Official MINI Press Release: Putting in a perfect performance, Jeroen Bleekemolen (Aerdenhout/NL, Team ProSieben) rounded off his guest appearance in the MINI CHALLENGE being held this weekend as part of the MINI United Festival in Zandvoort (NL). After his win in yesterday’s race, the local Dutch hero and former DTM pro came out top in today’s heat too. “Being part of the MINI CHALLENGE has been a great experience. It was amazing fun,” said the victor. “To win today was enormously difficult. I had to fight forward five places,” Bleekemolen said – he had started in sixth place.
Alexander Burgstaller (Munich, MINI Germany) was one of those Bleekemolen overtook. The MINI CHALLENGE ambassador was happy enough with second place as he crossed the line, though. “My first podium position of the season – I hope to go on doing more of the same,” said Burgstaller, who won the MINI CHALLENGE in 2004.
Placed third was Maximilian Werndl (Thansau, BRAINFORCE Lechner Racing). “Third yesterday, third today – what more could you want? When I passed Joakim Mangs I focussed on keeping my position and no longer went for an all-out forward attack,” revealed the 19-year-old, whose tactics took him into the lead in the overall MINI CHALLENGE rankings.
Joakim Mangs (SÃƒÂ¶dertÃƒÂ¤lje/S, Schubert Motors), who had been leading the MINI CHALLENGE up to then, was forced to struggle with technical problems. “Unfortunately we don’t yet know what the problem was. I just noticed that from the second half of the race I could no longer get to top speed,” said the disappointed Swede. Mangs had started out in second position and had to make do with finishing 14th.
The fifth of a total of 15 scored heats of the MINI CHALLENGE season started half an hour late due to heavy rain just before the race was due to begin. When the 32 starters took up their positions, however, the track had largely dried off so all teams were able to fit their 210 bhp MINI Cooper S racing models with smooth slick tyres.
The MINI CHALLENGE 2007 is being held over a total of eight events. The next two heats will be run as part of a Formula 1 event. From July 20th to 22nd the club sport series will take place at the European Grand Prix on the NÃƒÂ¼rburgring.