Verberkt takes overall win in Venray, Sokolovskiy celebrates first heat win

Verberkt takes overall win in Venray, Sokolovskiy celebrates first heat win
MSL-Fotografie / Marcus Liebsch

Ralph Verberkt narrowly takes the victory with two heat wins ahead of Jentsen Adriaenssens 

The second race day of the V8 Oval Series (V8OS) in the 2021 calendar year was on the agenda on 25th July. In summerly temperatures, the numerous spectators were treated to three exciting races in the Dutch championship.

With two heat wins and a fifth place, Ralph Verberkt (229 points) snatched the day’s victory ahead of Jentsen Adriaenssens (224 points) and Jos Kuypers (195 points). Fourth and fifth place went to Jeroen van Eerd and Colin White with 187 and 185 points respectively.

For Philipp Bachor from Germany, however, the race day was disappointing. The 23-year-old initially collected good championship points with a fifth and sixth place finish. However, Bachor’s car suffered engine damage after race 2, so the young German had to contest the final race in the spare team car. 

According to V8OS regulations, however, all heats must be contested in the same vehicle. Bachor was therefore excluded from the third heat and did not finish higher than ninth in the overall standings.

Heat 1: Sokolovskiy celebrates acclaimed premiere victory

Credits: MSL-Fotografie / Marcus Liebsch

The first heat of the race day was dominated by EuroNASCAR driver Yevgen Sokolovskiy. The Germany-based Ukrainian from Dusseldorf celebrated his first career V8OS win, something he has been steadily working towards since his debut in 2018. 

Sokolovskiy got off to a good start and took the lead early on, which he extended lap after lap. However, shortly before the end of the race, the lead he had built up was wiped out by a caution. Nonetheless, the 42-year-old held his ground after the restart and won Heat 1 ahead of Adriaenssens and White.

Local hero Barry Maessen retired in the early stages with damage to the rear axle. The damage also prevented Maessen’s further participation in the race day. 

Especially devastating, as the Dutchman had set a new track record (18.948s) in free practice on Sunday morning.

Heat 2: Verberkt wins by a narrow margin

In the second heat of the day, Sokolovskiy again started with a strong pace and took the lead. But unlike the first heat, Verberkt, Adriaenssens and van Eerd could not be shaken off.

Towards the halfway point of the race, Verberkt finally took the lead from Sokolovskiy. In the three-way battle with van Eerd and Adriaenssens, a small mistake by Sokolovskiy finally caused his number 48 to slip through to eighth place at the finish.

Verberkt did not allow himself to be deprived of the victory despite the attacks of his pursuers. Second and third place went to van Eerd and Adriaenssens in a spectacular photo finish.

Feature: Verberkt leaves nothing to chance 

In the final heat, which was started according to the daily ranking so far, Verberkt dominated the action at ease. Starting from second place, the Dutchman left his rival Adriaenssens 3.3 seconds behind him at the finish and thus also secured the day’s victory.

Van Eerd again made the podium with third place, but narrowly missed out on the day’s podium against teammate Kuypers. The latter was Mr Consistency on 25th July, finishing fourth in all three heats. Kuypers was rewarded with third place in the day’s overall standings.

Verberkt wins offset classification, Adriaenssens victorious in Ascar classification

Credits: MSL-Fotografie / Marcus Liebsch

In addition to the day’s overall classification, Verberkt also won the classification of the offset cars. Second and third place went to van Eerd and Kuypers.

The Ascar classification was won by Adriaenssens, champion of the 2019 season. Completing the top three were White and Job Rutten.

The next race day of the V8 Oval Series is scheduled for 15th August at Raceway Venray. A double day of racing was supposed to have taken place as part of the Stockcar World Cup. However, current Covid restrictions do not allow a multi-day event to be held at Raceway Venray.

Chris Liemann