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VRLFT11

The 2011 VRL Fall Trophy calendar starts with three races in the turbo’s of the Deutsche Rennwagen Meisterschaft, followed by three V8 Supercars races down under, and finishes in the GT’s of the endurance racing championship.

DRM - Zolder 2006
DRM - Norisring 2009
DRM - Sebring
V8 Supercars - Teretonga Park
V8 Supercars - Eastern Creek
V8 Supercars - Bathurst
EnduranceSeries - Potrero de los funes Endurance
EnduranceSeries - Long Beach 2007
EnduranceSeries - Circuito de Navarra


Zolder

Race 1 – DRM

The Belgian VRL 2011 Fall Trophy started on home ground, on the circuit of Zolder. Twentyfive turbopowered machines battled eachother for an hour long race. SFH’s Robin Verdegaal chose the powerful but tricky BMW M1 and took poleposition with a personal lap record, close in front of reigning champion Ricardo Michalewski.

After a fast first stint however it was Tim Vanhee in the Ford Capri turbo who took over the lead with a fuel-only pitstop. On fresh tires Verdegaal charged to close the 14 seconds gap, but after gaining 10 seconds the finish flag fell too early.

Second place, poleposition and fastest race lap puts Verdegaal on par with Vanhee in the season standings. Next race: Norisring.

The complete technical racereport.

#69 - BMW M1 Turbo - Robin Verdegaal - 2nd
#82 - Ford Capri Turbo - Johan Nieuwenhof - DNS

 


Zolder

Race 2 – DRM

After the first DRM event it was clear that the race length format favored the lighter, less powerful cars in the series. Not only did they need a lot less fuel in their pitstops, they were also capable of running the full race length on one set of tyres. The heavier cars also showed a lot more laptime degradation during each of their stints.

At the short Norisring the high powered cars had one mission: get off the line and create as much advantage as they could in the first stint in order to have a better chance of catching the Capri’s and 320’s in the second one. But someone forgot to tell Robin Verdegaal and Bart Stroobants that epic battles are not part of that scenario.

The complete technical racereport.

#69 - BMW M1 Turbo - Robin Verdegaal - 5th
#82 - Ford Capri Turbo - Johan Nieuwenhof - 3rd

 


Sebring

Race 3 – DRM

A good race for Johan Nieuwenhof in the SFH Ford Capri gave him another 3rd place finish, even on this fast track that seems to be made for the faster turbo’s.

The complete technical racereport.

#69 - BMW M1 Turbo - Robin Verdegaal - DNS
#82 - Ford Capri Turbo - Johan Nieuwenhof - 3rd

 


Teretonga

Race 4 – V8 Supercars


Next up: Teretonga, the small circuit just wide enough for the heavy V8 Supercars. Sadly, Johan Nieuwenhof’s Holden V8 was not ready in time to make it to the grid for this first of three races down under.

The Holden prepared for Robin Verdegaal only just made it to the grid on such short notice that the team could not even apply their signature chequered livery. Lack of preparation resulted in an early retirement due to Verdegaal’s surplus of confidence in his Supercheap sponsored ride’s cornering and braking abilities.

The complete technical racereport.

#69 - Holden V8 - Robin Verdegaal - DNF
#82 - Holden V8 - Johan Nieuwenhof - DNS

 


Eastern Creek

Race 5 – V8 Supercars

The Holden factory still has not released Nieuwenhof’s car, but judging by Verdegaal’s speed on Eastern Creek that might be a blessing in disguise. Starting from 14th on the grid Verdegaal managed to work himself up to 6th position, only to fall back down to 9th.

The complete technical racereport.

#69 - Holden V8 - Robin Verdegaal - 9th
#82 - Holden V8 - Johan Nieuwenhof - DNS

 


Bathurst

Race 6 – V8 Supercars


The Holden situation is getting a bit stale. Still no car for Johan Nieuwenhof, and former Bathurst winner Verdegaal does not manage to qualify better than 7th on the Mountain. A brilliant start promotes Verdegaal to 4th place though, and for a long time in the race Verdegaal is shadowing Werner Vansweevelt’s leading Holden.

At the stops it is the Holden team that messes up a good opportunity for a race win. When all three front runners make their stops Verdegaal drops five seconds behind Vansweevelt and Vanhee. In his chase to catch the leaders Verdegaal goes from hero to zero in an uncharacteristic mistake in the Chute that obliterates the only SFH Holden in the field.

The complete technical racereport.

#69 - Holden V8 - Robin Verdegaal - DNF
#82 - Holden V8 - Johan Nieuwenhof - DNS

 


Portrero de los Funes

Race 7 – Endurance Series

Arriving just in time for the VRLFT11 race weekend in Portrero de los Funes, Verdegaal did not impress in the qualifying session. From 21st on the grid the race doesn’t start very fortunate. A spin in the second lap sends Verdegaal back down the order.

Recovering from this early mishap, the SFH F430 works its way up the field, connecting to the battle for 6th. But technical difficulties resulting in screenfreezes stand in the way of further advancement. Even worse, trouble during the pitstop result in a drivethrough penalty. In a final pass Verdegaal secures a place in the top ten.

The complete technical racereport.

#69 - Ferrari F430 - Robin Verdegaal - 10th
#82 - Ferrari F430 - Johan Nieuwenhof - DNS

 


Long Beach

Race 7 – Endurance Series

Qualifying in P6 Verdegaal had a lot of trouble with all the electronic gadgets in his new Ferrari. Having to change boost three times per lap to avoid power oversteer while maintaining high enough straightlinespeed to compete needed too much concentration. A mistake between boost and light switches sent Verdegaal into the wall where he lost his rear wing. From there on, the less said about this race, the better.

On a positive note, Jeffrey Ruskus brought a private Panoz to the beach which he qualified in 13th place. Picking up a couple of places in the race Ruskus was the only SFH top ten finisher.

The complete technical racereport.

#69 - Ferrari F430 - Robin Verdegaal - DNF
#82 - Ferrari F430 - Johan Nieuwenhof - DNS
#82 - Panoz Esperanto - Jeffrey Ruskus - 10th

 


Circuito de Navarra

Race 7 – Endurance Series

Another difficult weekend for Verdegaal. Starting from 6th position on the grid, the SFH F430 follows the lead group for a while until a spin throws it back down the field.

Five spins and a lot of laps later, at the finish, the Ferrari surprisingly ends up one position higher up than it was at the starting line.

The complete technical racereport.

#69 - Ferrari F430 - Robin Verdegaal - 5th
#82 - Ferrari F430 - Johan Nieuwenhof - DNS
#82 - Panoz Esperanto - Jeffrey Ruskus - DNS

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