2021-09-11 IDC Race Assen – Rain and bad luck gamebreakers at Assen
On September 11, race 9 of the International Dutch Championship was on the program at the TT-circuit of Assen. Mark van Bunnik (Fastmarky#77), Greg Barnes (Gin-Tonic#67) and Jan Houbraken (The Chaser#35) entered the Proclass600 and Gerard Streefland (Bikkel#86) the Sportclass1000.
After the successful TSR day on September 9th, the free practice sessions could start on Friday. Due to a wet track in the morning, the riders chose to start their sessions in the afternoon. Unfortunately the weekend ended after only 2 laps for Jan Houbraken; his engine blew up just before the “Bult” corner. Fortunately, he quickly moved to the side so that little oil could get onto the track. When the marshalls came to him, he indicated that the oil flags should be waved, but they did not think it was necessary. Moments later, 2 riders crashed…..
During Saturday’s qualifying, Mark and Greg were up front. After qualifying 1 Greg was in pole position and Mark in 8th. Qualifying went a bit faster on new tires but Greg had to settle for P2 and Mark P7 on the Proclass600 grid. Gerard first started in the Sportclass1000 by finding a good rhythm and was placed on P20 during the 1st qualifying. In the 2nd qualifying he went 9 seconds quicker, but this did not result in a better starting position and he would start from P24 on the starting grid.
Race Dutch Sportclass1000
An hour and a half before the start of the race, heavy rain fell on the TT-circuit of Assen. From that moment on it was a gamble how quickly the track would dry up and whether wet or dry tires should fitted. For Gerard Streefland it didn’t dry up enough for his race and he decided not to start.
Race Dutch Proclass600
Half an hour before the race, Greg made the decision to fit wet tires. With the entire team present, it was ensured in record time that his bike was ready well before the race. In the warm-up lap the track was still too wet for Mark. He didn’t want to take the risk on slicks and came back into the pit lane. Greg did place himself in 2nd position on the front row of the grid. The team expected another rocket start from the Englishman, but nothing could be further from the truth…. He didn’t move from his place at first and then made a mega-wheely, but kept the connection with the front runners (after the race it turned out that he accidentally switched on his pit limiter at the start, when he switched it off, his biked wheelied fiercly). After 1 lap Greg was in P3, but with a now fast drying track, he couldn’t make a fist on the wet weather tyres. Some riders were on dry weather tires or a mix of wet front and dry rear. In the end Greg had to settle for 7th position, but had a lot of fun with the many slides of his rear wheel during the race.
A weekend with rain and bad luck as gamebreakers this time, but we had a lot of fun as a team. Along with the prospect of our D.A.R.E. – event in Cartagena next month, we were able to close this weekend on a positive note.