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Belgian GT, Zolder – Race Report
A Double For Kumpen & Longin

The start of the penultimate race of the Belgian GT Mediagroep Van Dyck took place under an enjoyable autumnal sun and in front of packed grandstands. And the two Gravity Moslers immediately built up a handsome lead over their nearest rivals. Very soon we lost a few competitors, including the G&A Mosler of De Keersmaeker, who had experienced a problem with the driveshaft during the warm up lap, and the A+ Viper which crashed heavily into the wall just after the start. But probably most important was the skid by the championship leader, Damien Coens after only a few hundred metres.

“It was my own fault”, Coens humbly admitted. “Normally I start off quietly and should have done that here also. I became involved in the battle right after the start and during an overtaking manoeuvre I touched the Lamborghini of Haane. I then spun around and had some trouble in getting the car into reverse which is why it took me some time to get going again.”

With arrears of one minute to make up, the Ferrari of Francorchamps Motors Delahaye then went about delivering an excellent catch up race. Up front, Anthony Kumpen and Ron Marchal were driving their own little race, even though the Limburg based Kumpen couldn’t shake off the Dutchman. Even after the pit stop the difference between Bert Longin and Vincent Radermecker remained very close. Birthday boy Bert Longin held off his team mate and was able to treat himself to a great birthday present. In fact this is the first time that Kumpen and Longin have won since the beginning of the year. 

Behind both Moslers Koen Wauters drove a great race, ahead of the two Porsches 911 GT3 Cup S of NGT and GPR. At first Bart Couwberghs was able to hold off Greg Franchi, but after the stops Max Soulet smoothly overtook Ruben Maes. The KRK Viper fell further back, and GRP finished third ahead of NGT and the strong comeback of the Bouvy-Coens Ferrari.

Franchi and Soulet came out well out of this result, managing to halve their arrears on the championship leaders.

At the start of the second race we lost Jeffrey Van Hooydonk very early on, who was forced into the pitlane with a broken driveshaft. Up front Vincent Radermecker was building up a lead, whilst Fred Bouvy had to give way to Guino Kenis. However he was able to hold off the followers, namely Bert Longin, Maxime Soulet and Ruben Maes. Unfortunately the latter lost all hopes of clinching the driver’s title due to a problem with his left rear wheel.

The battle for the title remained wide open and some 25 minutes from the end of the race the safety-car put in an appearance, and the entire pack was back together again. Following on from the compulsory driver change-over Coens was lying in first place, closely followed by the Porsche of Franchi.

Thirteen minutes from the chequered flag the safety-car returned to the pitlane and, whilst cutting in at the first left-hander, Franchi skidded hard into the rear of the Ferrari. The Ferrari lost several laps in the sand trap but for GPR it was over and out.

Both Moslers then fought it out for the victory and it was Anthony Kumpen who managed to pip Ron Marchal just before the line. He won by a margin of 21 hundredths…

“A perfect way in which to celebrate the end of the season”, Anthony Kumpen beamed. “We needed a photo-finish to confirm the result.”

But the greatest joy was to be found elsewhere, and also the greatest disappointment. At GPR and Francorchamps Motors Delahaye the atmosphere was rather divergent. Maxime Soulet was one of the very first to congratulate Bouvy for winning the title. In fact Bouvy won his second title of the weekend, unprecedented in the Belgian motor sport history. “A great pity that it had to end like that and on top of that we were lucky due to the problems Ruben Maes experienced. Even though we could equally have deserved the title.”

The team title finally went to NGT, who last year won the Driver Challenge with Bart Couwberghs and was also reigning champion in D2. On top of that the team had also won the Menzo 24 Hours of Zolder earlier in the year.

Marc Maton: “We are obviously highly satisfied, especially following on from a race which for us appeared to be over after only a few minutes. I’m going to celebrate this solidly with all the boys!”

And finally victories in Division 3 went to the Porsche of Nelissen-Grade and Niels Lagrange (First Motorsport) as also Tom Langeberg and Jurgen Van Hover (Speedlover), whereas in Division 2, the Porsche of Van Oost-Jonckheere and the Aston Martin Vantage N24 GT4 of Nico Verdonck and Peter Van Audenhove were all partying.

Race 1:

1.Kumpen-Longin (Mosler MT900) ; 2. Marchal-Radermecker (Mosler MT900) + 0.239; 3. Franchi-Soulet (Porsche 997 GT3) + 23.775 ; 4. Couwberghs-Maes (Porsche 997 GT3) + 42.172 ; 5. Coens-Bouvy (Ferrari 430 GT3) + 1.12.250 ; 6. Koen Wauters-Schreurs (Dodge Viper) + 1.18.755 ; 7. Kuus-Van Hooydonk (P-B-Bel/Dodge Viper) + 1.20.438 ; 8. Renard-Vosse (Ferrari 430 GT3) + 1.34.883 ; 9. Derdaele-Van Moerkeke (Dodge Viper) + 1 lap; 10. Vanthoor-Kris Wauters (Dodge Viper) + 1 lap;… 13. Nurminen-Vanhanen (Fin/Porsche 997 Cup) + 1 lap (1st  D3) ; 17. Van Oost-Jonckheere (Porsche 996 Supercup) (1st in D2) + 3 laps

Race 2:
1. Longin-Kumpen (Mosler) 34 laps in 1h00.12.077 ; 2. Radermecker-Marchal (Bel-NL/Mosler) + 0.021 ; 3. Kenis-De Keersmaeker (Mosler) + 17.784 ; 4. Vosse-Renard (Ferrari) + 25.008 ; 5. Thiers-Thiers (Ferrari) + 25.333 ; 6. Wauters-Vanthoor (Dodge) + 28.723 ; 7. Greensall-Dockerill (GB/Ferrari) + 39.928 ; 8. Schreurs-Wauters (Dodge) + 1.52.995 ; 9. De Laet-Thiers (Lamborghini) + 1 lap; 10. Ceusters-Haane (Bel-NL /Lamborghini) + 1 lap; 11. Langeberg-Van Hover (Porsche) + 1ap (1st in D3) ; 16. Verdonck-Van Audenhove (Aston Martin) + 3 laps (1st in D2)

Joost Custers