While his Silverstone weekend came to an end at the first corner, Steijn Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) bounced back strong during the collective tests for the Renault Sport Trophy at the Nürburgring. Leader of the Elite category, the Dutchman set best time of the day at 1:53.616, more than a half-second quicker than twice second fastest, Andrea Pizzitola. Winner in Endurance last weekend, Luciano Bacheta (Oregon Team) was third best. In Prestige, Richard Gonda (ART Junior Team) dominated the two sessions ahead of Dario Capitanio (Oregon Team) and Max Braams (V8 Racing).
Steijn Schothorst leader by seventh/tenths
David Fumanelli (Oregon Team) set the opening benchmark time, which was soon beaten by Luciano Bacheta, Bas Schothorst (Zele Racing) and Nicky Pastorelli (V8 Racing). Luciano Bacheta then regained the spot, but Richard Gonda then went even quicker before Steijn Schothorst turned in the fastest lap several times in the first half of the session. His lap of 1:54.259 saw his lead the ahead of Andrea Pizzitola and Indy Dontje (ART Junior Team). Prestige drivers Richard Gonda and Dario Capitanio completed the top five.
The Dutchman does it again by more than a half-second
In the afternoon, the scenario was identical in the opening moments with David Fumanelli and Luciano Bacheta leading the way. Richard Gonda took over, but the Oregon Team drivers responded just until Steijn Schothorst, who made several improvements to his car, clocked the fastest lap of the day in 1:53.616. The leader in the Elite category found himself atop the time sheet ahead of Andrea Pizzitola, Luciano Bacheta, David Fumanelli and Roy Geerts at the end of a session interrupted for a few minutes to remove the Renault Sport R.S. 01 of Adalberto Baptista (Oregon Team). In Prestige, Richard Gonda also improved to get the better of Dario Capitanio and Max Braams.
Steijn Schothorst: “After the huge disappointment at Silverstone, I am happy to come back this strong. Like everyone says, it is only Friday and we must analyse my own performance in the Renault Sport R.S. 01 in order to maximize our potential. Despite the big gap in the two sessions, it is hard to know what tyres were being used by our rivals. We will only know the real gaps after qualifying tomorrow.”
Andrea Pizzitola: “We will work flat-out tonight to find a way to reduce the gap between us and Steijn. I think we got closer as the day went on, thanks to our progress with the car. Other than that, the session went fine and we were able to re-learn the track. We also have to keep an eye on the weather, which is forecasted to change.”
Dario Capitanio: “The Nürburgring is a very hard circuit to learn and that is my case. It is a crazy layout. There is both over-steer and under-steer in several corners. You have to work hard behind the wheel and I am trying to find the right line. It’s not easy, but the times are rather good. I can do even better tomorrow with new tyres!”