Having collected a decent load of championship points, Rudy van Buren looks back on the first round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland 2021. Though he was aiming for more following his strong pre-season form, this proved the best possible following significant arbitrary intervention.
“This was a tough weekend. The pace was decent and track position proved crucial”, said Rudy after the first two races around the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. “Sadly, we were unable to recover well after a judge of facts dubiously reprimanded us to our major disadvantage.”
The Dutchman had a prosperous start to the weekend, as Rudy took P8 in qualifying for both races on the celebrated 4.3 mile circuit in the Ardennes, where the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland supported the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps round for the FIA WEC. However, he lost those positions in debatable fashion: “A judge of facts stated I had exceeded track limits several times. I’ll admit to doing that once, but not during my fastest lap. Yet we’re unable to protest his judgment, despite video images proving our right. The organisers later admitted their difficulties in differentiating my car and my teammate’s – as such, we’ve updated the liveries for the next round to avoid any possible false consequences for either of us.”
Having digested this setback, Rudy started the first race from P15. He started off well, managed to dodge some opening lap mayhem and climbed up to tenth place quite soon. A decent race saw the 29-year-old take P8 in the end, surrounded by competitive countrymates. “I’ll take that one. The pace was good and genuine, as we’re in the fight for the higher top ten classifications, judging from various tests and practice sessions”, says Rudy.
The qualifying aftermath pushed him back to P22 for the second race start. After making up a number of places courtesy of another strong start, the brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup demonstrated an inconvenient trait. Rudy: “Though the downforce this car generates is rather modest, it does seem to have a significant effect in the faster corners, making it hard to follow and attack other cars. After making up some ground in the opening phase, it’s quite easy to get stuck in a group of competitors.” He did manage to take fourteenth, adding some more points to his tally and taking ninth place in the championship standings after the first race meeting.
Though circumstances took their toll, Rudy can certainly look at the positives: “We were in some nice battles, overtook a number of cars and progressed through the field. It’s worth mentioning the field is both larger and stronger compared to last seasons, as we’re the underdogs taking on major drivers contesting in the Porsche Supercup. Though we could certainly have taken more points, had we not lost those grid positions due to bad luck. Let’s carry the potential into the next round at Oschersleben and convert it into good luck to strike back.”