First Motorsport for the first time, Anthony Kumpen for the fifth time ZOLDER, 22nd AUGUST. The 32nd edition of the Menzo 24 Hours of Zolder turned into a real endurance battle. After 24 hours of hard fighting the Anthony Kumpen, Henk...
First Motorsport for the first time, Anthony Kumpen for the fifth time
ZOLDER, 22nd AUGUST. The 32nd edition of the Menzo 24 Hours of Zolder turned into a real endurance battle. After 24 hours of hard fighting the Anthony Kumpen, Henk Haane, Bert Longin and Frank Belien quartet at the wheel of the First Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S finally took the chequered flag, ahead of the Limburg Racing Porsche 911 Supercup driven by father and son Patric and Dylan Derdaele and the Alain and Patrick Franssen brothers. The Porsche 911 Supercup of the West Flanders brothers Hans, Frank and Kurt Thiers, teamed up with Laurent Van Moerkerke, took third spot.
This is the first victory for First Motorsport in this Limburg classic, whilst Anthony Kumpen with his fifth victory now holds the record on his own. Bert Longin, with his fourth win now joins Vincent Dupont and Marc Goossens one length down on Anthony Kumpen.
In the Touring category victory went to Belien Motorsport BMW 120d of Niels Lagrange, Dimitri Cuyvers, Kristof De Neef and Patrick Belien, and with that fourth overall, ahead of the similar makes entered by respectively Recy Racing and MI Racing Belgium, all BMW.
Up until dusk the later winners of First Motorsport did not have it all their own way with amongst others KS Motorsport, NGT Racing, KRK, Chad Racing, Topcats and Limburg Racing. All these teams took it in turns to head up the race, but one after the other started experiencing minor and major technical problems. KS Motorsport (engine), Chad Racing (engine), the #11 NGT Porsche 911 GT3-R (engine) of amongst others Ruben Maes and the KRK Viper (gearbox) had to throw in the towel prematurely, whilst First Motorsport with the regularity of a clock remained up front and systematically built up a lead, especially after some exceptional night stints put in by Longin and Kumpen.
With six hours still to go the second NGT Racing Porsche 911 also lost valuable time due to suspension problems, and the battle was over. Maarten Makelberge, Geoffroy Horion, David Dermont and Bart Couwbergs were still able to clinch a fifth place for team manager Marc Maton's battle weary team.
Both BMW 120d respectively of Belien Motorsport and Recy Racing Team finished in fourth and sixth place. First Motorsport rounded off the success of the Limburg team with a seventh place and victory in GTC for Dirk and Tom Van Rompuy together with Thierry Flavez and John van Kouwen. The top-10 was completed by the MI Racing Belgium BMW, the Speedlover Porsche 996 and the Gabriel Racing Renault Clio, which following an earlier accident in the race and an engine swap still managed to finish in tenth place. The list was rounded off by the small Lotus Elise of AM Racing.
The TopCats Mosler MT900 which had clinched pole position also registered the fastest race lap time.
Bert Longin: "This is a victory of the entire team, and not of any individual. The team worked as a solid unit, where everyone listened to one another and where we also all kept to our agreements. We 'listened' to our car and never took any risks, but always keept to a steady pace. I'm delighted for Jo Jamers' team, which had come close to victory over the last few years, for Anthony with his fifth win as also for Frank and Henk who have scored their first victory in the 24 Hours of Zolder. And now it's party time!"
Dylan Derdaele: "What a race, I thoroughly enjoyed the brilliant stints and this result, something we could never have dreamt of. Especially seeing we set up this project with my father and our friends from Overpelt, namely the Franssen brothers. Fantastic."
Frank Thiers: "We experienced a fair amount of misery; we drove 12 hours without a servo and really suffered, so to finish third in Zolder is a dream come true for us. We're delighted."
Patrick Belien: "Every year I say that this will be the last time, that I won't return, but even so this is another victory under my belt and each time I'm truly happy. See you next year..."