July 24, 2017

2017 Benelux Electric On-road race – Report

The annual Benelux 1/10th scale electric race was held this past weekend at the fast track of Rucphen in the Netherlands. Free practice on Friday took place in ideal weather conditions with track temperatures exceeding 35 degree Celsius. The weather forecast for the weekend wasn’t so good though and this lead to several last-minute withdrawals. Nevertheless a good amount of drivers turned up to attend in the four classes of Touring Modified, Touring Stock 13.5T, Formula and Pro10 10.5T. In Touring Modified, Mitchell Van Es, one of contenders for the overall victory in the modified class, had a glitch on the main straight and crashed his Awesomatix at full speed into the barriers. This meant that the young Dutch driver had to defend his chances with his old Yokomo.

Saturday saw one controlled practice round followed by four qualifiers. The fifth and final qualifier was held on Sunday as were the triple A-mains for every class. In Touring Modified and despite having to run the older chassis, Mitchell claimed TQ by winning three qualifiers. Young Athan De Witte took his VBC to an excellent P2 on the grid and he was followed by the Xray of Belgian driver Thomas Stockman. Sidney Blokker put his Yokomo on P4 whereas Rico Claeys claimed fifth with his Xray. The finals were representative for the changing weather conditions the area as the first final was held on a slightly damp track, the second on a full wet track and the third on a dry track. The winner would truly the a worthy Benelux champion. Ultimately it was Mitchell Van Es who won the triple A-mains in style using his old BD7 2014 car and he claimed the crown in front of the Belgian squad of Athan De Witte (VBC), Rico Claeys (Xray), Thomas Stockman (Xray) and Florian Joos (Tamiya).

In Touring Stock pre-event favourite Florian Joos (Tamiya) claimed the TQ by winning three qualifiers. He decided not to run in the 5th qualifier in order to save the sole allocated set of tyres for the finals. 11-year old local driver and future star Roel Jongenelis put his Serpent on a fine 2nd spot and he was followed by the Infinity drivers Tjitte Miedema and Thomas Buijze. Behind the four local matador and 1/5th scale affecionado Pieter Netten put his VBC on a fine 5th grid position. The first final was held on a damp track. Thomas thought he was leading the race and inadvertently took out Florian who he thought was a backmarker. Thomas and Tjitte decided not to run in the full-wet second final which was masterfully won by Florian in front of the returning Belgian ace Kristof De Witte and Roel Jongenelis. The third final again went to Florian in front of Roel and Tim Jansen (Serpent) giving the overall top 5 result of Florian Joos (Tamiya), Roel Jongenelis (Serpent), Thomas Buijze (Infinity), Kristof De Witte (VBC) and Tim Jansen (Serpent).

The Formula class was highly contested with a total of 18 drivers attending the race. Due to the rain that started during the second group in Q4, one round was dropped and three rounds from four were counted. This didn’t seem to bother Infinity driver Jitse Miedema who won every qualifying heat he attended. Patrick Jongenelis put his Serpent on a fine P2 while Martijn van der Heijden (Fenix) claimed P3 in front of Belgian drivers Steve Deblaere (Serpent) and Bjorn Frederickx (Xray). The podium would be an entirely Dutch affair with Jitse Miedema (Infinity) claiming P1, in front of Patrick Jongenelis (Serpent) and Martijn van der Heijden (Fenix). Belgian drivers Bjorn Frederickx (Xray) and Steve Deblaere (Serpent) claimed P4 and P5.

The fastest class of the event were the Pro10 cars. They were impressive to watch on a dry track. The qualifying was won by Dutch driver Reinder Wilms in front of fellow countryman Mathijs Hermens and Swedish driver Magnus Sköld. John de Kok put his car on P4 in front of the Trinity oldtimer of Ed van Giezen. Reinder Wilms mastered the difficult weather conditions masterfully and claimed triple A-main wins. Mathijs Hermens, Ed van Giezen, Magnus Sköld and Lex Brood completed the top 5.

Thanks to David Joos for the report.


If you republish any elements from this page on another website, including text, original pictures or results please be sure to add a link back to this page as the source: