“Jack`s Racing Day”, one of the biggest combined motorsports events in Europe allured again more than 60.000 racing fans! The famous cathedral of speed, the TT Circuit in Assen/NED hosted the MAXX Formula GP Netherlands and provided a perfect platform under fantastic weather conditions. For the first time in the history of a Big Open Single Seater series, three most modern F1 cars (from 2004 onwards) joined the grid of the MAXX Formula GP. Klaas Zwart with his Jaguar R5 (2004), Peter Göllner with the Sauber C29 (2010) and Wolfgang Jaksch with his Toro Rosso STR8 (2013) caught the attention of all appeared Formula 1 fans.
After an initial 30 min free practice, where all drivers were able to test their cars and find the right setup for the Q1 session, the qualifying session started with a disappointment for all the Dutch fans: Local hero Klaas Zwart was not able to participate, his R5 did not start-up properly and needed to remain in the box for further investigation and repair.
The battle for pole went on between Christopher Brenier with his Superleague Formula V12, Peter Göllner, Sauber F1 C29 and Wolfgang Jaksch, Toro Rosso STR8. Wolfgang Jaksch set the first benchmark with a 1:29.568 which was beaten by Brenier two laps later by a margin of 2/10`s. Peter Göllner`s best lap was recorded with a 1:29.219, which granted him P3 on the starting grid. Meanwhile Brenier picked up pace and set his best time lap with a 1:28.040. Wolfgang Jaksch, who returned to the pit in between, entered the track one more time and was able to secure pole in his last fast lap attempt with a 1.27.644, advancing Christopher Brenier by only 0.688 sec! Behind the trio, it was Gilles Brenier with his V12 Superleague, who missed Peter Göllner`s best time by only two and a half tens to start from P4. Hans Laub, the experienced German GP2 pilot again showed great performance on one of his favorite tracks and recorded the 5th best lap time. Newcomer Patrick Harmuth (GP2 2008), who has never been raced in Assen before, adopted quickly to the track and ended up on P6 with a 1:33.555 followed by the other newcomer Philipp Todtenhaupt (GP2 2011). The German Citizen, who joined MAXX Formula in 2022 is improving race by race and he nailed his Dallara on P7. Fastest of the Masters Class was Frank Thomas/BEL. His “Dallara World Series by Renault” race car seemed to like the high-speed track in Assen as he was only 7/10`s slower than Philipp Todtenhaupt, granting him P8. P9 went to the Bavarian IndyCar pilot Anton Werner, followed by racing methuselah Karl-Heinz Becker/GER, who is still performing on a very high level despite his advanced age.
MAXX race 1 of the weekend was characterized by another bummer! Pole sitter Wolfgang Jaksch was not able to join the starting grid, his hydraulic system got heavily damaged during the last cool-down lap of the previous qualifying session and it was simply impossible to repair the car in a short period of time. However, Klaas Zwart`s R5 screamed out to the grid and it was clear, that since the car is holding up, the Flying Dutchman was the declared runaway favorite for the race win. After a clean start, Zwart gained space quickly and he showed all fans on the grandstands a one-man show with astonishing lap-times. At the end he mastered an unrivalled start-finish win! Behind the F1 V10, an ongoing fight took place between Christopher Brenier and Peter Göllner. The clash culminated in a brave attack by Peter Göllner. While trying to pass Brenier, the cars touched each other and the Frenchman needed to unfortunately retire his car with a puncture. The incident had been reviewed after the race by the clerk of the course and was declared as a race accident with no further penalties. From then on, the track was clear for Peter Göllner to secure P2 and so he did without any doubt. In order to save the family honor, Gilles Brenier showed a fantastic race performance and he gained P3 overall in Race 1 with a gap of more than 30 sec to Hans Laub, who secured P2 in the Advance Class bringing home another trophy from Assen. Patrick Harmuth confirmed his great impression from free practice and quali and he joined the podium well deserved with P5 overall and P3 in his class. The IndyCar pilot Anton Werner again has proven his ability to show his best performance in the race. Despite the slower pace in qualification, he passed Frank Thomas and Philipp Todtenhaupt (technical problems towards the end of the race) and finished on P6 overall leaving Frank Thomas, Karl-Heinz Becker and Philipp Todtenhaupt behind himself.
Quali2 on Sunday morning became finally a real showdown. All F1 cars as well as the other MAXX Class contenders went out of the pit lane to attract the packed grandstands at TT Circuit. As Klaas Zwart was racing in his own league with his V10 Jaguar R5, the pole position had already been claimed. Surprisingly, it was Christopher Brenier, who still found some pace and ended up on P2 with a remarkable 1:27.174. Comparing to Quali 1 on Saturday, Peter Göllner won P3 by a nose against Wolfgang Jaksch. At the end the gap added up to just 4/10`s. Gilles Brenier finished P5, followed by Patrick Harmuth, Hans Laub, Philipp Todtenhaupt, Anton Werner, Frank Thomas and Karl-Heinz Becker.
Under blue sky the main race on Sunday afternoon took place in front of more than 60.000 enthusiastic and curious motorsport fans. Klaas Zwart was leading the grid through turn 1 after a clean rolling start, followed by Brenier, Jaksch, Harmuth, Göllner and the rest of the grid. During the first three laps, Wolfgang Jaksch tried to stay tight behind Brenier, but he couldn`t cope with the race pace of the Frenchman at that time and needed to leave a gap. While Klaas Zwart was trying to break the official lap record (he finally missed it just by 3/10`s), Christopher Brenier romped away from Wolfgang Jaksch and it looked like the battle of the race will develop between Jaksch and Göllner, who temporized lap by lap and appeared at the rear of Jaksch`s STR 8 in the middle of the race. Everybody was expecting an attack at any given time, but suddenly Wolfgang Jaksch was able to increase his pace and he could leave Peter Göllner behind him by nailing the second fastest lap time in the race. The deciding factor of this fight between the Toro Rosso and the Sauber happened towards the end of the race as Jaksch and Göllner found themselves behind the slower cars and needed to lap them swiftly. At the end, Wolfgang Jaksch finished on P3 overall by a narrow margin of 0.8 sec. Gilles Brenier, who needed to start his race out of the pitlane, was plowing through the field and he finally finished on P6, beaten only by Patrick Harmuth, who again showed a great race without any errors, seeing the checkered flag on P5. Anton Werner with his IndyCar flawlessly made it a P7, followed by Philipp Todtenhaupt, Frank Thomas and Karl-Heinz Becker, who lost his Formula Nissan in the last lap in turn 10 but was still classified.
- Klaas Zwart
- Christopher Brenier
- Wolfgang Jaksch
- Peter Göllner
- Patrick Harmuth
- Gilles Brenier
- Anton Werner
- Philipp Todtenhaupt
- Frank Thomas
- Karl-Heinz Becker
DNF Hans Laub (technical failure during the race)
Prestige Class (Formula 1 classification)
- Klaas Zwart (NED)
- Wolfgang Jaksch (GER)
- Peter Göllner (SUI)
Advance Class (GP2, SuperLeague Formula, Indy Car)
- Christopher Brenier (FRA)
- Patrick Harmuth (FRA)
- Gilles Brenier (FRA)
- Frank Thomas (BEL)
- Karl-Heinz Becker (GER)
Next MAXX Formula Race Weekend:
MAXX Formula GP Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps, together with DTM, 9.-11. September 2022!