Race 2: Veldhoven, kart circuit De Landsard, 7 May
Big turnout in Veldhoven
After the Puchshop Racing Cup was the biggest class at the start of the NK Junior Moto Racing in Assen, it was the same at the second day of the race in Veldhoven. The number of participants was so high that there was not enough room for everyone at the start... With full fields there were exciting races with Henk Minnen as winner in the Expi class and Pascal Mussche in the Standard class.
At the opening of the season there was already an impressive field of participants, in Veldhoven even more riders appeared at the start. The Puchshop Racing Cup was 25 strong, while the circuit was approved for races with a maximum of 22 riders. For two participants, a defective engine block would have made the - involuntary - choice not to participate in the races, unfortunately another rider had to drop out. That was a small spoilsport, but it was positive that it stayed dry the whole day. In the afternoon, a thunderstorm was predicted, but the showers would eventually pull around Veldhoven. Rain makes a kart track very slippery, and the Puchshop Racing Cup had the misfortune at the last races in Assen to be at the track during or after the rain... this time it was on!
After Kenny Buchser had mechanical problems at the first race in Assen and Henk Minnen took advantage of the changing weather conditions on a machine borrowed from Chris Snijder, the fast Swiss was now eager for revenge. That he would not get the win for free became clear during qualifying, in which Minnen was again the fastest despite some problems with the clutch. Minnen had worked overtime in recent weeks to get his Puch ready for Veldhoven, but would soon find out that the clutch was not quite optimal. But there were more riders who had some mechanical setbacks, including Rienk van der Weide. For him, there was no more than a fourth time, so he would have to start from the second row. Bart Dijkhof fared better and thanks to a second time next to Minnen he could start from the first row, with Buchser third. Fastest Standard driver was Pascal Mussche. He was forced to abandon the first qualifying session due to a flat tyre. The atmosphere within the Puchshop Racing Cup is so good and everyone helps each other out, as was proven once again when Mark Dijkhof was ready with a new inner tube, which was then swiftly fitted by father and son Rinus and Wilco Quist! With this, Mussche was the only one in his class to set a lap time under one minute, a time that was good for an eighth starting position overall. Jordi Minnen set the second fastest time in the Standard Class and tenth overall.
At the start, Dijkhof took off like a jack-in-the-box. Minnen and Van der Weide did not let him escape and soon took over the lead. Buchser followed Dijkhof, which created a leading group of four. Minnen and Van der Weide went even further, and were the only ones with lap times just under 57 seconds. Van der Weide seemed stronger and occasionally poked his machine next to Minnen's, but in the final phase Minnen managed to close a gap. He crossed the line as the winner with Van der Weide in second place. Dijkhof and Buchser fought it out in the second half of the race for third place, which was eventually decided in Dijkhof's favour. Fifth was Sander Mulder, who rode a full race distance for the first time on his beautiful newly built racer. He kept another fast Swiss, Marco Holliger, behind him. Mussche was seventh and convincingly fastest Standard rider ahead of Jordi Minnen and Jannick Vos.
Again Bart Dijkhof shot away at the start, and Van der Weide wanted to make up some metres on the braking part of the first long straight. He choked and slid down. He could pick up his Puch quickly and continue his race, but Dijkhof, Minnen and Buchser had already disappeared from sight. Buchser was keen on revenge, took over the lead and seemed to be running away from Minnen. After three laps, Buchser's Puch began to hold back. A few laps later Dijkhof passed, but shortly afterwards the power of Buchser's machine returned. A strange sensation for the audience to see Buchser overtake Dijkhof again and immediately drive away. He even recorded the fastest lap time of the day, but he could not catch up with Minnen. Minnen won with a lead of no less than fifteen seconds ahead of Buchser and Dijkhof. Van der Weide managed to fight his way back to fourth place, ahead of Robert van Steenis. Mussche was again the fastest in the Standard class ahead of Minnen and Vos. Paul Hendriks, who finished second in Assen, had to be content with fourth place. His engine did not have the speed to fight for the podium.
Results Veldhoven 7 May
- Henk Minnen
- Kenny Buchser
- Rienk van der Weide
- Pascal Mussche
- Jordi Minnen
- Jannick Vos
- Henk Minnen (95pt)
- Bart Dijkhof (57pt)
- Kenny Buchser (53pt)
- Pascal Mussche (100pt)
- Jordi Minnen (71pt)
- Paul Hendriks (62pt)
Pictures and text by Mariska Grob from Motografie.nl