Team Bleekemolen has completed their first pre-season testing of 2023 after Sebastiaan Bleekemolen, Melvin de Groot and Michael Bleekemolen take on the twists and turns of Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.
Team Bleekemolen has completed their first pre-season testing session of the year when the team’s No. 69 Ford Mustang and No. 72 Chevrolet Camaro hit the track at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben earlier this week.
The test sessions saw the two Team Bleekemolen cars receive their first 2023 running, primarily in the hands of Sebastiaan Bleekemolen and Melvin de Groot, who had announced that they will be staying in the No. 69 team for the 2023 season on 11 April.
Optimism is running high at Team Bleekemolen following the team’s success in 2022, a season that saw the team finish fourth in the Teams Championship and Sebastiaan Bleekemolen visited the Victory Lane for the first time at Most.
“Last year we made strides race after race,” said Sebastiaan in Team Bleekemolen’s official release. “The cooperation between our engineer Wolfram Lethert, Melvin and I proved to be a strong combination.”
The Oschersleben test itself has managed to keep up with the team’s expectation, with Sebastiaan noting that the results have been satisfying.
“The speed is there,” said Sebastiaan on the test’s results. “Of course you want to compete for the championship, but that will be quite a challenge.”
“We have not driven the EuroNASCAR cars for six months, so then it is good to make some mileage again. EuroNASCAR is a very competitive series, but the goal is to compete in the top five every race.”
For Melvin de Groot, Oschersleben is a track that historically has not been kind to him. De Groot crashed heavily during a Renault Clio Cup Central Europe race at Oschersleben in 2018 and ever since then, he has not driven at the track up until the recent testing session.
“I would never actually drive on this circuit again,” admits de Groot, indicating a possibility that he may skip Oschersleben and use his two ‘joker’ rounds there. “Normally I’m not so emotional, but when I was back on the track, everything came back. But it was still good to drive the car again.”
Despite this, the defending Legend Trophy champion is feeling optimistic on his prospects for the 2023 season as he aims to achieve bigger things in his second season as a full-time competitor in EuroNASCAR 2.
“The goal is to become Legend champion again, but I want more,” claims de Groot. “Last year I was often in the top five in the EuroNASCAR 2 and you want to be right there again in the second year.”
“Now some circuits are no longer new to me and I know the car better. In addition, the car has become stronger. Our engineer was surprised last year that Sebastiaan and I gave the same feedback every time. That made it easier for him to decide which way to go.”
Also present at the track is Michael Bleekemolen, who is making his first laps in any kind of race car after his skiing accident. The 73-year old is set to be the oldest driver in the grid and will continue to keep his plans of racing in EuroNASCAR despite his recent hospitalization.
“I’m doing better and better,” said Michael in Team Bleekemolen’s release. “In 1.5 years I’ve been through a lot, but everything is starting to work again now.”
“Still, I can’t resist riding again. The goal is to perform well and finish high in the Legend Trophy classification. Above all, I hope we will be spared from the bad luck this year.”
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