Kroes and Afanasiev claim Dutch double
in second Super Trofeo Europe race at Zandvoort
After taking their maiden Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe triumph in Saturday’s opening race, Danny Kroes and Sergey Afanasiev completed a dream weekend by leading a Bonaldi Motorsport one-two in Race 2 at Zandvoort.
Joint championship leader Vito Postiglione led the pole-sitting #44 Imperiale Racing Huracán from the Target Racing srl of Alberto di Folco as the field headed into Tarzan for the first time.
Pro-Am pole-sitter Harald Schlegelmilch briefly held third around the outside of the first corner, but lost out to the second Bonaldi car of Stuart Middleton on the exit.
Afanasiev started the #3 car and dropped one spot to sixth behind the #8 Imperiale car of Bartosz Paziewski on the opening tour.
The leading trio of Postiglione, di Folco and Middleton began to stretch away from Schlegelmilch and Pazewiski but the group were right together as the rain - which had been light at the start - started to intensify.
This made conditions almost treacherous and di Folco was the first to be affected. The series returnee slid off the track at the high-speed Shievlak corner and trundled through the gravel trap, dropping to 13th.
Middleton nearly followed di Folco a lap later with a big twitch of oversteer at the same corner but the silky smooth Brit kept it on the island and began to make ground on Postiglione.
Paziewski was the first of the leaders to make his mandatory pit-stop when the window opened, while Schlegelmilch, Middleton and Postiglione stayed out.
Middleton reduced what had been a two second advantage for Postiglione to nothing and made a superb overtaking move round the outside of Mastersbocht, using the traditional wet weather racing line perfect in the UK to seize the lead.
Postiglione and Schlegelmilch then immediately made their stops while Middleton continued to charge on at the front, followed by Afanasiev.
The latter pair made their stops and rejoined - having swapped with Jack Bartholomew and Kroes respectively - easily in front of Postiglione and Basz, but the race was neutralised with nine minutes remaining after di Folco’s team-mate Davide Venditti crashed at Hugenholtz.
Struggling for grip in the increasingly difficult conditions, Venditti dipped a wheel onto the grass exiting Gerlachsbocht and spun into the barriers, ending what had started as a very promising race for the #9 car.
Racing resumed for just two laps before the safety car was brought out again, this time for Kikko Galbiati, who spun the #44 into the gravel at the “S” Bocht chicane.
That elevated Karol Basz to third, but the Pole slipped behind the #66 Micanek Motorsport Huracán of Jakob Knoll and Josef Zaruba to fourth in the closing stages, after appearing to struggle for grip.
Kroes then impressively took the lead of the race after the restart with a brave move round the outside of the penultimate corner on Bartholomew and proceeded to build a small gap to his British team-mate.
Bartholomew tried to find a way back into the lead but elected not to risk going off the dry line and settled for second.
Shota Abkhazava and Harald Schlegelmilch took Pro-Am honours for the second race in succession with a solid fifth overall in the ArtLine Team Georgia car, ahead of the Leipert Motorsport machine of Anthony Lambert and Niels Lagrange.
The battle for supremacy in the Am class was equally tight, with AGS Event’s Nico Gomar taking the win from local pairing Mathijs Bakker and Paul Harkema by just 0.179s at the finish.
Antonios Wossos had been the race-long leader in the Target Racing srl car but was handed a drivethrough penalty for speeding in the pit-lane after his mandatory stop. The Greek driver, in his first appearance in the Super Trofeo Europe series this year, ended up in third.
There was further success for AGS Events as the Lamborghini Cup honours went to Joseph “José” Collado. The Frenchman led either side of the pit window and beat the Race 1 winning duo of siblings Benoit and François Semoulin to the flag by over four seconds.
The double victory for Kroes/Afanasiev and Postiglione/Galbiati’s poor finish in Race 2 means there is now just one point between the two crews as the series heads across to Belgium and the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in two week’s time.
Gomar maintains a strong lead in the Am category after out-scoring the Leipert pairing of Jake Rattenbury and Mikko Eskelinen, while Harald Schlegelmilch and Shota Abkhazava increased their Pro-Am lead.