Renault Sport Trophy - Spa-Francorchamps - Sprint races
Sijthoff and Schothorst, victorious at Spa-Francorchamps
The Dutch drivers and teams monopolised the top spots in the first Renault Sport Trophy sprint races. Diederik Sijthoff (V8 Racing) won the Prestige race ahead of Toni Forné (ART Junior Team) and Sarah Bovy (Monlau Competicion). Racing on home soil, the Belgian native is the first female driver to finish on the podium in the World Series by Renault. A few hours later, Steijn Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) triumphed in the Elite race in front of Andrea Pizzitola (ART Junior Team) and Belgium’s Wolfgang Reip (Monlau Competicion). At the end of the first meeting, Schothorst and Sijthoff lead their respective categories.
First victory for Sijthoff and V8 Racing
On Saturday, Richard Gonda (ART Junior Team) won the pole ahead of Niccolò Nalio (Oregon Team) and Max Braams (V8 Racing). At the conclusion of a spectacular opening lap, which resulted in a puncture for the pole man and the Italian, the elimination for Adalberto Baptista (Oregon Team) and Dario Capitanio (Oregon Team) and a return to the pits for Antonio Coimbra (Equipe Verschuur), Diederik Sijthoff emerged in the lead. The Dutchman was then overtaken by Toni Formé on lap two, as was Sarah Bovy by Stefano Costantini (V8 Racing) for third place. The Belgian driver re-took the position four laps later. At the same time, Jeroen Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) stopped definitively.
Two laps from the end, Diederik Sijthoff re-took the advantage from Toni Formé, who was then overtaken by Sarah Bovy. But the lady driver was handed a penalty after the race and was demoted to third place. Stefano Costantini finished just off the podium and was followed by Max Braams, Philippe Bourgois (Zele Racing) and Philippe Haezebrouck (Zele Racing).
Schothorst and Verschuur imitate their countrymen
After taking the pole position in Elite in dry conditions, Steijn Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) led the rolling start on a damp track surface. The Dutchman held off Andrea Pizzitola (ART Junior Team), while David Fumanelli (Oregon Team) spun out before retiring following contact with Miguel Ramos (Equipe Verschuur), which brought out the safety car.
Steijn Schothorst controlled the re-start and pulled away towards the win. First overtaken by Wolfgang Reip (Monlau Competicion) and Luciano Bacheta (Oregon Team), Andrea Pizzitola battled back to assure second place ahead of the Belgian native. Luciano Bacheta and Vittorio Ghirelli (Zele Racing) rounded out the leading top five, followed by Indy Dontje (ART Junior Team), Federico Leo (V8 Racing), Roy Geerts (V8 Racing), Nicky Pastorelli (V8 Racing) and Bas Schothorst (Zele Racing).
Diederik Sijthoff: “Yesterday, we had a few problems with the tyres at the end of the race, but our solutions worked today. I was able to make the most of the opportunity that presented itself at the start with the accident involving the leaders. I could have driven faster if I wanted to, but I preferred to take it easy and make my attacks at the end of the race. It paid off and I am thrilled.”
Steijn Schothorst: “It is really different from anything I’ve done before! It isn’t as easy as it may look, especially in wet conditions, but I was successful in getting a handle on it and I really liked it. I had good pace that let me build a gap and take care of my tyres. It was somewhat difficult at the end. My goal is to win the championship, so I am happy with this win.”
More releases from Spa-FrancorchampsCollective tests - Steijn Schothorst sets the pace at Spa
Endurance race - Oregon Team wins in first-ever Renault Sport Trophy
Sprint races - Sijthoff and Schothorst, victorious at Spa-Francorchamps
Classifications from Spa-FrancorchampsQualifying Prestige