Last weekend, Loek Hartog made his debut in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. The 16-year-old, driving for Bas Koeten Racing in collaboration with Molitor Racing Systems, showed his potential in an extremely strong field.
Loek Hartog: “The free practices went well! After 20 minutes I could find an connection with the leaders, resulting in a P12, after driving on P5 for quite some time. The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is one of the strongest car racing competitions in the world. Thirthy-two identical cars appeared at the start during this Formula 1 weekend . A top 10 finish is therefore pretty satisfying.”
Unfortunately, the qualifying on Saturday did not went as well as the training on Friday. Hartog: “In the first qualifying I managed to start with quick sector times, but regrettably I outbraked in the last chicane and missed a laptime which could have gotten me in the top 10.”
Bas Koeten: “In the remainder of the session, Loek did not manage to improve his times. That resulted in a difficult starting position for the race. Finding grip was not as easy as the day before, because conditions changed significantly due to F2 and F3 rubber on track. We hoped to be in the top 10, but had to settle with P22 in a field of 32 cars.”
Sunday: race day. Loek drove a stable race, overtaking others one-by-one. After a good start, the Porsche Junior Recruit fought his way up to the 18th position. Loek: “Seventeen cars finished in front of me, with at least ten of them being professional races drivers, and fourteen cars finished behind me. But still it is safe to say, the race did not go as I hoped and planned. In the first round the carcass of my right front tyre got damaged, which made it a bit more difficult. De car was not turning well in left-hand corners, which cost me a lot of speed. But I really enjoyed all the fighting on track and all the fans off the track! If I look at my performance, it sure is the debut I hoped for. I am confident my time in the Supercup will come. It was unique chance to experience the Supercup during the F1 weekend at Spa and I learned a lot.”
The coming three weeks will be all about the last to races in the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux. Two race weekends are on the agenda: the DTM Weekend at Nürburgring and the Blancpain GT Weekend in Barcelona. Loek is currently on P3, still having the title within his reach.
Hartog concludes: “Thanks to my partners Korton, Hogenhouck and Porsche Centrum Amsterdam, I was able to compete in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Gräper Automotive, Grand Prix Radio, The Society Shop, Slade Shipping and Autosport Insurance also helped with this partaking. I also would like to thank the team of Bas Koeten Racing who has made a huge contribution in helping me set my first steps in the international motorsport world. I would like to thank each of them in making this debut possible.”