Yelmer finishes third in the Championship after disgraceful behavior of Marcus Winkelhock
Yelmer and Michael Bartels failed to secure the FIA GT1 World Championship at the circuit of Donington Park. In a straight fight with his main rival Marcus Winkelhock Yelmer was punted off the track, ending in a concrete wall at high speed.
After the qualification race nothing was lost for the Dutch/German pairing, although they had finished behind Marc Basseng and Marcus Winkelhock. The point deficit had increased to 3 points but with 25 on offer for the winner of the finale Championship Race. Between first and second 7 points were at stake, between second and third and third and fourth 3 points each. Yelmer’s teammate Michael Bartels took the start and stayed put on where he was, with both Mercedesses in sight. He came in early in the pit-stop window, to hand over the BMW Z4 to the driver from Ubbergen. One lap later Basseng came in with Marcus Winkelhock taking over the steering wheel. When the German rejoined the race Yelmer just exited the final corner with about 500 yards separating the two. At the end of that lap Yelmer was right on the tail of the SLS, with his tyres already on working temperature while the Mercedes tyres were still cold. It offered Yelmer a perfect opportunity to attack Winkelhock, which he did in the Redgate corner with a stunning move inside. The Vita4One BMW Z4 was door-to-door with the Mercedes with Yelmer on the racing line. Apparently Winkelhock realized that he could lose the championship at that point so he steered ruthlessly to the right, hitting the BMW near the left rear wheel, sending the car into a huge spin at over 110 m/h. Over the wet grass Yelmers brakeless car hit a concrete wall backwards. While Yelmer sat unconsciously in his car Winkelhock, who had spun himself too, realized that the job was done and the title was his and Basseng’s.
With track personal and medical assistance on the track and the rest of the field behind the safety-car the race director decided to red flag the race. It took a long time to extract Yelmer from his wrecked BMW after which they brought him to the circuit’s medical centre. There the doctor examined the unlucky Dutchman and concluded that his back was okay but that he had sustained a severe concussion. Later on Yelmer was taken to a nearby hospital for further examinations, such as a CT-scan.
Later that evening the stewards disqualified the German pairing while Yelmer and Bartels were qualified as ninth, giving them an additional 2 points. Only one short for the championship!
1. Makowiecki/Dusseldorp - McLaren MP4-12C 27 laps
2. Kox/Rosina - Lamborghini Gallardo at 1.091
3. Demoustier/Parente - McLaren MP4 at 1.682
4. Carroll/Vanthoor - Audi R8 at 2.185
5. Ide/Castellacci - Ferrari 458 GT3 at 3.172
6. Pastorelli/Jäger - Mercedes SLS at 4.529
7. Jarvis/Stippler - Audi R8 at 5.609
8. Salquarda/Cioci - Ferrari 458 at 6.887
9. Buurman/Bartels - BMW Z4 at 9 laps
1. Basseng/Winkelhock 145
2. Makowiecki/Dusseldorp 144
3. Buurman/Bartels 144
4. Laurens Vanthoor 122
5. Stépahe Ortelli 104
6. Pastorelli/Jäger 102