• Team RaceArt competes at Imola for the first time in four years
  • Sam Jongejan adds second Rookie class win with strong drive on Saturday
  • Jules Grouwels’ impressive Pro-Am pace goes unrewarded in both races


Maastricht, 7 July 2024 - Team RaceArt driver Sam Jongejan secured his second Rookie-class win of the season during Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux’s visit to the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. Jules Grouwels, meanwhile, saw strong weekend pace go unrewarded during the pair of 30-minute races on the legendary Italian circuit.


RaceArt returned to the Emilia Romagna for the first time in four years, having last raced and won there as part of its debut Ferrari Challenge campaign in the summer of 2020. This time, the team travelled in Italy in good spirits, having collected three race victories and an additional four podiums from the championship’s previous visits to Spa-Francorchamps and Zandvoort. As a result, Grouwels began the weekend as the Pro-Am points leader while Jongejan arrived at Imola sitting second in the Rookie class standings.


Dealing with the Italian summer heat would be one of the weekend’s key challenges, as soaring temperatures put a significant strain on both man and machine. Having worked through a pair of practice sessions to learn the track and dial in the car, Saturday morning qualifying would set the grid for both of the races to take place later in the weekend. Jongejam once more showed his pace by qualifying third and second in the Rookie class and placing himself mid-pack in the competitive field, while a strong showing from Grouwels saw him sweep Pro-Am qualifying and take class pole for both races.


Both drivers looked to build on their qualifying showing with impressive race performances when the green flag dropped for Race 1 on Saturday afternoon. Jongejan made impressive progress early on, passing Sacha Norden for eight place overall at the start. Just a few minutes later, he completed a daring pass round the outside of Variante Tamburello to take the Rookie class lead and then moved up to sixth place when Dirk Schouten spun exiting Rivazza. Grouwels, meanwhile, had maintained his lead in Pro-Am and appeared to be headed for victory even despite a five-second penalty for a jump start. Sadly for the points leader, his lead was wiped out when Schouten and Thomas Kangro collided at Rivazza with seven minutes to go, triggering a safety car. While Grouwels did his best to open up a gap in the little time that remained, it proved insufficient and he was classified third despite taking the chequered flag first. Further up the pack, Jongejan put more shine on an already head-turning performance by passing Niels Langeveld at the restart, finishing fifth overall and capturing his second Rookie class win of the season.


Sunday’s Race 2 served as the official warm-up act for the European Le Mans Series’ 4 Hours of Imola, with the Imola fans witnessing another hard-fought contest in which Jongejan displayed a fierce defensive effort to bring home another podium. Although the Dutchman initially dropped to third in class at the start, he then regained second and even attempted to take the class lead with a brave pass attempt at Piratella that went unrewarded when he ran through the gravel. A slight error out of Rivazza then saw him lose second in class to Dreke Janssen, only to regain the place at Acque Minerali and then hold off intense pressure from Janssen to finish second.


For Grouwels, the race unfortunately presented an unlucky case of deja vu. Once again, he built up a solid lead despite a five-second penalty for a jump start and looked on course for a third win of the season, only for him to find the gravel at Tamburello with a few minutes to go. Although he was able to resume the race, he finished fourth in class and a lap down on the overall race winner.


With three weekends completed, Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux has reached the halfway point of the season. Jongejan has retained second place in the Rookie standings, while Grouwels is second in Pro-Am and trails the leader by just ten points. The season continues at JACK’s Racing Day at TT Circuit Assen on August 2-4.


Drivers’ comments:


Sam Jongejan

A weekend filled with learning. I learned a lot and was able to fight hard for our results. I enjoyed the many battles on track and could build a lot of confidence for Assen. I really had to fight to get the best result possible in both races. I really feel at home in situations like that and I was able to show my best this weekend.


Jules Grouwels

A very positive weekend, unfortunately with few points at the end of it. During practice and qualifying I showed that the gap towards the leading group is getting smaller and smaller. Unfortunately I couldn't capitalise on that speed in the races due to my own mistakes. The important thing now is to prepare well for the race at Assen.


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