Raceway Venray Easter Monday: Duel between Verberkt and Bachor in the V8 Oval Series

Raceway Venray Easter Monday: Duel between Verberkt and Bachor in the V8 Oval Series
Credits: Frank Reipen / Leadlap.de

With two race wins in three races, Ralph Verberkt took the day’s victory at the opening round of the V8 Oval Series at Raceway Venray – Philipp Bachor from Germany finished a strong second

After a long winter break, racing was back to the half-mile of Raceway Venray with a total of 17 drivers entered. The first three races of the V8 Oval Series (V8OS) 2023 were hard fought and in the end top driver Ralph Verberkt prevailed against the competition with two race wins. With a second place in the daily standings, Philipp Bachor from Germany made a strong comeback from the winter break and Hans-Jürgen Hummen also showed his potential in the first race.

However, the first heat over 25 laps was decided in the favor of Tino van Dijk in his #53 car, who finished 2.730 seconds ahead of Bachor and thus celebrated his first win of the season. In a thrilling final phase, Bachor was able to keep Verberkt behind him, who in third place was ultimately about two tenths short of the German in front of him. Behind him, Hummen finished a strong fourth in #99 Chevrolet Camaro.

Credits: André Wiegold / Leadlap.de

Two NASCAR Whelen Euro Series drivers were on track at the Venray oval for the season opener. Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, who has already contested one oval race in EuroNASCAR PRO in 2019, finished fifth in his first V8OS race behind Hummen, holding off local hero Barry Maessen. Melvin de Groot finished a solid ninth in his oval debut, just behind Bachor Racingteam newcomer Kristoffer Norling from Sweden, who also competed in an oval race for the first time.

Verberkt won the second race by 1.801 seconds ahead of Bachor, who confirmed his good performance. Jeroen Hermans completed the top-3 behind the duo. Maessen drove into the top-5 for the first time in the 2023 season, while Bo Pepels, who repeatedly flashed her potential, finished fifth. Jeffrey Hageman, who was disqualified in the first race after inspection, was sixth in the second heat, with Bleekemolen and Norling following in seventh and eighth. Hummen scored another top-10 result in ninth, while Stephan Driessen rounded out the top-10.

Credits: André Wiegold / Leadlap.de

Verberkt also decided the final in his favor. In the end, the Dutchman in the #2 car had a lead of around one second over Hageman, who together with the race winner had clearly pulled away from the rest of the field. Hermans finished around seven seconds behind in third place, with Maessen and Bachor rounding out the top-5. Bleekemolen grabbed sixth place, Norling seventh, de Groot ninth and Hummen tenth.

In the overall standings, Verberkt is six points ahead of Bachor, who collected 45 points with his three top-5 results. Hermans is third with 39 points. Maessen follows just one point behind Hermans in fourth. Bleekemolen finished the day in fifth overall thanks to his consistency. Hageman follows ahead of Norling in sixth. Hummen is eighth after the first three races of the new season, ahead of Pepels and Driessen.

The second race day of the V8 Oval Series at Raceway Venray traditionally takes place on Whit Monday, which falls on May 29 in 2023. On the large oval, the Late Model and ASCAR championship will once again provide US-style racing and many exciting high-speed duels. The first three rounds of the 2023 season give rise to expectations of an exciting title fight, as the performance level seems to be much closer together, also thanks to the new technical regulations.

André Wiegold