Yelmer Buurman won a thrilling opening round of the Superleague Formula Nations Cup on home ground for the Netherlands at Assen.
Buurman triumphed after an amazing duel with the other Netherlands-liveried car of Robert Doornbos, who had taken the lead when long-time front man Tristan Gommendy (France/Bordeaux) was forced out with a broken throttle cable.
Buurman attacked Doornbos around the outside into the chicane at the far side of the circuit, forcing Doornbos to turn in too early. Doornbos was launched into the air, touching Buurman mid-flight, and damaging his front wing.
Once in front, Buurman drove away to a dominant win, which was remarkable given that he was only eighth on the opening lap. But his late-pit stop strategy vaulted him up the order.
"It was a nice battle with Doornbos, it's a shame we touched," said Buurman. "He was on the kerb and couldn't do a lot about it. I'm super happy! We had a problem in qualifying yesterday, but changed everything on the car, just in case."
Doornbos wasn't so pleased: "Yelmer left me no room so I had to jump in the air and bent the suspension. He destroyed my day, so it wasn't a very smart move and it's put me out."
Doornbos held second for a while, but another clash, this time with Frederic Vervisch (Luxembourg), broke his front wing completely. As this happened, Craig Dolby (England) who was charging back through the order after a disastrous qualifying and slow pitstop, opportunistically grabbed second.
"I knew it was going to be difficult," said Dolby. "We had a bad pit stop and I'd saved lots of push to pass for the end. Doornbos was slowing everyone down. It was a good couple of laps at the end and came up with second."
Vervisch finished third, ahead of Neel Jani (Belgium) who suffered a tardy pit stop. Earl Bamber momentarily grabbed second for New Zealand early on, but spun while attempting to pass Doornbos.