Alex Cascatău ready to tackle the home of the Dutch Grand Prix In Third Supercar Challenge Round
Circuit Park Zandvoort plays host to only one Supercar Challenge round in 2020 as the teams and drivers get ready to travel to the Nordic Sea where the biggest challenge won’t be posed by the redesign final, banked turn, but by strict sub-100 dB sound limits
On the year that it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Supercar Challenge is delivering on rapid-fire excitement as the third round in little over a month will take place among the dunes guarding Zandvoort this upcoming weekend. With prototypes not welcomed at the season-opening Zandvoort Superprix in late August, this will be Alex Cascatău’s and BS Racing by Baticonsult’s first chance to sample the updated 4.25-kilometer-long course.
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 at the rollercoaster-like Zandvoort circuit.
While this will be Alex’s first time driving at Circuit Park Zandvoort in any racing car, co-driver and team boss Alain Berg has quite a few miles under his belt around the track, albeit the pre-2020 configuration with the narrower Luyendijk corner that wasn’t banked a la NASCAR the way it is today. Still, with many turns left pretty much unchanged since Berg last competed here – and also saw some success in the lithe Praga sports cars – he will be able to help Alex get up to speed quick.
Speed is of essence at Zandvoort next week as the team, which is coming off an outright victory and an outright second place (and second place in class) in the most recent outing at TT Circuit Assen, prepares for a two-day weekend. While the action will take place over two days, the Supercar Challenge once more joined by the Mazda MX-5 Cup, the Ford Fiesta Cup NL, and the Northern Historic Championship, the grid is bound to be as busy as ever.
Cascatău and Berg lead the standings on 91 points, 28 points ahead of Deldiche Racing’s Tim Joosen (who took part in three of the four races we had this year) and 44 points ahead of Dominik Dierkes in third with his Revolution prototype. The duo looks to further increase its championship lead amid uncertainties surrounding the presence of the likes of Max Aschoff who was arguably Alex and Alain’s biggest rival at the first of the two rounds that we’ve had this year at Assen.
The team expects to face some stout competition at Zandvoort anyway which is why the next few days are critical as the team is hard at work rebuilding the engine. The 2.0-liter N/A unit was the team’s proverbial Achille’s Heel last time out with various issues marring the second race of the weekend at Assen where the team would’ve otherwise had the pace to battle Tim Joosen for the win. Part and parcel of the rebuild will also be the fitment of a special muffler that aims to reduce the noise coming from the Norma’s engine which, at previous race meetings, has been well above Zandvoort’s 98 dB noise limit that the team must adhere to to avoid severe punishment.
The action in the shadow of the dunes kicks off in earnest on Saturday, October 10, at 9:00 AM local time (10:00 AM RO time) with the first 40-minute free practice session. Then, from 10:20 AM local time (11:20 AM RO time), the second free practice session is scheduled to start and this one, likewise, will end after 40 minutes have elapsed. Later on, from 12:15 PM local time (13:15 PM RO time), qualifying will commence with the second qualifying group hitting the track at 12:240 PM local time (13:40 PM RO time) for the second of the two back-to-back 20-minute sessions. Finally, the first race of the weekend will take place at 15:30 PM local time (16:30 PM RO time). The second 60-minute + 1 lap race is scheduled for Sunday, October 11th, at 14:10 PM local time (15:10 PM RO time) and this one will be preceded by a 20-minute-long Warm-up session at 11:20 AM local time (12:20 PM RO time).
Weekend schedule (Local time / RO time)
Saturday, October 10, 2020
9:00-9:40 / 10:00-10:40 – Free Practice 1
10:20-11:00 / 11:20-12:00 – Free Practice 2
12:15-12:35 / 13:15-13:35 – Qualifying Group 1
12:40-13:00 / 13:40-14:00 – Qualifying Group 2
15:30-16:35 / 16:30-17:35 – Race 1
Sunday, October 11, 2020
11:20-11:40 / 12:20-12:40 – Warm-Up
14:10-15:15 / 15:10-16:15 – Race 2
2020 Supercar Challenge Race calendar:
4-6 September | TT Circuit Assen - DTM
25-27 September | TT Circuit Assen - Gamma Racing Day
9-11 October | Circuit Zandvoort - Voorjaars Races
31 October - 1 November | TT Circuit Assen - Hankook Finale races