Zolder win for Zwart and new lap record.
Sunday 13th July, Circuit Zolder, Belgium: Klaas Zwart set a blistering pace, smashing six tenths of a second off the Zolder lap record with a time of 1:22.134 on his way to taking the chequered flag in the Zolder Superprix, the first overseas round of the 2003 EuroBOSS Championship. In temperatures of over 30'C the flying Dutchman, at the wheel of an Ascari Judd V10, blasted away from pole position and started to establish a commanding lead. The win was Zwart's first of the season and it puts him in second place in the Championship after three races.
Matthew Mortlock, driving an Arrows Judd V10 tried vainly to stay in touch with Zwart and whilst never threatening the leader was able to pull away from the rest of the field. He appeared to have secured second place when a spin on lap 7 reduced, to a few seconds, the gap to third placed Nick Dalli. Dalli, the Championship leader and team-mate of Klaas Zwart, was now ready to challenge Mortlock. He overtook the slowing Arrows, which was then forced to retire due to rear tyre pressure problems. Dalli consolidated his position ahead of Max Wakefield driving a Benetton Judd.
The most exciting battle for track position was between EuroBOSS 3000 competitors Roger Kilty and Frank Lyons. Kilty started ahead on the grid in his Reynard Cosworth but Frank Lyons pulled off a spectacular overtaking manoeuvre to pass both Karl-Heinz Becker and Kilty on the second lap. Lyons defended his line with the pair less than a second apart and held Kilty off until he took his chance on lap 6 and passed Lyons. The battle continued until Kilty was forced to retire with gearbox problems, leaving Lyons to take the class win.
In the Masters class newcomer Belgian Patrick Dewandeleer, in a EuroBrun Judd, didn't have any beginners luck, retiring on his first lap with a broken clutch. Bernie Harris took the class win in his Lola Beatrice Hart.
EuroBOSS once again demonstrated its appeal at the centre of the weekend's racing providing overtaking, excitement and a new lap record for the crowd at Zolder. The Championship stays in Belgium for Round Four, which takes place at Spa Francorchamps circuit on 31st August where the grid is expected to exceed twenty cars.
Klaas Zwart, Driver, Team Ascari:
"The team prepared an excellent car and it was very quick. I'm pleased to have taken the lap record but would have preferred Earl [Goddard] to have been here. I want to win but above all I want to race and I was not pushed to my limits today. Nevertheless it has been a very good event and hopefully the crowd enjoyed the EuroBOSS spectacle."
Nick Dalli, Driver, Team Ascari:
"I'm very pleased for the team that I'm on the podium again. I'm becoming more suited to the car, now I need to become more suited to the circuits as every circuit is new to me. When Matthew [Mortlock] went out of the race I knew that I just needed to stay on track to take second place and this I did. I would have preferred a more competitive race."
Frank Lyons, Driver, Lyons Plant Services:
"I'm pleased to be on the podium and am satisfied that I now seem to have the pace to compete for the EuroBOSS 3000 title. I enjoyed racing against Roger [Kilty], he made a clean move early in the race and the battle commenced. It was an exciting duel and I was on his pace and that is satisfying. It's a pity he had to pull out. I'm now looking forward to racing at Spa."
<pre> 2003 EuroBOSS Championship -- Race Result, Round Three Zolder Circuit, Belgium
Pos. Driver Car 2 Zwart Ascari Judd V10 24:02.826 3 Dalli Ascari Judd V10 7 Wakefield Benetton Judd V10 32 Lyons Lola Cosworth V8 (EuroBOSS 3000) 36 De Brue Ralt Judd V8 (EuroBOSS 3000) 6 Greyling Footwork Judd V10 11 Smith Simtek Ford HB V8 28 Harris Lola Beatrice Hart 1.5T (EuroBOSS Masters) DNF 5 Mortlock Footwork Judd V10 31 Kilty Reynard Cosworth V8 (EuroBOSS 3000) 10 Becker Minardi Cosworth V8 9 McIntyre Reynard Cosworth V8 24 Dewandeleer EuroBrun Judd V8 (EuroBOSS Masters)