Sprint Race Oldenzaal Grand Prix 2023
Welcome to the race report of the first sprint race of this season. Despite being called a sprint race, this race also offered the opportunity to earn 5 points. The two teams that started on pole position were the always cheerful and best-dressed team of Harambee, known as Ferradrie, and the impressive courreurs from Eurospet in Oldenzaal.
After filling up the engines with some high-octane fuel, the cars were ready to show us their F1-like pace as they headed to the opponents' circuit for the first time this season. Team boss Yuri set such a blistering pace that the pit box (read: canteen) wasn't even open yet for a cup of coffee.
After finally pouring in the last cans of engine oil, it was time to begin. Following the initial track walks, it quickly became evident that this track had the same layout as our home base: 18 by 9 meters with a net right in the middle of the long side. However, the personalized antennas were missing here, which motivated us even more to demonstrate who the real boss of this season is and who could become the Max Verstappen of volleyball.
Starting with the first set, it was clear that the Eurospet guys hadn't trained as much on their serves as Rivo Rijssen had. This made us hungry to set the fastest racing laps through power and fast play over the middle. However, it didn't work out, and Eurospet set the first fastest lap with a time of 25:20.
As they often say, a good example should be followed. With tactical changes from the first pit stop, the points engine finally started running smoothly, resulting in exactly the same lap time of 25:20. However, we weren't the only team making good use of the pit stops; the Eurospet drivers managed to bounce back. The last two laps of the sprint race were therefore quite exciting, with many overtakes. Despite a significant lead of 20:12 in the 4th sector, their engine eventually gave out, resulting in a time of 25:22 for the men from Oldenzaal. As you can guess, one fastest time compared to three fastest times is not enough to win the race. What we can win, however, are the highly esteemed drivers from Borculo. Next Saturday, of course, will be prime time and will also serve as a formation lap for the Samurein team.
Finally, I would like to conclude this report with thanks to all the Ferradrie drivers, but especially to our two tactical masters (playmakers) for playing on Wednesday, allowing the tacticians to teach our Eastern neighbors what "beer tanking" is at the Oktoberfest in Munich.