGT travelled to Dijon-Prenois for HVM Racing’s Motors Cup. We enjoyed a weekend of glorious weather and, for the first time in NKHTGT history, we had a 2 hour race. Going into the weekend there were still five contenders for the title. One had quite a big lead, but with over 40 points on offer, there were still plenty of possibilities. In fifth but within striking distance were Brian and Barbara Lambert in their MGB. Fourth was Bob Stevens in his Lotus Elan. In third was Bart-Jan Deenik in one of the mighty Ford Falcon Sprints. Second in the table was Jos Stevens in his orange Lotus Elan. Leading the championship going into the final two races at Dijon-Prenois is Roelant de Waard with his Shelby Mustang GT350. On this power circuit it was no surprise to find the two GTP cars on the first row, with a Daytona Cobra in third. The fastest Lotus Elans were close behind though, in fifth and sixth. We lost a couple of V8 touring cars in practice: the Falcon of father and son Björn and Henk Hees was towed into the paddock with a banana shaped propshaft, while Henk van Gammeren’s similar car broke its gearbox.
Persson wins, De Waard secures the title
After a chaotic start it was Kennet Persson who took the lead of the Dijon 300 km in his Ford GT40, while polesitter Michiel Campagne dropped to 7th. Luckily that is not so important in a 2 hour race and the Corvette GS duly moved back up the order into second. The GT40 proved uncatchable though, only briefly losing the lead during two of the three compulsory pitstops. When the Corvette dropped out after 41 laps, Bob Stevens popped up in second, his Lotus Elan running like clockwork despite a clutch problem. Third overall went to Roelant de Waard (Shelby Mustang GT350), after a race long battle with Oliver Douglas in his Shelby Daytona Cobra. In fifth was Frans van Maarschalkerwaart partnered by Björn Hees (Shelby Mustang GT350).
Martin Bijleveld was the runaway leader in the touring cars, until the team had to retire the Falcon with low oil pressure. That gave the touring car win to Bart-Jan Deenik and Jaap Sinke, ahead of Hemmo Vriend, all Ford Falcon mounted. René de Vries and Phil Anning led CT07 for 61 laps. They unfortunately dropped out on the final lap, which gifted the class win to Alexander Schlüchter. CT08 was won by Gerrit Jan van Leenen and Bert Du Toy van Hees, after a great battle with Magnus Lillerskog. The Swedish Lotus Cortina driver had to retire the car when the brakes went. In GTS11 there was heartbreak for the Van Gammeren family when the ignition on their Porsche 911 failed after just 3 laps. Erwin van Lieshout managed to stay ahead of the MGB’s to win the class in his Porsche. Barbara and Brian Lambert were second, Egbert Kolvoort third. The little Elite of Ingram and Rowley was the sole starter and finisher in GTS08.
Persson does it again
The final NKHTGT race of the 2022 season had a couple of surprises in store. Not where the winner was concerned, Kennet Persson took the spoils for the second time this weekend in his Ford GT40. Bob Stevens quickly passed Roelant de Waard for second, seemingly on course for a jump to third in the championship. Bart-Jan Deenik dropped out of the equation when his Ford Falcon coasted to a halt after a couple of loud bangs. Meanwhile Brian Lambert did everything he could to reel in Erwin van Lieshout, but the Porsche 911 just had the edge over the MGB. Oliver Douglas passed De Waard for third, Shelby Daytona versus Shelby Mustang. Jos Stevens was also on the move and passed the blue GT350 a couple of laps later. On the 16th lap, with just 5 minutes to go, Bob Stevens’ Lotus Elan came to a halt, its battery dead. Thus Persson, Douglas and Jos Stevens were the guys on the podium. Frans van Maarschalkerwaart (Shelby Mustang) was within striking distance of De Waard but not quite close enough. Ed van Dijk finished 6th in his Jaguar E-type. Mats Ek had a great scrap with Niek van Gils, who had swapped his MG for a Lotus Elan. They switched positions several times, but in the end it was Ek who took second in GTS10. First touring car home was Hemmo Vriend in the Ford Falcon, from Alexander Schlüchter and Bert Mets in their Cooper S ‘s. And then there was GTS11. Van Lieshout finished 7 seconds ahead of Brian Lambert in the first of the MGB’s. With Deenik and Bob Stevens out, that was enough for the Lambert family to jump from 5th to 3rd in the championship table!
Championship standings (to be confirmed): https://www.nkhtgt.nl/en/standings/
You can read all the paddock gossip in our online magazine: https://www.nkhtgt.nl/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/NKHTGT-Dijon-2022-editie.pdf