Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands was the site for the “Dutch Grand Prix 30 at Zandvoort” in week three of the Red Sox Racing League’s 2012 Season Two schedule.  The 2.67 mile, 13 corner lay out hosted the Dutch Grand Prix between 1952 and 1985 and is considered one of the most exciting road courses in the world.  Beginning with a long straight stretch funneling into a banked 180 degree turn named Tarzan, the track is full of interesting twists and turns.

Brad Vincent arrived in Zandvoort with back to back victories at Daytona and Virginia in the HPD class.  He did his best to keep the streak going by securing his second pole of the season.  Les Turner was 2nd on the grid, followed by John Koscielniak, Andrew Gantman, Terry Daul, Divina Galica, Kevin Kyle, Andrew Feldman, Jeff Sharp, Joshua Friedrichs, David Weiss, William Kabela, and Wilbur Gildersleeve, Jr.  Ed Sutcliff missed the race after learning his crew had flown the wrong car to the track.

Qualifying in the Corvette class has been dominated by Reed Rundell in 2012.  The trend continued when he secured his third consecutive pole position of the season.  Tommy Rhyne, Corey Hastings, Dean Moll, Scott Husted, Jeff Thomas, Casey Carpentiere, Andrew Humphrey, James Prostell, Jr., and Greg Harris completed the grid.

The race start looked like it would go off without a hitch as new league rules forced Rundell to keep the Corvette field a safe four seconds behind the HPD cars on the pace lap.  Rundell must have been lulled into a trance by the slow speed of the pace lap however, because he was late on the gas when the green flag dropped.  Spinning his wheels in an unsuccessful bid to hold off the charging competition, Rundell watched helplessly as several drivers beat him to Turn One.

While the HPD field got through the first half of the course without incident, the Corvette drivers were not as lucky.  Racing nose to tail into Turn Two, Rundell couldn’t slow in time to avoid hitting the rear of  Hastings’ car.  Hastings was knocked off track and into the tire barrier as Rundell and others headed to Turn Three.

Carpentiere was too far behind the accident to see Thomas slowing for the traffic jam it caused, so he was still at race pace when he reached Thomas’ slowing car.  The # 39 TeamDraft Corvette was heavily damaged in the accident.  “I saw the brake lights on Jeff’s car, but had no time to react”, said Carpentiere after the race.

Having survived the Turn Two incident in one piece, Rundell could have been forgiven for thinking he had finally escaped the black cloud following him in Season Two.  Unfortunately he was wrong.  Rundell hit the curbing in Turn Four as he tried to catch up to the leaders.  The mistake caused him to carry too much speed into the outside edge of the hill as he climbed towards Turn Five.  His car went off the left side of the track before starting a high speed 360 spin across the track.  A stuck gas pedal doomed Rundell’s fate as his car was sent careening toward the outside railing at full speed.  The resulting impact ended his race.

At about the same time his TD teammate was getting the boot in Turn Two and Rundell was flipping over the railing in Turn Five, the left rear tire of Turner’s HPD found the soft sand along the left edge of the track as he set up for entry into Turn Six.  The resulting momentum shift sent the car into a hard slide that saw the 2nd place HPD skidding off the track while the rest of the field passed by.  Turner’s car was never the same after the incident.

The tough road course took several more victims before the race was over, as the field racked up a total of 82 incident points during 398 laps of competition.

Class A results:

 

Vincent led the first half of the race and looked fast enough to have lapped some of the slower HPD drivers.  Unlike last week however, Vincent was unable to avoid the dangers posed by damaged and off speed cars.  As Vincent accelerated through the exit of Turn Thirteen on Lap Seven, his car plowed into the rear of Prostell’s Corvette.  Prostell was trying to nurse his heavily damaged car back to the pits after contact with the outside wall of Turn Six, but was unable to hold his line as the leader approached.  His car was only traveling at 73 mph when it made a sudden move to the middle of the track.  Vincent was traveling at 135 mph when his line was suddenly blocked by the off-pace Corvette.  The resulting impact sent Vincent limping into the pits for repairs with the impression his race was over.

Koscielniak had overtaken Gantman a lap earlier and took advantage of Vincent’s misfortune to assume the lead.  With podium finishes in the first two races of the season, Koscielniak looked like a cinch to get his first win of Season Two.  Little did he know the pit crew in Vincent’s box had secured the services of a wizard from Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Using a secret magic potion, they got Vincent back onto the track with a car that drove as fast as it did before the accident.  And they did it in record time.  Vincent eventually worked his way back into the lead and went on to an impressive 20 second margin of victory.

Koscielniak finished in 2nd place, his 3rd consecutive podium of the season.  Gantman earned third place.  Feldman (4th), Galica (5th), Daul (6th), Sharp (7th), Turner (8th), Kabela (9th), Friedrichs (10th), Kyle (11th), Weiss (12th), and Gildersleeve (13th) completed the HPD scoring.
       
Koscielniak, Galica, Daul, Sharp, and Kabela received bonus points for completing the race without incident.

Vincent has a two point lead over Koscielniak in the Class A championship after two events, while Daul, Turner, and Sharp round out the top-five.

Class B results:

 

Rhyne led every lap of the Corvette race and was never seriously challenged as he won back to back races.  Husted earned his first podium of the season when he crossed the line in 2nd place.  Moll finished in 3rd place.  Husted and Moll swapped position three times before Husted finally secured 2nd place with one lap to go.

Husted was pleased with the effort.  “I got a feel for the car during qualifying and decided to try and keep pace with the leaders early in the race.  Reed’s accident allowed me to grab 3rd place on Lap One.  I was keeping up with Tommy and Dean, but lost touch with them after one of the HPDs decided to take away my corner entry.  I finally settled into a faster rhythm after the pit cycle and slowly began catching the leaders again.  Dean and I had a great battle going before he made a slight mistake with one to go.  Congratulations to Brad and Tommy on their wins.”
 
Humphrey (4th), Hastings (5th), Carpentiere (6th), Prostell (7th), Thomas (8th), Harris (9th), and Rundell (10th) completed the Corvette scoring.  Rhyne was the only Corvette driver to complete the race without an incident.

Rhyne has an eight point lead over Hastings in the Class B championship after three events, while Moll, Husted, and Carpentiere round out the top-five.

Next Race:

RSR returns to action at the “24 Laps of Monterey”, at the Laguna Seca Road Course on May 31, 2012.

Race Results:
http://rsr.ileaguerace.com/champ/show_event_result/Red-Sox-Racing-League/1544

League Standings (2012 – Season One):
http://rsr.ileaguerace.com/champ/show_champ/Red-Sox-Racing-League/285

League Video Site:
http://www.youtube.com/user/draftin11

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