Double appointment for 4-wheel enthusiasts: from Saturday to Monday the Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team will race in the Netherlands with the Vernay-Shedden duo; in the same event there will also take place the second round of the TCR Europe Series, with the local hero Jaap Van Lagen, old Leopard Racing’s friend.
The battle for glory in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup resumes at Circuit Zandvoort in The Netherlands this week (19-21 May). This racetrack amidst the sand dunes of the North Sea coast was built in 1948 and hosted the Dutch Grand Prix from 1950 to 1985, although with a few breaks. Its layout was modified several times, the last one between 1995 and 1999, the current one featured 13 turns over a 4.307-km lap.
The most northerly venue on the 2018 calendar, brings world touring racing back to The Netherlands for the first time since 2007. And the timing of the race couldn’t be more appropriate with 2018 marking the circuit’s 70th anniversary. Once home to the Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort’s motorsport roots go back to 1939 when a street race was organised in the seaside town. It was the catalyst needed for the mayor to invest in a permanent track, construction of which began following World War II.
Apart from 1972, Zandvoort was a permanent fixture on the Formula One calendar from 1958 until 1985 when Niki Lauda won from P10 on the grid, the Austrian’s final grand prix victory. Zandvoort-bound this week is where the famous Tarzan corner awaits: immortalised by Gilles Villeneuve following his heroic overtaking manoeuvre on Alan Jones at the 1979 Dutch Grand Prix, Tarzan – Zandvoort’s first, cambered corner – is the place to pass and be passed.
Frustrated by his time penalty in Germany, the three-time British Touring Car champion Gordon Shedden will be eager to put on a strong showing for Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team at a venue where he tested back in March. Back from a double 7th place last weekend at the Nurburgring, his teammate Jean-Karl Vernay shows up in Holland with all the credentials to make a great performance and reduce the gap in the standings with his rivals.
As the Frenchman is committed with the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup, he cannot compete for TCR Europe Series in the same days in Zandvoort too: for this round only he will be replaced by the local hero Jaap Van Lagen, who will run for Leopard Lukoil Team with number 46: Van Lagen’s racing experience is broad, having raced in Formula Renault, World Touring Championship and a number of Endurance championships. The Dutchman has already run for Leopard Racing last season alongside Vernay, in Monza and Oschersleben events.
WTCR 2018 Race of Netherlands (GMT +2)
Circuit: Zandvoort Length: 4307m
Race distance: 25 Minutes (TCR Europe)
Race distance: 12 Laps (WTCR)
Saturday, May 19th:
09:50-10:20 - TCR Europe FP1
11:50-12:20 - WTCR FP1
13:20-13:50 - TCR Europe FP2
15:00-15:30 - WTCR FP2
15:45-16:05 - TCR Europe Q1
16:10-16:20 - TCR Europe Q2
Sunday, May 20th:
08:30-09:00 - WTCR Q1
12:20 - TCR Europe Race 1
16:20 - WTCR Race 1
Monday, May 21st:
08:30-09:30 - WTCR Q2 (top-five shootout, points as 5-4-3-2-1)
12:15 - WTCR Race 2
14:55 - TCR Europe Race 2
16:35 - WTCR Race 3