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Written by Joe Le Corre

The opening round of the ACC GT3 Series saw the championship head to Zolder after a two-season break. With everyone starting from zero it was all to play for in the opening round. How well you do at the start of this series can dictate how well you’ll do at the end.

The action up and down the grid was fast and frenetic, with nobody wanting to give an inch as they battled it out to claim those vital championship points. Coming out of this race without a scratch or dent on your car is an achievement in itself. However, as is the case with all races, there were a select few that were just a cut above the rest.

Jeroen Moerman

As far as first races go, Jeroen Moerman impressed everyone as he powered his way to a fourth-place finish. At a track where the Ferrari was always going to be on the back foot due to not being able to launch over the curbs at the first chicane, Moerman managed to hustle the prancing horse like none of the other Ferrari drivers.

A podium position could have been possible, but Jeroen lost out to Kieran Sharp in the mid stages of the race and was never able to claw the time back. Still, I don’t think he’d turn his nose up at a P4 in the opening round, at a track where it was the car that was holding him back.

Dan Sedgley

Sometimes you know a driver is going to be quick right out of the gates, even if they’re in a brand new car at a track that really doesn’t suit it. Dan Sedgley was exactly that driver. He showed the grid, and everyone watching, that the Lambo can still be quick at a track where hammering the curbs is the key to success.

It wasn’t just Dan’s pace that set him apart from the rest of the drivers around him. It was his strategy as well. Sedgley managed to gain a 6 second gap to Christopher Larson behind him during the pit stop phase, by timing it right so he wouldn’t be released into traffic. It’s that sort of racing brain that will see Sedgley get closer and closer to podium positions if he can keep it up.

Andrew Pike

You wouldn’t expect a race that ended with a P23 finishing position to be considered one of the great drives of a race. However, like a naff inspirational poster: It was the journey that mattered. This season, Pike has decided to go with the Jaguar XKR-S G3, probably because he doesn’t like himself very much or because he wanted a challenge. It’s probably the latter, come to think of it.

Anyway, I digress. Pike showed that as much as the Jaguar is an old, slightly ropey GT3, it can still be dragged up the leaderboards if you try hard enough. It’s a shame that his race ended in a crash that put Pike into his final position of P23. If this crash hadn’t happened Pike could have been on for a top 10 finish, which is not a bad showing for a car that isn’t even a GT3…technically.

So this choice isn’t based on the end result, instead what could’ve been.

Martin Legg

Legg made both me and Matt look like mugs (Note from Matt: It’s easily done to be fair!) by absolutely decimating both our picks for the Am class championship. I know it’s only the opening round, but if he can keep up the form that he had at Zolder, me and Matt will need to have a think about why we even bothered doing predictions! 

Legg kept it clean at the start, which isn’t very easy to do when starting in the mid-pack, and was consistent all the way to the finish and ended up with an Am class win. Lee Cushing was the first of the Am drivers, but it is very likely that he will be moved to the Pro class for round 2 onwards, so that means Legg gets the class win. He’ll be wanting more class wins as he produces a proper Am championship tilt.

Driver Of The Race

Writer’s Choice:

For me, the Driver Of The Race has to be Dan Sedgley. Throughout the entire race, he showed that he’s quick no matter what car you put him in. He played the situation extremely well when it came to the strategy and kept it consistent from start to finish. Seeing Sedgley power the Lambo through the tricky turns at Zolder was a pretty cool sight. Hopefully, we will see more of that as the season progresses.

Commentator’s Choice:

My performance of the round goes to Daniel Smith (awards for all the Dan’s!). Starting in 20th and finishing in 10th place, he kept himself out of trouble and focused on being solid and consistent throughout the race, avoiding any drama and the potential urge to push just a bit too hard which brings the mistakes. And for once, he’s not driving a Porsche, so it’s all the more impressive! Fingers crossed for another great drive from Dan for the next round at Suzuka.