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June 15, 2017

Double Win in Zolder Blancpain Sprint Races

After my podium at Silverstone I was not expecting to race again until the Paul Ricard 6 Hour, however a last minute call from Kessel had me on my way to the third round of the Blancpain Sprint Series at Zolder.

Having never seen the track before I used alternative methods to get used to it before arriving, including laps on the Playstation and watching many hours of YouTube videos.

My team mate for the weekend would be Stephen Earle, the same driver I raced and won with in Hungary and Barcelona last year, in the BES and GT Open Championships respectively. We were to be racing his Ferrari 458 GT3 run by Kessel Racing.

Even though preparation was rushed I was on the pace almost immediately, however being in an old car meant it was all relative compared to the more modern machines used by the other teams and drivers.

The Zolder race track is a classic ex-Formula 1 track which seemed to suit me well.

My task for the weekend was simple, I had to make sure to avoid any ontrack trouble and bring the car home safely in order to score maximum points for ourselves and the team.

Qualifying was decent, ending within 1 second of Pole Position, however with the series being so competitive we ended up 28th on a grid of 34 drivers. My initial aim was to try get the car into the top 20 but despite setting my quickest sectors of the weekend, and matching the fastest overall time of FP2, it was not possible to start that high up the grid.

During the races my job was simply to keep the car out of any drama. I avoided the usual turn one mayhem and from there simply drove a safe race. Having started 28th I slowly worked my way up to 21st by staying out of trouble as others crashed or went off the track.

After handing the car over to Stephen Earle he brought it home as we claimed the class win and a bunch of decent points for the Championship.

Race Two was a bit more difficult as Earle was lapped during the first half of the race. This meant that I left the pits one lap behind and in the middle of the Top 10 pack. It was difficult to balance blue flags with good pace but achieved this relatively easily and set a best lap which was only 0.8 off the fastest lap of the race. We ended with another win and a chunk of points for the AM Championship.

Since Zolder I am now the overall leader of the Blancpain AM Championship as well as the leader in the Blancpain AM Sprint Cup. The next round is part of the Blancpain Endurance Cup where a win still eludes me.

The 1000km of Paul Ricard will take place on the 24th of June at the Paul Ricard Formula 1 race track.

One Comment on “Double Win in Zolder Blancpain Sprint Races

Tony Mouton
June 22, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Fantastic performance David; congratulations!!!

Best of South African and Cape Tonian wishes, for excellent results at Paul Ricard, this coming weekend.

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