Sebastian Ugeux lifts Procar Title and Audi Controls Wet Race At Zolder by Dick Suter
Sebastian Ugeux lifts Procar Title Peugeot's star stayed ahead of Thierry Tassin to lift the series crown
After his recent double at Spa, Thierry Tassin arrived at Zolder for the Belgian Procar finale having to carry the maxiumum ballast of 60kg in his Honda Integra. He still reckoned that he could overcome Peugeot's Sebastien Ugeux who was starting with a 22-point advantage.
However, Tassin could forsee one problem. With the ballast, the car slides a great deal more. So he was going to have his work cut out as the weather on race day varied from light drizzle to heavy showers, leaving the circuit partly soaked.
At the start of the first race, pole-setter Ugeux had Vincent Vosse, Stephane de Groodt and Tassin alongside him as they attempted to take the first corner side-by-side. Ugeux fell to third as Tassin's hopes of making a speedy getaway were thwarted as the gap narrowed. He left the track, and dropping to 14th before regaining the tarmac.
De Groodt's Honda and Vosse's Nissan were now locked together in a tense battle that was last the entire race and was arguably the best duet seen this season. Vosse went past into the lead on three occasions, but each time was instanly repassed by de Groodt.
Ugeux held third third, protected by team mate Vincent Radermecker and Bart Ide, the latter having been drafted into the squad to support Ugeux's title aspirations.
On lap three, Vanina Ickx's Renault got out of shape and hit the VW Golf of guest driver Anders Olofsson, spinning it into Grant Elliott's Honda. This helped Tassin's progress up the order, which took him to seventh by lap seven. However he couldn't find his way past Pierre-Yves Corthals' Renault.
Then Radermecker lost his brakes, but somehow managed to stay on the island and reach the finish in eighth place. This elevated Tassin to an eventual sixth place. However it wasn't enough to keep his title hopes alive as third place had been enough to make Ugeux champion.
Fired up by his success, Ugeux went all-out for his second win of the year in the second race, fitting slicks on the front and grooved tyres on the rear for the second race, while all others bar Tassin went for grooved tyres all round.
Radermecker led the first three laps, but then Ugeux hit the front and raced on to build up a lead of 27.4s by flagfall a dozen laps later.
Corthal's chances took a dive on the opening lap when Ide tipped him into the scenery. Then Radermecker was his next victim on lap four. Ide earned a stop-go penalty for his performance.
Tassin had been hemmed in at the start and had clashed with Corthals, bur came through to second after passing de Groodt, with Radermeckerrecovering to fourth. Elliott's rebuilt Honda suffered from understeer on it way to seventh.
Audi Controls Wet Race At Zolder
The combination of Jean_Francois Hemroulle, Tim Verbergt and an Audi A4 quattro took another win in the final round of the Belcar Championship at Zolder.
The partnership finished the two hour race almost a minute ahead of the PCA Porsche 993 shared by the Huisman brothers.
Vincent Vosse claimed pole in the Porche 911 he shares with Kurt Thiers, but the car was immediately crippled by a slipping clutch and never featured.
Duncan Huisman had qualified sixth, but his Porche was relegated to the back of the 17 car grid as his brother Patrick had not been able to take part in the qualifying session.
Once the race was underway, the Audi was headed by the second PCA Porsche, which was shared by Bas Leinders and Kurt Mollekens, as its sister car forged its way up the order.
When the Audi pitted, its stop was half the length of its rivals, thanks to its lighter consumption and Hemroulle really got the hammer down on his return, the four-wheel drive machine revelling in the soaking conditions.
The Huisman Porsche reached second, but it was at a disadvantage to the Audi in the conditions and had to settle for the runner-up spot.
©Dick Suter - 1998
Original article appearing in "Internationals in Belgium" Dick Suter was an editor of the magazine and contributor and Ginny Suter was a regular contributor in the late 1990's and 2000's - The magazine had a circulation of 10,000 Please note that this article was first published many years ago and telephone and fax numbers are likely to be out of date and email addresses have been removed.
Source of images, unless otherwise stated - Suter family archives