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During the 30th edition of the Hellendoorn Rally, Van Merksteijn Motorsport delivered a double stroke by finishing with both cars on the podium. Peter van Merksteijn jr. took victory in the event with the Citroën C4 WRC and Bas van Kamperdijk finished surprisingly second in group N with the Mitsubishi Evo IX.

Especially for the Hellendoorn Rally a C4 WRC was made available for Peter van Merksteijn by the team of Citroën Racing, the team with which he takes part in the World Rally Championship. It was a unique situation that a WRC car from the French brand was at the start of a Dutch rally event. For this rally Peter jr. drove with a new co-driver, Michiel Poel who would make his 20th start in Hellendoorn and won the event once before.

Peter jr. and Michiel started the rally very well by creating a big gap on the first stage which proved to be too big for the other drivers to close during the opening evening. During the second day the battle for the lead was between Peter jr. in last year’s Citroën C4 WRC and Dennis Kuipers with the latest Ford Fiesta WRC. Both drivers from the World Rally Championship were evenly matched and finished the special stages every time within seconds of each other. With a lead for Peter jr. of almost 15 seconds the two young drivers started the penultimate stage. Unfortunately Kuipers had to stop the fight at the end of this stage due to mechanical problems so Peter van Merksteijn jr. only had to drive to the finish of the final stage to claim his first victory in the Hellendoorn Rally.

The Hellendoorn Rally was for Bas van Kamperdijk and Tim Rietveld only their second event this year. After finishing last year 5th in group N their goal was to improve on their performance with a wink towards the podium. Thanks to a dedicated training session on gravel Bas had good hopes for his home rally despite a very strong entry list in his group.

Thanks to the right tyre choice Bas van Kamperdijk was able to set good times in the rain on Friday night and after 3 special stages even came back to the service as class leader. Saturday the weather condition was dry on the stages around Hellendoorn and Bas battled with the faster Evo X R$ of Van Deijne for the top spot on the podium. With a gap of only 6 seconds to the winner Bas van Kamperdijk was very satisfied with his second place on the podium of the Hellendoorn Rally.

“It has been a fantastic weekend for Van Merksteijn Motorsport. The Hellendoorn rally is an important rally to win and Peter jr. and Michiel achieved an outstanding result here” told Gerard Grouve, team manager of Van Merksteijn Motorsport. “Bas van Kamperdijk out performed himself by finishing in second position only 6 seconds adrift while having to compete with the R4 Evo. With only completed 35 kilometers of special stages this year prior to the Hellendoorn Rally it is an extraordinary performance.”

Final standing Hellendoorn Rally
1 Peter van Merksteijn jr. (Citroën) in 1:24:47,0
2 Bernhard Ten Brinke (Ford) at 1:15,4
3 Jeroen Swaanen (Subaru) at 1:30,5

7 Bas van Kamperdijk (Mitsubishi) at 8:48,0

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