- Dylan Derdaele and Michael Cool take the win, ahead of their teammates Koen Wauters and Jos Menten
- Michiel Haverans and Philippe Wils take third place
Circuit Zolder, 14 May 2023. Porsche is and will remain main supplier to the GT classes in the Belcar Endurance Championship and competition in the competition, the Porsche Endurance Trophy Benelux provided a lot of excitement and spectacle during the opener of the season. After Dylan Derdaele took pole position in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Type 992 – of Belgium Racing Team on Saturday, the Limburger drove to victory on Sunday, together with his teammate Michael Cool, in the first race of the season. The second appointment of that 2023 season will follow on June 2 and 3 at Spa-Francorchamps.
Circuit Zolder had one unexpected ally during the New Race Festival and that was the weather. Two days of wonderful spring temperatures were driven, inspiring the teams and drivers to attractive racing. After the qualifications, in which Dylan Derdaele turned out to be the fastest of the bunch, ahead of Jos Menten, both for Belgium Racing. Jan Lauryssen (Q1 Track Racing) was third fastest in the battle for the fastest time.
On Sunday, it was mainly the two Belgium Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Type 992 – that colored the course of the race at the front and after a three-hour race that was full of small incidents, they pulled the sheet. In the final phase, Dylan Derdaele passed teammate Koen Wauters to take the first victory of the season. Michael Cool, permanent partner in Dylan Derdaele's Belgium Racing Team, was therefore satisfied:
“I think we drove a perfect race, with a car that really ran like a Swiss watch. This bodes well for the rest of the season and certainly the 24 Hours of Zolder, the main goal of the season.”
In less than twenty seconds and after three hours of racing, Jos Menten and Koen Wauters finished second, ahead of the RedAnt Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Type 992 – of Michiel Haverans and Philippe Wils.
“Michiel drove very well and I also did everything I could”, said Philippe Wils after the race. “We made it to the podium in the Porsche Endurance Trophy Benelux and that was also the goal for the weekend.”
Battle behind the podium
Behind the men on the podium, two trios completed the top-5, with Teunkens-Ooms-Paenen (Q1 Trackracing) in fourth place, ahead of father and son Van Rompuy and Steve Vanbellingen (RedAnt Racing) who became fifth. “We came racing with a view to our participation in the 24 Hours of Zolder later this season and that preparation went really well,” said Vanbellingen. “The Porsche is such a reliable car and we are confident that with our approach we can finish well in the classic at the end of August.”
The Meurrens family, starting for the first time with a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Type 992 –, completed the race in sixth position, ahead of Jan Lauryssen and Tommy Rau, who were unfortunately involved in a collision with their Q1 Trackracing car. Remarkably enough, John De Wilde (Speedlover) drove the three-hour race solo, but had to leave the battlefield after a tap from another car.