Nürburgring (Germany), Achel (Belgium), 5 July 2023 – The weather at the Nürburgring is famous for its unpredictability and this certainly was the case for this weekends first combined race of the FFR-FOR and HRA. For the three qualifying sessions on Saturday, the participants were anxious about whether or not to fit wet tyres, but in the end most choose slicks as the best choice on a drying track.
On Sunday morning in Race 1 the HRA had the first start group with Sergio Leone and Stephane Lechine in their F3s on the first row. However, when Leone spun at the end of the straight, the whole field got mixed up. Stephane Lechine and Elio Coccarelli then took the lead, while the Formula Opels from Pascal Monbaron (CHE), Jochen Thissen (DEU) and David Schneider (CHE), having started at the back of the grid, quickly passed through the field and settled behind the two leaders. When Leone’s car was scuffed from behind in the chicane and spun into the nose of Christine Reichshuber (DEU) in her Sports 2000, the safety car had to come out. After the restart the F3s from Lechine and Coccarelli, as well as the Formula Opels from Monbaron, Thissen and Schneider increased their lead, with only Daniel Hornung in his F3 being able to follow.
In his Van Diemen RF91 Klaus Dieter Häckel (DEU) did very well. Having started from position 24, he moved through the field quickly and finished 13th overall and first in the FF1600 class, only just behind the FF2000s from Toni Krumbach and Jürgen Meyer, and the Sports 2000 from Harald Schmeyer. Roel Mulder (NED), Gerhard Hausschulte (DEU) and Frank Roser (DEU) finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the FF1600 class.
In race 2, after an early safety car situation due to Brian Steen (DEN) sliding into the gravel, it was Ralf Goral (DEU) in his Formula Opel who dominated the track from start to finish. Starting from pole position he lead the race from the beginning, with Pascal Monbaron (CHE) hot on his heels. Valerio Leone (MON) finished 3rd in his F3, closely followed by Jochen Thissen (DEU) and David Schneider (CHE) in their Formula Opels. The F3s from Daniel Hornung (DEU), Elio Coccarelli (ITA) and Pierro Tenconi (ITA) ended the race as 6th, 7th and 8th. The 9th position was for Philip Menzer, in his first race in a Formula Opel ever, securing a 4th place in his class . In the FF2000 class Henk van der Spoel (NED) and Geert Wijnants (BEL) finished as 1st and 2nd, while Simone Busch crossed the line as 3rd in her class and 17th overall.
In race 3 all fell into place for an unleashed David Schneider. Taking the lead right from the start, Schneider wouldn’t give an inch and it was now Ralf Goral who had to chase, with Pascal Monbaron in third and Philip Menzer in fourth position all the way to the finish line.
In the FF2000 class Henk van der Spoel and Onno Zuidema (NED) were evenly matched, but with Van der Spoel ultimately gaining the upper hand finishing 1st in his class and 5th overall, with Zuidema 2nd and 6th overall. Simone Busch crossed the line as 8th, thus securing third place in her class. Klaus Dieter Häckel won the FF1600 class unchallenged, finishing 10th overall, ahead of several of the Sports 2000s in the competition, while Roel Mulder and Gerhard Hausschulte crossed the line as 2nd and 3rd in their class.
The FFR-FOR and HRA now have a break for the summer and will reappear for the Classic GP at Assen, on 9 and 10 September.