Circuit Park Zandvoort, the home of the rejuvenated Dutch Formula 1 Grand Prix, will welcome the prototypes racing in the Supercar Challenge for the first and only time in 202 and the two races on the technical and fast track by the North Sea could prove vital in Alain Berg and Alex Cascatău’s title push
Finally, it’s time for a bit of a shake up in the Supercar Challenge, the premiere sports car championship of the Lowlands. After two consecutive weekend at a wet and soggy TT Circuit Assen, the second-to-last round of the season takes BSRacing by Baticonsult to Circuit Park Zandvoort for the only time in 2020. The newly updated 2.52-kilometer course was the location for the Supercar Challenge’s curtain-raiser all the way back in late August but the Zandvoort Supreprix was not opened to any of the prototypes racing in the Supercar Challenge. This means next weekend’s two 60-minute + 1 lap races will be our only chance to see CN-class prototypes race through the ultra-fast turns of Zandvoort this year.
While the track has been modified amid its introduction into the F1 World Championship calendar, its character has been largely left untouched. From the Tarzan curve to the Hugenholtz hairpin, the Rob Slotemaker fast left-hander, the even more perilous downhill right-hander at Scheivlak, and the Kumho and Arie Luyendijk succession of rapid right-handers that bookend the lap it’s all there and it’s a thrill in something as fast and light as the Norma M20 FC. With 250 horsepower tasked with moving around just 570 kilograms, BS Racing by Baticonsult’s car will most definitely feature at the front end of the pack once again after two near-perfect weekends at Assen.
The team kicked-off its maiden season racing in the CN category with a pair of dominant outright wins – both from pole position – in tricky wet/dry conditions in early September. Then, at the end of the month, Assen hosted another double-header that began in perfect fashion although it didn’t all go according to plan. After breaking their own personal records, Alain and Alex went on to score their third overall win on the trot that firmly established the duo as title favorites in their class.
However, the second race of that most recent weekend was marred by engine trouble that forced the team to settle for second, both overall and within its class. To make sure it’s in the best position it can be to extend its championship lead, BS Racing by Baticonsult will race at Zandvoort with a freshly rebuilt engine and the team hopes no more oil pressure troubles will emerge on the rollercoaster-like track guarded by the dunes.
As it stands, Alain and Alex sit at the top of the standings in the CN class with a total of 91 points, 28 points ahead of Deldiche Racing’s Tim Joosen and 44 points ahead of Dominik Dierkes in third who’s driving a Revolution prototype. Amid uncertainties over whether the likes of Max Aschoff, BS Racing by Baticonsult’s biggest rival at the first outing at Assen, will show up this weekend, the team’s biggest rival might not even be another team or driver.
Zandvoort’s harsh 98 dB noise limit that’s in place throughout the weekend in every session comes as an added challenge for the team as the Norma’s 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated, 260 horsepower engine has routinely been way louder this year. To try and mitigate the engine’s raucous noise, the team will fit a special muffler to the car which will hopefully be enough for BSRacing by Baticonsult to be allowed on track. In any case, smoother brake changes and shifting at lower revs will probably be necessary to stay within the low sound limits.
To put the noise limits into perspective, a modern-day bus traveling at about 55 km/h produces somewhere in the region of 90-95 dB of noise. Noise limits aside, this will be Alex’s first outing in a race car at Zandvoort. Our driver, who’s already been the fastest in all four qualifying sessions this year, will bank on Alain’s extensive experience at Zandvoort, albeit the pre-2020 layout that featured the slightly more challenge Luyendijk turn.
Learning fast will be key for everyone within the BS Racing by Baticonsult team as the upcoming weekend features a condensed two-day schedule (check full timetable below) and, moreover, the weather seems poised to play up again with a 50% chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday amid low ambient temperatures that won’t exceed 13 C and humidity nearing 80% all weekend long. In other words, we’re preparing for more wet weather driving.
It all kicks off in earnest on Saturday when the meat of the action is set to take place. Two free practice sessions, each 40 minutes in length, start off the day from 9:00 AM local time. Then the two qualifying sessions are up next at midday with the day ending on a high as Race 1 is scheduled for 15:30 PM local time. The second race on Sunday comes after a 20-minute Warm-Up session. The race itself is starts at 14:10 PM local time.
Saturday, October 10, 2020
9:00-9:40 – Free Practice 1
10:20-11:00 – Free Practice 2
12:15-12:35– Qualifying Group 1
12:40-13:00 – Qualifying Group 2
15:30-16:35– Race 1
Sunday, October 11, 2020
11:20-11:40 – Warm-Up
14:10-15:15 – Race 2