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  • woensdag 19 juli 2023 17:24

Steven Maris dominates the Belcar Skylimit Sprint Cup round at Spa-Francorchamps!

With a fifth victory out of six races Steven Maris has increased his title ambitions in the Belcar Skylimit Sprint Cup 2023. Last weekend the BMW driver won both rounds of the popular Belgian sprint championship at Spa-Francorchamps, consolidating his lead in the provisional points ranking, all the more so since his immediate rivals dropped points.

The weather gods often play a leading role at Spa, and this last weekend was no different. One hour prior to the start the heavens opened, but at the start signal for the first sprint, slicks seemed to be the proper choice. As such treacherous conditions, and on the opening lap a crash from Ian Delhoux (Ford Fiesta) brought out the safety car. At the end of the neutralisation more rain fell, and the drivers shod with rain rubber appeared to have the advantage. At the font of the field a duel ensued between the wet weather tyre driver with the Renault Clio of Tom Van Eenaeme and the BMW points leader of Tom Maris shod with slicks. The later finally got the better of the two, while Olivier Meurens in his Seat Toledo joined them on the overall podium.

Van Eenaeme of course won BSSC4, ahead of Davy Cooreman and Kevin De Regt. In BSSC3 Daniel Donkels came out on top, after the Renault Clio driver had started from the back of the grid. Robbe Janssens and Bernd Küpper completed the podium in the class, with the latter appearing to lay claim to victory, until a spin at the bus stop chicane decided otherwise. There was also victory in BSSC2 for a Renault Clio, Niels Van Gompel holding Ken Peeters and Tom Vanderheyden off, while in BSSC1 debut driver Lucas Wijnant went home with the biggest trophy, in the absence of BSSC1 points leader Davy Van Goethem (damaged engine).

On paper race 2 looked as though it would be a walk-over for Steven Maris, but appearances can be deceptive. Maris duelled with Raf Beliën and ultimately traffic was to be the deciding factor for victory. When overtaking in the final lap Maris closed the gap and won by a few seconds from Beliën, while Michiel Smulders offered a third BMW on the podium, having started from the last row of the grid. Once again Tom Van Eenaeme won in BSSC4, this time around ahead of Manderveld and Tom Werckx, who, after his comeback in the championship, managed to climb up from the middle of the pack.

Kevin Küpper kept his cool and triumphed in BSSC3, ahead of Dirk De Bock who lost some ground in the opening stages following a collision with Jo Lammens. Bram Hendrix, together with Smulders having stated from the last row, completed the class podium. Jimmy Adriaenssens won in BSSC2 on his debut in the championship, ahead of Niels Van Gompel and the returning Philippe Huart, who got the better of teammate Tom Vanderheyden by a few tenths. Finally, in BSSC1 Milan Feytons gave the Peugeot #101 the double.

Andy Jaenen, the organiser, also looks back on the Spa round with satisfaction. “Even though track limits are invariably a point of discussion at Spa, there was an enormous amount of discipline in the Belcar Skylimit Sprint Cup, with only six reports during the practice sessions and not a single one during the race. The collaboration with Kronos Events, promotor of the 25 Hours Fun Cup weekend, also went smoothly and given the positive feedback from our participants, we are more than happy to sign on again in 2024!”

In intermediate rankings Steven Maris has broken through the 200 points barrier. He now leads with 202 points, ahead of Tom Van Eenaeme (160) who has jumped from 5th to 2nd spot and Dirk De Bock (143).

The following meeting of the Belcar Skylimit Sprint Cup will take place in the supporting programme of the 24 Hours of Zolder, on 24th, 25th and 26th August.