Mark Green has won the 2009 EFRA 1/8th scale Dutch GP held at the MACH track in Heemstede. Rain on Sunday caused chaos on-circuit as those racers who had actually decided to run risked it all on a very slippy and wet track. Following the semi finals it was John Ermen, Rick V., Christian Wurst, Oliver Mack, Arie Manten and Joey Sorber that would join the top 4 direct qualifiers Mark Green, Michael Salven, Jordy Blok and Jilles Groskamp in the main final. In the build up to the 45 minute final, the track appeared to be drying, and while still damp no longer had any standing water and this made the tire choice very difficult.
Following the driver introductions, the race got underway quickly and while Mark Green retained his lead, it was John Ermen who had moved up to 2nd ahead of Michael Salven and Rick V, with both Blok and Groskamp struggling early on. Mark was able to start stretching out a lead at this early point in the race now with Michael and Rick in chase as Ermen started to fall back. Jordy Blok was the first retirement of the race, choosing the wrong tires for the conditions, as well as having problems clearing the engine, meant that he had to park the car and call it a day.
Meanwhile Jilles was battling his way back up through the order after his slow start but at just past the 10 minute mark his car started to make strange noises, later found out to be the rubber cap being ripped of the wet tire, something that would eventually fall off leaving the car running on foam front tires. As the track continued to dry, the wet and damp tires that everyone started with had begun to be unusable as a dry line started to appear.
In the lead up to the first tire stops Rick V had managed to catch and pass Michael Salven for 2nd and when Mark Green went in for his stop at the 20 minute point, Rick then took over at the front. Mark struggled for the first few laps on the track with the new tires but eventually got his rythm and went in pursuit of the front pair.
With Jilles now on the correct tires following his stop, he started to put in the quickest laps of the race at that point as he tried to close the deficit caused from running so long on damaged wet tires. Meanwhile Salven and Green were able to unlap themselves from Rick and close the gap down as the Mugen driver went in for his tire change. Problems in the pits for Rick as his pit crew were unable to remove the rear tire, lost him over a lap to the leading pair and dropped him to 3rd.
With 10 minutes left to run it was Salven leading from Green with Rick V in 3rd and following problems for Christian Wurst, Groskamp had moved up to 4th. It was evident at this point that there was something wrong with Michael’s 966, as it was pulling to one side on power. We were later told the car was on 3wd for some time and as this got worse, he had to pit for a new left rear wheel which cured the problem, but lost him 5 laps and he was down in 3rd spot. Once back on track he managed to get his head down and set the fastest lap of the race in the closing stages, but it was too late to claw back the position and so he remained in 3rd spot behind Rick V in 2nd and eventual winner Mark Green almost 2 laps clear up front.
Following the post race scrutiny it was found that the fuel tank on Jilles Groskamp’s car was too large and so he was excluded from the results, promoting Shepherd driver Oliver Mack to 4th.
1. Mark Green (GB) – 155 Laps in 45:05.194 [Serpent/Nova]
2. Rick Vrielijnck (NL) – 153 Laps in 45:08.055 [Mugen/JP]
3. Michael Salven (DE) – 152 Laps in 45:16.861 [Serpent/Mega]
4. Oliver Mack (DE) – 131 Laps in 45:02.211 [Shepherd/Nova]
5. Arie Manten (NL) – 130 Laps in 45:14.988 [Mugen/JP]
6. John Ermen (NL) – 125 Laps in 45:01.775 [Serpent/Nova]
7. Christian Wurst (DE) – 104 Laps in 35:17.771 [Motonica/JP]
8. Joey Sorber (NL) – 90 Laps in 45:02.809 [Shepherd/IDM]
9. Jordy Blok (NL) – 18 Laps in 09:23.613 [Serpent/Mega]
10. Jilles Groskamp (NL) – 0 Laps in 00:00.000 [Serpent/Mega]