Cascatău, Finally Ready To Get The Season Started At Assen
The weekend’s got racing on the menu for Romanian Endurance Series Champion Alex Cascatău and not of the virtual kind this time. The long overdue kick-off round of the 2020 Supercar Challenge is merely days away and the venue for the curtain-raiser is the famous TT Circuit Assen where the series will be on the same bill as the DTM.
This time last year, Alex Cascatău was looking back on his maiden drive in a CN-class prototype that ended with a class podium in what is Belcar’s blue-riband event, the 24 Hours of Zolder. Flash forward a year and Cascatău is again slated to drive a Norma M20 FC only now it’s in the first round of the season and the championship he’ll be racing in is the Supercar Challenge in the Netherlands.
Needless to say that the Constanța native, who’s been racking up the miles in a virtual Norma during the past few months as well as competing in the equally virtual Racing League Romania, is eager to get things underway alongside team-mate Alain Berg and his team, BS Racing by Baticonsult. The team, while a well-known member of the Supercar Challenge paddock, makes its CN-class debut in 2020 as Berg moves up from the Radical SR3 category.
Yep, this is no ‘BS’, it is finally happening. After months of COVID-19-induced delays and cancellations – first, the Zolder opener fell and then its proposed replacement at Zandvoort did too – the most popular GT, touring, and sports car series in the Lowlands will get going for what can only be described as an abridged and fast-paced 2020 season. The Zandvoort opener is a support series for the DTM and one can argue that more excitement will come from the two Supercar Challenge races than the two DTM races given the poor state of that series.
So, what’s the schedule for the weekend, you’re asking? Well, Cascatău and Berg are first supposed to get out on track on Friday (check the full timetable at the end of this article), September 4, for the two Free Practice sessions. Then, on Saturday, September 5, it’s all about the two qualifying sessions and the first of two races. As ever, each race will be contested over 60 minutes plus one lap after the time’s run out. The second race will take place Sunday and both will be broadcast live on DTM's live streaming platform https://grid.dtm.com/en-int/page/home.
Cascatău was only able to drive the car briefly, during a protracted test day at Zolder a couple of months ago which ended all too quickly due to the Norma being too loud. A few laps in an also-quite-loud Radical SR3 followed meaning the first two practice sessions on Friday will be Alex’s first proper chance to get to know the 260 horsepower, naturally aspirated M20 FC of team BS Racing.
The CN category in which the car will run features three other similar competitors and is part of the GT & Prototype Challenge, a sub-division of the Supercar Challenge open to LMP3s, CNs, Radicals, and the quickest GTs in the field. The three other entries in CN all come from Belgium’s Deldiche Racing team and they’re all turbocharged versions of the M20 FC but fear not – we’ve seen the N/A version take the fight to the turbo one before and anyway, it’s all about learning for Alex and the team in this first race weekend of the year.
I'm really excited to get this season underway and being a support series for the DTM makes it that much better. We'll have strong competition in the CN class, with current Mahindra Formula E test driver and former Auto GP, GT3, F3, F2000 and LMP2 racer Sam Dejonghe also in class. It will be difficult, being my first time in Assen and also not having done many laps at the start of the year, but I'll try to make the most of it and this will be a learning year. I think having such strong competitors will be a big plus, and it will allow me to benchmark myself against strong drivers. Special thanks to BS Racing, Baticonsult and Motul for making this season possible.
Full timetable for the TT Circuit Assen Season-Opener (Dutch local time)
Friday, September 4
10:30-11:10 – Free Practice 1
16:30-17:10 – Free Practice 2
Saturday, September 5
8:25-8:45 – Qualifying, Group 1
8:50-9:10 – Qualifying, Group 2
15:50-16:50 – Race 1*
Sunday, September 6
15:15-16:15 – Race 2*
*Live stream on https://grid.dtm.com/en-int/page/home
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