Jeroen Slaghekke makes giant step forward at Oschersleben

Taking pole position in only your third raceweekend as a rookie. Jeroen Slaghekke did just that during the third raceweekend of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup at Oschersleben, Germany. The much wanted first podium in Formula Renault 2.0 didn’t happen this time for the talented driver from Wassenaar, but with a fifth, sixth and fourth place respectively for the three races, the rookie could take the fight to the fastest drivers in the series.

Wherever drivers go off the track, many yellow flags will be waved. The trick is to stay calm and put in a fast and faultless lap with respect to the yellow flags. Jeroen Slaghekke succeeded in this difficult task, and was promoted from 4th to pole position after dominating most of the session and the drivers who were in front of him in the end being penalised for not backing off during the yellow flag situation. “It feels great to be on pole, especially because we started from scratch set up wise this weekend after our struggles at the Nurburgring.” the driver from Van Amersfoort Racing said. 

The first race of the weekend was a big challenge, starting from pole on a completely wet circuit. “I had too much wheelspin at the start, and immediately lost three positions. I simply don’t have enough experience yet in this car in the wet. To be exact, only five laps around Hockenheim in the first raceweekend this year.” After 25 minutes of racing, Jeroen finishes in 5th place. “Not the result you are looking for when starting from pole”, Jeroen admits.

After the morning’s rainrace, the second race took place in the afternoon the same day, this time on a completely dry circuit. From fifth on the grid the rookie tries to make up some places on the first couple of corners and is almost fourth, before being forced off the track and onto the grass. “I was forced off the track and had to go on the grass. I came back onto the track in eigth place.” Jeroen would eventually finish 6th.

On Sundaymorning, Jeroen started the third and last race of the weekend from second. “I knew that if I wanted to have a chance of winning, I had to get past the pole sitter at the start as it’s very hard to overtake around Oschersleben.” Unfortunately, Jeroen outbraked himself slightly when attempting the overtake for first place in the first corner, and was passed by several competitors. A remake of race 2 follows, with Jeroen making up a place to eventually finish 4th. “I overdid it a little bit and was passed by several drivers. A big shame, because that effectively ruined my chances of a podium finish, but at the same time it's a clear and valuable lesson.”

“Even though I failed to take my much wanted first podium in the series this weekend, I am still satisfied with the progress we’ve made since our tough weekend at the Nurburgring. Furthermore, we’ve also had another three good points finishes!”

“I am very proud of the team. After the dissapointments at the Nurburgring they have worked extremely hard to get to the bottom of why we were struggling so much. This weekend we started from scratch with a completely different set up to what we were running, and we have systematically continued improving that throughout the weekend. We started 0,6s off the pace, and in the third race we were right on the pace of the race leaders, even setting the fastest third sector of anyone. We are on the right track again, and we’re getting closer to where we want to be.” Jeroen concludes, as he climbs from sixth to fifth in the standings through his consistent performance.

Standings Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 after 8 races: Jake Dennis 164 points; 2. Jordan King 144; 3. Josh Hill 136; 4. Stoffel Vandoorne 122; 5. Jeroen Slaghekke 102.

Monday Jul 09, 2012
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