mission of damage control at the Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic with two very strong
races from the back. An engine change forced the Dutch racing one driver to start the first race in
27th and last, but he still managed to finish 11th. In the second race, Langeveld started 13th and
fought his way up to fourth, in the process clocking the fastest lap of the race. This encouraging
result gave the Dutchman a heads up after his bad start to the weekend. Langeveld now lies third
in the standings, still within reach of championship leader Harald Proczyk.
After his strong start to the season at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Niels Langeveld and his
racing one team were eager for a good follow-up on the 4.2 km Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic.
With both Langeveld and the Audi RS3 LMS in good shape expectations were high.
During free practice, however, Langeveld noticed that the Audi seemed to run on three cylinders, having
a major impact on his lap times. It was hard to immediately find the cause and so during qualifying a
reset of the Audi had to be performed. This seemed to help as in his first run Langeveld drove third
fastest time. During his second run the right suspension broke, meaning that he was unable to improve
on his time. Having qualified in 13th, Langeveld was not allowed to move into second qualifying session
for the top 12 which with his broken suspension would not have been possible anyway.
Unfortunately, Langeveld’s suffering for the weekend was not done yet. After a thorough check of the
Audi engine with an endoscope his racing one team found out that the mass electrode was broken and
burned into one of the cylinders. This meant an engine change, resulting in Langeveld having to start the
first race from the 27th and last position.
Provoked, but not defeated, Langeveld was now into damage-limitation mode for the weekend, fighting
his way forward lap after lap but at the same time fully aware that he needed to be patient as the safety
car was deployed several times in succession, preventing Langeveld from moving up. But as soon as the
cars were released again, Langeveld continued his race of catching up on the leaders, moving up from
27th to a very respectable 11th position at the finish.
In the second race on Sunday, the number 14 Audi started in 13th. Again, Langeveld knew he had to be
patient in marching his way up to the head of the field. To make matters worse, however, was he
immediately tapped at the start, and noticed that his steering got skewed. This did not prevent him from
gaining many positions yet again. Passing opponents lap after lap he managed to climb up to an
incredible fourth position. Well on his way to the top three, though, his advance was thwarted from
behind by championship leader Harald Proczyk as in the closing stages of the race the Austrian saw a
gap that wasn’t there and tapped Langeveld on the right backside of the Audi. Using his incredible skills,
the racing one-driver managed to keep the Audi on track while the race director ordered Proczyk to hand
back his unlawfully gained position, but Langeveld had already managed to retake the spot himself.
Unfortunately, the gap to the top three had grown too large and the race was too short to catch up, but
Langeveld could be satisfied with fourth position.
"It was an emotionally tough weekend. After the problems in practice and qualifying, I managed to
minimize damage with these results. I am now third in the standings, with championship leader Proczyk
still in view. I wouldn’t have dared hope for that on Friday. It's great to be able to overtake for so many
positions during a race, but I hope to start the next races in June on the Red Bull Ring from the front of
the field again", says Langeveld with a laugh.