Renault Sport Trophy: Dutch drivers fastest in sprint races
After Saturday’s domination of Italian Oregon Team and their drivers in Endurance race of Renault Sport Trophy at Spa, today situation was different, as Dutch teams and drivers took the top podium places in two Sprint races. Diederik Sijthoff (V8 Racing) has won Prestige class and Steijn Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) was fastest in Elite class race.
Sijthoff won the Prestige race ahead of Toni Forne (ART Junior Team) and Sarah Bovy (Monlau Competicion). Racing on home soil, the Belgian native is the first female driver to finish on the podium in the World Series by Renault. A few hours later, Steijn Schothorst triumphed in the Elite race in front of Andrea Pizzitola (ART Junior Team) and Belgium’s Wolfgang Reip (Monlau Competicion).
On Saturday, Richard Gonda (ART Junior Team) won the pole ahead of Niccolo Nalio (Oregon Team) and Max Braams (V8 Racing). At the conclusion of a spectacular opening lap, which resulted in a puncture for the pole man and the Italian, the elimination for Adalberto Baptista (Oregon Team) and Dario Capitanio (Oregon Team) and a return to the pits for Antonio Coimbra (Equipe Verschuur), Diederik Sijthoff emerged in the lead. The Dutchman was then overtaken by Toni Forme on lap two, as was Sarah Bovy by Stefano Costantini (V8 Racing) for third place.
Sarah Bovy re-took the position four laps later. Two laps from the end, Diederik Sijthoff re-took the advantage from Toni Formé, who was then overtaken by Sarah Bovy. But the lady driver was handed a penalty after the race and was demoted to third place. Stefano Costantini finished just off the podium and was followed by Max Braams, Philippe Bourgois (Zele Racing) and Philippe Haezebrouck (Zele Racing).
After taking the pole position in Elite class in dry conditions, Steijn Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) led the rolling start on a damp track surface. The Dutchman held off Andrea Pizzitola (ART Junior Team), while David Fumanelli (Oregon Team) spun out before retiring following contact with Miguel Ramos (Equipe Verschuur), which brought out the safety car.
Steijn Schothorst controlled the re-start and pulled away towards the win. First overtaken by Wolfgang Reip (Monlau Competicion) and Luciano Bacheta (Oregon Team), Andrea Pizzitola battled back to assure second place. Luciano Bacheta and Vittorio Ghirelli (Zele Racing) rounded out the leading top five, followed by Indy Dontje (ART Junior Team), Federico Leo (V8 Racing), Roy Geerts (V8 Racing), Nicky Pastorelli (V8 Racing) and Bas Schothorst (Zele Racing).
Diederik Sijthoff: “Yesterday, we had a few problems with the tyres at the end of the race, but our solutions worked today. I was able to make the most of the opportunity that presented itself at the start with the accident involving the leaders. I could have driven faster if I wanted to, but I preferred to take it easy and make my attacks at the end of the race. It paid off and I am thrilled.”
Steijn Schothorst: “It is really different from anything I’ve done before! It isn’t as easy as it may look, especially in wet conditions, but I was successful in getting a handle on it and I really liked it. I had good pace that let me build a gap and take care of my tyres. It was somewhat difficult at the end. My goal is to win the championship, so I am happy with this win.”