• Team RaceArt carries momentum gathered in Portuguese PSCSE rounds through to Spain
  • Senna van Soelen takes maiden win at Valencia
  • Second place in Pro-Am standings for Jules Grouwels


Maastricht, March 5 2024 - Team RaceArt has concluded its first season in the Porsche Sprint Challenge Southern Europe in a positive and successful manner. In Spain, the team continued the good results achieved in the first half of the season in Portugal and scored more podiums and a first win for Senna van Soelen. In the process, the Maastricht-based team enjoyed a strong preparation for the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux program later this year.



After visiting circuits in Portugal in the first two weekends, the championship moved to neighbouring Spain for the final two rounds. The team already enjoyed a strong start to the season with two wins and three further podium finishes in Portimao and Estoril and aimed to take this momentum to two equally challenging circuits: the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Like during the first two rounds, drivers Senna van Soelen and Jules Grouwels worked through a compact and intensive schedule on both weekends, with practice, qualifying and both races all taking place on a single day.



Early-weekend private testing offered Van Soelen and Grouwels the first opportunity to get acquainted with Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo, which is best known for its spot on the MotoGP calendar. That the Spanish circuit is difficult to tame was proven during the first qualifying session. On two occasions other drivers ended up off the track, triggering red flags. As a result, Van Soelen could not set a representative lap time and had to start 22nd in his class. The second session brought a slightly better result with the 16th fastest time. Grouwels, now a title contender in Pro-Am after his strong performance in Portugal, qualified fifth and second. In the first race, Van Soelen showed his pace by fighting from the tail of the field to finish in twelfth while Grouwels continued his streak of consecutive podium finishes by crossing the finish line in second place in Pro-Am.


Sadly, that streak came to an end later that afternoon when he became involved in an incident with Gianluca Giorgi in the opening lap of race two. Grouwels was forced to park his Porsche 992 GT3 Cup due to damage and suffered a big setback in the fight for the championship in Pro-Am. Meanwhile, Van Soelen was busy fighting his way up into the top ten from 16th place and kept his Porsche’s nose clean in a chaotic race characterised by numerous incidents. With two minutes to go, he passed both Sacha Norden and Jan Seyffert with a bold manoeuvre to take sixth place, just seconds before Dreke Janssen and Angus Whiteside ended up in the gravel trap together. This caused another Code 60 stoppage. Under this neutralisation, the entire field is required to drive 60 kilometres per hour so that track workers can safely enter the track. However, the team quickly noticed that the cars in front of Van Soelen were not adhering to the speed limit. Under strict instruction from the pits, Van Soelen did, which allowed him to take full advantage when the entire top five received a time penalty after the race. Van Soelen initially crossed the finish line in sixth place, but was declared the winner of the second race in Valencia after the fact.



Buoyed by the strong results from Valencia, the team ventured some four hundred kilometres to the north to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The team achieved successes here in the past and arrived in Montmelo knowing that Grouwels still had an outside chance of winning the Pro-Am title. He once again qualified strongly with third and second place in class. Van Soelen meanwhile once more showed good progression during qualifying. Although he set the 16th fastest time in the first session, he then steered his Porsche to a place in the top ten for the second race.


In the two final races of the campaign, the team once again took two podium finishes as Grouwels twice finished third in Pro-Am. Van Soelen, meanwhile, drove to thirteenth position in the first race but unfortunately dropped out in the final race of the season due to steering damage after contact with another car.


Even though Grouwels ultimately missed out on the Pro-Am title, Team RaceArt can still look back on a successful season in Sprint Challenge Southern Europe. In total, the team won three races (two wins for Grouwels, one for Van Soelen) and achieved a total of six further podium finishes. Grouwels finished fifth overall and second in Pro-Am, while Van Soelen closed off the season with ninth in the Pro standings.


Furthermore, the four Sprint Challenge weekends offered the team an excellent opportunity to prepare for the rest of the season and gain valuable knowledge of the Porsche 992 GT3 Cup. This was also true for Sam Jongejan, who watched each weekend from the garage to get to know the team in preparation for the upcoming campaign in the Carrera Cup Benelux.





Drivers' comments:

Jules Grouwels: “I just finished two incredibly rewarding weekends full of learning. I look back on these great experiences with great satisfaction. My goal was to become more familiar with the car, build confidence and aim for the championship in the Pro-Am class. Although I did not succeed in the latter, I now return home with a lot of extra experience for the Benelux championship.”



Senna van Soelen: “This season started in Portimao, which like every other circuit on the calendar, was one I had never raced at before. For me, the key to this championship was learning and spending as much time behind the wheel of the Porsche GT3 Cup as possible. The third place in Estoril and the victory in Valencia after playing it smart under Code 60 were the two undisputed highlights for me. I would like to thank Team RaceArt, Roger Grouwels, my sponsors and my parents for this opportunity and the chance to spend valuable time at the wheel of the Porsche.”

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