Sint Maarten – 2011 Dutch Open Meeting Report

Due to long periods of rain in July and August, Acon had no other option but to cancel the Dutch Open scheduled for 13th August. The rerun of the meeting was planned two weeks later but as the weather hadn’t changed, the meeting had to be cancelled again. Postponed to 18th of September this time but again the Acon was not lucky and again they had to cancel the meeting!

Now time was running out as towards October the fields hardly dried out and really good weather in the weeks leading up to the meeting was needed. But this time really good weather in Europe saw days of 25 degrees and the fields suddenly started to dry up nicely and it was green lights for the Acon, and finally the Dutch Open was now going to run on 2nd of October!

Dutch F1 stock car driver Durk Greidanus 29. Photo Colin Casserley

Seventy three cars had gathered in the pits and a big crowd was enjoying the sun and were ready for an action packed meeting. As normal the drivers had to race 3 times each over 9 heats to score points for a place up the grid of the Dutch Open final.

Dutch F1 stock cars Sandor Mantjie 535 and Robert Braaksma 444 tangle. Photo Colin Casserley

Dutch F1 stock car driver Robert Braaksma 444 rolls. Photo Colin Casserley

The track was in perfect condition and the heats were action packed with several rollovers. Surprise act of the day was Rob Hink 46 with a car he had just debuted a couple of meetings ago but it had had several teething problems. Not this time as from his front row start position he stormed away never to be caught again! Rob repeated the same again in his other two heats which clearly gave him pole position for the big race.

Dutch F1 stock car driver Jack Tesselaar 440 comes to grief. Photo Colin Casserley

Dutch F1 stock car driver Willem Koopmans H37 tangles with Jack Tesselaar 440. Photo Colin Casserley

Other drivers were not so lucky and many drivers had failed to finish one of the 3 heats like superstars Durk Greidanus 29, Jesse de Bruyn 399 and Jac Tesselar 440. It was no surprise that 3 Ouwe Bijlsma ended on the front row again like he had done many years before. Other good performer and with a place on the front row was 76 Wierd Gietema. Wierd won a final at St Maarten this year so was a favourite for the title!

Dutch F1 stock car Ouwe Bijlsma 3 leads Jeroen Wekema 21 and Louw Wobbes 22. Photo Colin Casserley

The 2010 title winner 35 Fred Hink failed to qualify for the big race but got the chance to defend his title from the back. Fred had a good first heat with a second place but was denied the points as he failed on the scales.

the 2011 Dutch Open grid. Photo Colin Casserley

Thirty four cars had made it to the closed 3 abreast grid. Top points scorer from the heats Rob Hink went wide on the first bend and had to let the pack go past so it was 29 Durk Greidanus that made it straight to the front from his 3rd row start but 399 Jesse de Bruyn who had started just behind him followed suit and tapped Durk wide to go in the lead.

Dutch F1 stock car driver Job Hondred 540 gets beached as Martijn de Veij 97 races by. Photo Colin Casserley

From then it was complete chaos on the back straight but Jesse made his way through and Durk spun himself but after a nice 360 he was able to continue but now in 5th position. The yellows came out and it was now 399, 635, 3, 477, 29, 35. With 3 being a back marker it was clear that the biggest mover so far was 35 Fred Hink all the way from the last row!

Dutch F1 stock car driver Fred Hink 35 on a charge past Peter Ruig 55 and Age Koudenberg 94. Photo Colin Casserley

After the restart 635 Barry Stoop in his brand new Thijs Veld built car tried a move on the leader but it wasn’t enough and then he was shot hard into the pits bend by 477 Martijn Oudhuis. Martijn then reeled in Jesse and went past him and soon had quite a gap between him an his followers. Jesse kept his cool and kept making good laps and in the second half of the race he was slowly catching up with 477. Behind Jesse a big battle for second place developed with 29 and 35. Fred went round the outside in the bends to find some extra grip and it seemed to be working well!

Dutch F1 stock car drivers Martijn Oudhuis 477 and Jesse de Bruyn 399 do battle. Photo Colin Casserley

Jesse had made it to leader by now and gave him a small tap and went on the inside of Martijn but Martijn was having none of it and realised he only had one chance so he went for the big one on the pit bend on Jesse but the 21 year old kid managed to ride the hit well and when both cars went on to the home straight bad luck struck for the kid as he was not going forward anymore.

Dutch F1 stock car driver Martijn Oudhuis 477 on his way to victory. Photo Colin Casserley

Apparently with the big hit the car went out of gear and the gearbox had damaged so he was not able to get it going again so it ended his race. Oudhuis was back in the lead but the battling superstar duo of Greidanus and Hink was closing in. But Oudhuis kept his cool for the last few laps an won his first major title with Greidanus home in second and Hink in third. The other Hink, 46, had recovered to 6th and with that was still top points scorer of the day.

Top points scorer on the day, Rob Hink 46. Photo Colin Casserley

Sean Maan

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