Brilliant Nativi takes first win of season in Assen

24 April 2024

Antoine Nativi (Racing Nativi Team) won the first Northern Talent Cup race of the weekend in Assen, his maiden victory in the category. The Frenchman was fastest ahead of polesitter Thias Wenzel (Kiefer Racing) and local hero Jurrien van Crugten (BB64 Academy) in the wet race interrupted by a red flag.

The NTC grid were all on wet tyres, but without Kyano Schoo (KS-Racing) and Delano Greven (DG Motorsport), both Dutchmen having failed to meet the minimum qualifying time, so it was just 22 drivers who started the thirteen-lap race.

Fast as lightning off the line, Thias Wenzel opened a gap immediately ahead of teammate Binder (Kiefer Racing) and Kitzbichler (Racingteam Kitzbichler) behind. On lap 3, Anakin Zelenak (Mass Sports Racing by JRP Motorsport), having made up six positions, crashed out of third place. Rider OK. With seven laps to go, Van Crugten was up to second behind Wenzel, but with a three-second gap to the leader. Just as it looked like Van Crugten might make a push for the lead, Irmscher (Racingteam Irmscher) crashed out of eighth and the race was red-flagged. Rider OK.

On the restart of five laps, it was Wenzel and Binder with good starts off the line, with the Swiss taking the holeshot. The teammates battled it out until the German asserted his place at the front, though he couldn’t make a gap to the rest of the field. Van Crugten, who got a terrible start that saw him outside the top ten had risen through the field quickly and within a few laps was on the back wheel of the race leader.

On the last lap, a fierce four-rider battle raged behind between Nativi, Van Crugten, Phommara and Wenzel. In the final sector, Phommara went with an audacious move around the outside of Van Crugten and Nativi that almost saw him take the lead into the final chicane. It wasn’t to be though, as Nativi held his line and in a close finish took the chequered flag ahead of Van Crugten, Wenzel & Phommara. Van Crugten was adjudged to have exceeded the track limits on the last lap at Turn 17, following contact with Phommara (Phommara-Racing), so Wenzel was classified second and Van Crugten had to settle for third, and the final podium place.

Phommara, Kitzbichler and Binder completed the top six in this five-lap race. Local rider Tom Kuil (Zelda People Racing) finished 11th in the first race of the weekend.

To receive the latest Northern Talent Cup news