Jammed Gearbox Stops Prospeed’s Perfect Race
Corvette Takes Overall Win
Jammed Gearbox Stops Prospeed’s Perfect Race

ProSpeed Competition, Belgium’s newest GT team, experienced a near-perfect maiden race weekend, until the gearbox of the class-leading Rudi Penders/Franz Lamot car jammed in gear. The team’s second car, crewed by Pascal Nelissen Grade and Christian Kelders, ran a strong race which netted the Belgo-Luxemburg duo a fine sixth in class.

Needless to say, there was a sense of disappointment in the ProSpeed camp, but also a sense of satisfaction. The race might not have gone the way most races went last year for reigning champs Penders and Lamot, but at the same time there was the satisfaction of seeing a brand new team with two cars (plus a third in the Belcar Endurance Cup) work as one well-oiled machine. “It has been a long winter, building a new team virtually from scratch,” team co-owner, Rudi Penders said, “but although we retired I’m pleased that we managed to show that we are a force to be reckoned with in Class 2.”

The team’s lead car retired in the second half of the race, while running in a commanding lead in Class 2 and fifth overall. “I had a perfect opening stint,” Franz Lamot said. “Starting second in class, I took the class lead on the third lap and never really looked back. The car ran as fine as it had ever done.”

When Penders took over after a swift pitstop, the new-for-2006 sequential gearbox stuck in third gear a few laps into his stint and the race was over. ”A shame really but I guess that’s motorsports. Needless to say, even more disappointing is not scoring any points in the championship, so I guess we’ll have our work cut out for the remainder of the season. We also had some electronics gremlins in practice that we will have to look at for the next race.”

ProSpeed’s second car had a troubled qualifying session, followed by a race-morning warm-up session which signalled an ABS electrics box change. The car made it to the grid with less than a minute to spare, but from then on it ran like clockwork. “I had a great stint,” starting driver, Kelders said. “The car ran fine, and I could gradually get “into the groove”. I had a small misunderstanding at the Bus Stop chicane with another competitor I had just passed but apart from that I’m quite happy with my first Belcar race.”

Nelissen Grade took over at mid-race and rejoined in 22nd and 8th in class. By the time the race finished, he had moved up five places overall and two in class, bettering his qualifying time by some three seconds in the process. “That was fun,” he said. “The car ran a lot better in the race than it did in practice, a lot smoother as well. Christian gave me a perfect car at the pitstop and I had a textbook stint after that, so I couldn’t have asked for much more in my first race with ProSpeed.”

The team’s next outing is at the second round of the MVD Belcar Series takes place on May 21st in Zolder.

MVD Belcar Round 1 – Spa – Results
1. Longin/Kumpen Chevrolet Corvette C5-R 53 laps
2. Hart/Bleekemolen Chevrolet Corvette C5-R + 1m12s477
3. Goossens/Van Dongen Marcos 600LM + 2 laps
4. Maes/Mollekens Porsche 996 bi-turbo + 2 laps
5. Severich/Josten BMW M3 GTR + 4 laps (1st Class 2)
8. Grouwels/Grouwels Dodge Viper + 5 laps (2nd Class 2)
11. Schreurs/Daniëls Porsche 993 + 5 laps (3rd Class 2
17. Nelissen Grade/Kelders Porsche 996 GT3 RS + 6 laps (6th Class 2)

DNF Penders/Lamot Porsche 996 GT3 RS Gearbox

Send This to a Friend
Your Name Your E-mail Address
Friends Name Friends Email Address

Copyright ©2000-©2016 TotalMotorSport