So.. Zandvoort Classic 2019
Due to an unexpected extra day off in Luxembourg to celebrate Europe Day I managed to get everything loaded up on Thursday and ready to roll early on Friday morning.
I got to the circuit around midday and we all headed to scrutineering which, unusually was performed before we’d even signed on.
The process went fairly smoothly.
Unfortunately for Luigino Masarati (the Ginetta behind me in the picture above) things weren’t so easy.
Firstly, he was failed on a cracked fuel pipe, for which he found a replacement thanks to the Hutchinsons. Then on his second visit the brake lights packed up, so he came back to the paddock and we spent a merry half hour troubleshooting a seemingly impossible fault in which the lights worked when wired directly to power and there was power at the connector, but when plugged in they went out again.
In the end we bypassed the connector and got them working, so after his third visit he was good to go and all the cars had the ‘racing approved’ sticker.
Signing on was incredibly quick and well organised, with a separate line for each race the whole process took about 5 minutes (and 3 of those were deciding which and how many free gifts we wanted).
Then that was it for the day, time for a few beers and a bar meal in the hotel and back to bed. By the way, if you’re ever staying in Zandvoort for racing the NH Hotel is a few minutes walk from the paddock and pretty decent.
Saturday morning saw an early start for a mandatory drivers briefing at 8am and then a short break for breakfast before qualifying.
The Legendary Circuits series had three races over the weekend. The first session was qualifying to determine the start order of the first race, the order of the next two races is then determined by the finishing position of the previous one.
For me, qualifying went pretty well, I took things fairly steady to start with as I felt out the new differential and made sure everything was working properly.
Once up to temperature then I started working on improving my lap times. The RaceChrono addition really helps here as you not only can you see times but you can see at a glance how you’re doing compared to your previous lap.
In the end though I qualified 14th on the grid (of 16) with a lap time of 2:27.8, not bad but I felt I had plenty of room to improve and would definitely be able to get at least a couple of seconds off that…
I managed to get one second quicker in the first race and then bang!
I’m still not sure exactly what happened, the car didn’t seem to be suffering or struggling in any way but there was briefly an ominous whiff of smoke in the cockpit and then a loud bang followed immediately by a huge cloud of white smoke and lots of clattering. I pulled off the circuit next to a marshals’ post. Weekend over.
On pulling up the bonnet I noticed a hole about the size of a 2 euro coin. Bummer, not something that can be fixed in the paddock by the looks of it.
So that was the end of my weekend. I stayed around to watch the rest of the racing and enjoy the wonderful hospitality put on by Pieter Bakker and his team and will definitely be going back to Zandvoort next year all being well.
For the others it was a weekend of ‘best ever finishes’ notably for John Hutchinson (3rd overall in race 1, Alexander and Kelvin Laidlaw (2nd and 3rd in race 3) and Peter Bowyer (4th overall in race 3).
I’m still going through the video and lap data I have, I’ll upload more bits and pieces when I get a chance.