A successful start into the new Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland season for Larry ten Voorde (Team GP Elite): The Dutchman drove to victory at the opening round on the Belgian Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. “It’s always a very special feeling to win the first race of the season. Of course, I could see Laurin Heinrich in my rear-view mirror, but I focused on my own performance, and that was crucial. The new car is noticeably more streamlined and therefore is significantly faster in the corners,” says ten Voorde. The two other podium spots were occupied by Laurin Heinrich (Germany/Van Berghe Huber Racing) and Christopher Zöchling (Austria/Fach Auto Tech). A total of 29 drivers in the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup tackle the doubleheader event held as support to the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
In qualifying, the defending champion ten Voorde secured an ideal starting position and took up the race from pole position in his ca. 510-hp cup car. Immediately after the start, the 24-year-old managed to pull clear of his competitors. Ten Voorde held a convincing lead over the entire distance and crossed the finish line after 14 laps in first place. While his pursuer Heinrich maintained a steady gap of under a second, the 19-year-old was unable to put the GP Elite driver under any real pressure. “I got close to Larry ten Voorde twice, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to win. Still, it’s a great result and the race was terrific fun. I’m taking up Saturday’s race again from second place and obviously I want to attack,” said Heinrich. With this result, the youngster was the best driver from the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland Talent Pool, the junior development programme of the one-make cup.
In an action-packed race on the storied circuit in the Ardennes forest, the seasoned driver Zöchling claimed third place after cleverly outwitting Leon Köhler (Germany/Nebulus Racing by Huber) in the final stage. “In the last lap, Leon Köhler put me under a lot of pressure. We’ve spent many hours driving sim races together, so I know a few of his tricks and I managed to defend myself successfully,” explained Zöchling. Köhler was followed over the finish line by guest driver Dorian Boccolacci (France/Martinet by Alméras) as well as the two Dutchmen Max van Splunteren (GP Elite) and Loek Hartog (Black Falcon Team Textar).
Victory in the ProAm class went to Carlos Rivas (Black Falcon Team Textar). The Luxembourger won his division ahead of Bashar Mardini (UAE/Van Berghe Huber Racing) and Kim Hauschild (Germany/HRT Motorsport). Misfortune struck Ayhancan Güven (Turkey/Phoenix Racing) on the 7.004-kilometre Ardennes rollercoaster. The Porsche Junior took up the race from tenth on the grid, but lost several positions due to an accident and had to retire early after just six laps. “My start was great actually, and I managed to make up a few positions, but then I was hit by two vehicles. Unfortunately, my front rims were so badly damaged that I couldn’t continue racing. I have a new car for Saturday’s race so I’ll do my absolute utmost,” stated Güven.
Race two of the season starts on Saturday at 11:55am (CEST) – Larry ten Voorde again starts from pole position. Fans can watch the race via a live stream on the official Facebook and YouTube accounts as well as on the Porsche Motorsport Hub.
Result race 1, Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland
1. Larry ten Voorde (Netherlands/Team GP Elite)
2. Laurin Heinrich (Germany/Van Berghe Huber Racing)
3. Christopher Zöchling (Austria/Fach Auto Tech)
4. Leon Köhler (Germany/Nebulus Racing by Huber)
5. Dorian Boccolacci (France/Martinet by Alméras)
6. Max van Splunteren (Netherlands/GP Elite)
7. Loek Hartog (Netherlands/Black Falcon Team Textar)
8. Bastian Buus (Denmark/Allied-Racing)
9. Rudy van Buren (Netherlands/CarTech Motorsport by Nigrin)
10. Lucas Groeneveld (Netherlands/GP Elite)