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  • donderdag 18 mei 2023 02:22

Steven Maris and Dirk De Bock dominate the Belcar Skylimit Sprint Cup round at Circuit Zolder

Following on from the season opener at Mettet in March, the second meeting of the Belcar Skylimit Sprint Cup 2023 took place last weekend at Circuit Zolder. The field of entrants had steadily grown with a convivial atmosphere in the paddock and on top of that two thrilling sprint races on the track. On both occasions Steven Maris got the better of Michiel Smulders at the chequered flag and as a result the BMW driver grabbed the lead in the provisional standings, with three victories in four races.

“Steven Maris is indeed enjoying a remarkable season”, the Belcar Skylimit Sprint Cup-promotor Andy Jaenen confirmed. “However, his lead in the provisional ranking was not given to him on a plate, having presently finished all races with a place on the podium. Once again last weekend in Zolder he was on the winning side, after a dogged battle with Michiel Smulders. We saw an excellent increase in the number of participants at Circuit Zolder, but above all a fabulous atmosphere in our paddock. We come across fierce battles on the track, but once the helmets are off, there reigns a great sense of camaraderie. This was once again evident on Saturday when the Abarth 500 manned by Glenn Kerckhofs overturned, and the entire paddock tried to lend a hand in rebuilding the car and looking for parts. Competitors on the track, but a great Belcar family off the track!”

As previously mentioned, the overall victory went twice to the BSSC5 driver Steven Maris, ahead of Michiel Smulders. In the first sprint Peter Pauls joined them on the podium, while on Sunday Raf Beliën, in his faithful BMW 120D, offered up a full BMW podium

In BSSC4 on Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon we came across the same gentlemen on the podium. In the first sprint Tom Van Eenaeme came out on top, resulting in third place in the overall ranking, ahead of Jeroen Daeninck and Wouter Manderveld, whereas later Manderveld got the better of them, ahead of Van Eenaeme and Daeninck.

In Zolder BSSC3 was also the most popular class, but there appears to be no stopping Dirk De Bock. He clocked up his fourth successive triumph and as such not only remains unbeaten in 2023, but also prides himself on a thoroughly deserved second place in the provisional standing. In the first race Filip Uyttendaele finished one-tenth of a second from victory, ahead of an amazing Robbe Janssens, who had only taken his first motorsport steps in Mettet, and is now already returning home with a trophy. On Sunday afternoon Daniel Donkels battled his way to a silver medal and Uyttendaele had to settle for the last place on the podium.

Variety reigned supreme in BSSC2, with no less than eight different makes in action. Similar to BSSC3 and BSSC5 the first sprint went to a BMW driver. On Sunday morning Jonathan Demoulin held off a trio of Mazda MX-5, with Laurens Cloots’ model just ahead of Alain Dejong’s , while Raf Lemmens just stranded next to the podium. When the competitors went head-to-head for a second time later in the day, Laurens Cloots enjoyed his third win of the season. Glenn Kerckhofs thanked his mechanics (and fellow competitors) following his crash on Saturday by bringing his Abarth 500 home in second place, ahead of the Mazda MX-5 of Alain Dejong.

In BSSC1 Davy Van Goethem triumphed twice in his Suzuki, ahead of Stella Keutmann’s VW Golf.

In the standings Steven Maris leads with a 21 points bonus over Dirk De Bock, while Davy Van Goethem and Laurens Cloots share third place. Tom Van Eenaeme and Davy Cooreman are respectively 1 and 2 points down on the Van Goethem-Cloots tandem. The Belcar Skylimit Sprint Cup will be undergoing a period of relative rest prior to heading off to Spa-Francorchamps in exactly 2 months’ time!