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Found 14 results

  1. Nearly 90 cars from across the continent contested the Lotus Cup races at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, with Elise Trophy, Lotus Cup UK, Lotus Cup Europe and Lotus Cup Eastern Europe all represented at the Belgian Grand Prix venue. A strong drive from Ken Savage earned him a Lotus Cup UK victory, heading Marcus Jewell home for a 2-Eleven one-two. Positter and early leader Fabio Randaccio was unable to complete the distance after succumbing to a fuel pump failure and with front row starter Rob Fenn falling back in the late stages due to a faulty sensor, Savage was best placed to take the spoils. Freddie Hetherington claimed the final podium position, heading the Exige class in his V6-powered machine, after passing reigning champion Simon Deacon and Open class winner Fenn after the pitstops. In the Production class, which included an Elise Trophy entry boosting the total grid to 44 cars, Adam Gore and Fulvio Mussi fought hard during the opening laps. The pair headed into Eau Rouge side-byside at one point, but Gore eventually asserted his authority and kept his car out of reach from his rival. An early pitstop helped catapult Stuart Ratcliffe and Anthony Dunn into third place after a penalty for Ryan Savage foiled his attempts to make it a double podium for the family. In Lotus Cup Europe, BTCC and Elise Trophy competitor Jack Goff took on the field and won the opening race, which also mustered a grid in excess of 40 cars, thanks to a contingent of Lotus Cup Eastern Europe drivers. Tyre problems for the V6 cars took both Greg Rasse and Jon Walker out of contention in the opener, but the Belgian driver was victorious in the second encounter after a battle with polesitter Nikolaj Ipsen. On this occasion both Goff and Fenn, who had elected to contest all three races, were forced out of the lead battle with issues. Denis van den Savel and Nicolas Ferrer took the Exige class victories, with second overall for the latter in the second encounter, whilst Jeremy Lorenco’s brace of 2-Eleven category wins boosts his title chances on a day when many of his main rivals hit trouble. Goff’s race two retirement handed David Harvey the Open category spoils. There was an entertaining pair of races for the Production runners, as reigning Lotus Cup Europe champion Thomas Dehaibe battled with Andrew Wright and Lotus Ladies’ Cup regular Adrienn Bende from Hungary. Dehaibe won the opener, but a drive-through for track limits was accidentally taken by Bende in the second, leaving Wright to take the spoils, whilst Dave Carr reached the podium on both occasions. Amongst the Lotus Cup Eastern Europe entry, European truck racer Benedek Major claimed the honours with 16th and 14th places in his Exige.
  2. Lotus Praga LMP2 is heading for Belgium for the second race of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. The venue for the 6 Hours of Spa is the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps located in the Belgian Ardennes. The track is 7,004 km in length and one of the longest and most demanding on the calendar. Almost every race driver counts the circuit among his favourite because of its challenging layout and the famous “Eau Rouge” curve. Lotus is confident that the team will show a good performance in Belgium. The event at Spa will serve as a rehearsal for the biggest race on the calendar, the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. Spa will be James Rossiter’s first race with the new Lotus Praga T128 LMP2. The Briton will drive alongside Kevin Weeda and Vitantonio Liuzzi in #31. The driver line up for #32 remains unchanged with Thomas Holzer, Dominik Kraihamer and Jan Charouz behind the wheel. The event at Spa will kick off with two practice sessions and qualifying on Friday, 03rd May. Race start is on Saturday, 04th May at 14:30 hours local time. James Rossiter, Race Driver #31: “I am really excited to be back in FIA WEC this weekend with Lotus and to race the new Lotus Praga T128 LMP2 for the first time. We have a lot of work still to do on our new car but the potential is there. I am really looking forward to the challenge in LMP2 class this year and can't wait to get on track.” Jan Charouz, Race Driver #32: “I am looking forward to the 6 Hours of Spa. The circuit is one of my favourite tracks, so I can’t wait to race there with the new Lotus Praga T128 LMP2. I hope the experience we gained with the car in Silverstone will move us forward, so that we can have strong results in the future.”
  3. New podium for James Calado who finished P3 today in the second race of the GP2 Series in Spa-Francorchamps. The british driver lost P2 in the last yards of the race. Esteban Gutierrez ended P13. The mexican was running in the top 8 when he has been pushed out by another driver while he was overtaking him. Next round in Monza next week !
  4. Conor Daly finished 3rd in today's GP3 Series race in SPa-Francorchamps ! Daniel Abt also brought home some points for Lotus GP as he ended 5th. Aaro Vainio had a more difficult sunday as he had to fight his way up after being pushed out of the track in the first lap. Despite a good race he couldn't come back in the top 10. The titles will be decided in Monza next week.
  5. Kimi Räikkönen took a strong third position in the Belgian Grand Prix to move him back into fourth position in the Drivers’ Championship after a warm, dry and action packed race at Spa-Francorchamps. Kimi is now just one point off third-placed Mark Webber, whilst the team remains in third in the Constructors’ Championship. Romain Grosjean had a short race, ending with contact heading into the first corner. He was later penalised by the Stewards and is suspended from the next race in Monza, Italy. The team will not appeal this decision and will communicate the name of Romain’s replacement as soon as possible. Both drivers started on scrubbed medium compound Pirelli tyres Kimi stopped on laps 11 and 28, both times for new hard compound tyres. Both stops were sub 3 seconds. Kimi Räikkönen, P3, E20-05 "I made a pretty okay start, similar to Jenson [button]’s and I overtook the Sauber. I saw a lot of action in the mirrors but luckily it missed me. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace today. My car wasn’t great all weekend and we couldn’t find a competitive setup. On new tyres it was okay, but we had to use a lot of downforce to prevent sliding. That meant we were very slow on the straight. You could see this in my battle with Michael [schumacher]. Each time I passed him he just went straight back past down the Kemmel straight. My only chance was to go for a gap at Eau Rouge. Luckily it paid off and I managed to stay ahead of him that time. We didn’t have the pace today and it wasn’t an easy race, so P3 was not too bad.” Romain Grosjean, DNF, E20-04 “When your life is all about racing, not being allowed to attend an event is probably one of the worst experiences you can go through. That said, I do respect the verdict of the Stewards. I got a good start - despite being disturbed by Pastor’s early launch, which I think was the case for everybody at the front - and was heading into the first corner when the rear of my car made contact with the front of Lewis [Hamilton]’s. I honestly thought I was ahead of him and there was enough room for both cars ; I didn’t deliberately try to squeeze him or anything like that. This first corner situation obviously isn’t what anyone would want to happen and thankfully no-one was hurt in the incident. I wish to apologise to the drivers who were involved and to their fans. I can only say that today is part of a process that will make me a better driver." Eric Boullier, Team Principal "It’s been a tough day for the team but we fully respect the Stewards’ decision. Romain won’t be driving at Monza but he still has our full support. We’ll announce the name of his replacement a bit later in the week. As far as the race is concerned, unfortunately we didn’t have the pace for Kimi to challenge Jenson [button] or Sebastian [Vettel]. We had to look closely at the strategy during the race to see if we should switch to one stop, but in the end a podium finish still brings us some good points. Of course, everyone talks about ‘the win’, and this is something we all want. We were not fast enough for it today, so we all need to keep working hard for this goal." James Allison, Technical Director “Kimi did a really good job to salvage third position today with a car which really wasn’t quick enough, contrary to all our expectations coming into the event. In actual fact, this has been one of our tougher weekends and we’re thankful that Kimi did his best to limit the damage to our Championship aspirations. Fortunately, Spa can be viewed as sufficiently distinct in its characteristics to mean that we’re not unduly worried about the car’s potential performance heading to the next races.” Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader “Getting a podium here is satisfying considering the challenge of the track, with nearly three quarters of the lap spent at full throttle. We introduced new units this weekend to maximise power on the straights and help overtaking. Wwe needed it today when Kimi made an awesome move to overtake Michal [schumacher]. It bodes well for Monza though where a similar emphasis is placed on outright top speed.”
  6. It’s another victory for Lotus GP in GP3 Series, Daniel Abt took the best out of the 4 laps of the race to win. He overtook two of his competitors in the same move at corners 5 and 6. The race has been stopped after the big crash of R. Cregan. Aaron Vainio and Conor Daly ended P6 and P7 so they will respectively start P3 and P2 in tomorrow’s race 2 which will start at 9h25.
  7. Daniel Abt will start from the front row, in second position, of the first race of the GP3 Series in Spa-Francorchamps. The german driver was en route for the pole position when he caught traffic in the last chicane. Conor Daly set the 5th fastest lap and will start just in front of teammate Aaro Vainio who couldn’t do better than 7th. The start of the race is scheduled at 17h20.
  8. 3rd, 4th and 6th were the positions of the Lotus GP drivers at the end of the practice session of this morning. The rain was falling all session long and it’s Daniel Abt who was the fastest of the team today. He was followed by Conor Daly while Aaro Vainio was 6th. The weather forecast should be better for the rest of the week-end. The qualifying session is scheduled tomorrow at 9h30.
  9. James Calado climbed on the second step of the podium during the first race of the GP2 Series today in Spa-Francorchamps. The race has been interrupted by the safety car first and then by the red flag following the huge crash of N. Melker. Esteban Gutierrez was penalized by his pit-stop just behing James Calado during the safety car period and then by a drive through or overtaking under a yellow flag. He ended 11th. The second race will start tomorrow at 10h35.
  10. It was a good day for Lotus GP in the GP2 Series today in Spa. Despite the heavy rain, the team produced a big effort to put one car on the front row and one one the second row. James Calado will start 2nd, having lost just one tenth to the pole position. Esteban Gutierrez will start 3rd and will be in good position to catch up big points for the championship. The race 1 will start at 15h40 tomorrow.
  11. Kimi Räikkönen will start from P3 on the grid with Romain Grosjean in P8 for tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Kimi qualified in fourth position but gains a place thanks to a penalty for Pastor Maldonado. Romain set the ninth fastest time but also gains a place courtesy of a penalty for Mark Webber. Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05. Q : P4, 1:48.205. FP3 : P2, 1:48.683 “It wasn’t the easiest of qualifying sessions. The car is okay but it doesn’t look like we have the speed that some others have and we were certainly not quick enough for pole today. The race is a different story. On the grid we’re in front of of the guys who are ahead of us in the championship so we’ll try to score more points than them.” Romain Grosjean, E20-04. Q : P9, 1.48.538 FP3 : P8 1:49.266 “That wasn’t my best qualifying ever and I struggled a little bit. I had traffic in Q1 and I didn’t feel as confident with the car as I would like. You can see how close it was in the top ten so I suffered from not having everything exactly as I wanted, especially on the softer compound. Missing yesterday’s practice because of the weather didn’t help either as any time in the car is always beneficial, especially for a long lap like Spa. I’m sure the car will be good in the race and we should have a good strategy.” Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director : “We can still do things from where we start.” How do you assess today’s qualifying performance ? “A little disappointing to be honest as we hoped for a bit more than that today. Kimi didn’t quite get a perfect lap and Romain wasn’t happy with the setup of his car. The car looks to have been unusually difficult today, with some inconsistency making it difficult to extract the best lap time. This is unexpected, as previously this season we’ve been able to find a good setup very rapidly when there has been limited running.” What can be achieved in the race ? “We’re looking forward to a strong race and there looks to be no weakness in the car or our race strategy. The race will be about tyre management as the loads on the tyres are very high here. If there are no strategic dramas we hope to bring home another good points haul.” How compromised were preparations after yesterday’s poor weather ? “We ran much less than normal, but it’s the same situation for everyone. We still have a good idea of what we are going to do in the race. This is our twelfth race of the season so we understand the tyres a lot more and we’re far better off than in the earlier races.” How do both tyre compounds perform here ? “We’re happy, with no dramas and no warm-up issues. We had a little graining with the soft tyre this morning and we preferred the harder tyre with high fuel loads. We’ll start with the medium compound and take it from there.”
  12. Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean took to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in wet conditions today for the first practice sessions ahead of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix. The cold and very wet conditions meant that the team only completed limited running in the morning, when both cars ran the team’s new aerodynamic device. No laps were completed by the team in the afternoon. Free Practice 2 Summary 0mins : It’s raining, a lot 5mins : Kimi gets into his car 17mins : Kimi gets out of his car 29mins : Romain thinks about putting his helmet on, but decides against it 45mins : At the halfway stage, it’s still raining 51mins : Will Buxton and Natalie Pinkham drop by to cheer us up 68mins : The team fire up Kimi’s engine to keep warm 73mins : Serious debate begins as to the best choice of biscuits with our tea 80mins : Romain’s side of the garage gets a bit chilly, so we fire up his motor too 90mins : An enthralling session of damp media members and biscuit banter concludes Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05 Free practice 1 : P23, 2:46.580, 9 laps Free practice 2 : No time set, no laps completed Kimi : “There’s not much to say about today. It was too wet to run and there was little point as the forecast is for better conditions over the next two days. I’m looking forward to driving the circuit in the dry. It’s a shame that we haven’t been able to evaluate our new developments as it would have been interesting to see how they perform here. Tomorrow is another day, let’s see what happens.” Romain Grosjean, E20-04 Free practice 1 : P21, 2:38.701, 9 laps Free practice 2 : No time set, no laps completed Romain : “It’s a big shame we couldn’t do much running today as it was so wet. I was really looking forward to trying the famous ‘Device’ for the first time, but I guess I’ll have to wait. The weather should be better tomorrow, so we’ll have a busy time getting two days of evaluation into one session and then going straight into qualifying. The E20 has been strong at every circuit so far this year, so I’m sure it will be pretty good around this track in any case.” James Allison, Technical Director : “The forecast for the next two days is for dry and warmer weather so running today was not very useful in terms of preparing for qualifying or the race. Today’s rain also prevented us from seeing how the ‘Device’ would perform in the expected race conditions. With discretion being the better part of valour we will conduct P3 tomorrow with a conventional aero package rather than attempting to squeeze Friday’s intended evaluation into the precious final practice session. On the plus side we learned today that the cars are working fine and we’re happy to end the day with no damage from running in these difficult conditions.”
  13. Introduction After two visits to Germany and a round in France, the fourth meeting of 2012 saw a move to Belgium and the majestic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Ardennes Forest. A popular destination in the series, the drivers’ favourite looked to favour the local contingent with John Rasse enjoying another strong season. However his brother Gregory has been improving in the Evora, whilst Christophe Lisandre and Xavier Georges head up the 2-Eleven contingent with UK Production frontrunner Ken Savage an intriguing prospect as he makes his class debut. Practice and Qualifying Georges led the field in the first session, run in the damp after overnight and morning rain. Jean-Baptiste Meusnier and John Rasse headed the Exiges, whilst Savage impressed first time out, just behind Lisandre and Greg Rasse. The Evora moved up to the top of the timesheet in qualifying, the V6 powering Greg Rasse onto pole for the first time. His margin was three-quarters of a second over practice pace-setter Georges, with Meusnier’s Exige making for a very open pair of races. Proving the advantage of a powerful engine on the long straights of Spa, Thierry Verhiest took an excellent fourth place from the Jack Goff/Phill Capstick Exige, leaving John Rasse just third in class. Lisandre took seventh place, heading a quintet of 2-Elevens, with Jeremy Lorenco, Guillaime Bouche, Ken Savage and Marcus Jewell behind. David Harvey took the Open pole in 18th place, two spots ahead of Production leader Craig Denman, who had Sven Petterson’s 2-Eleven between him and the rest, led by Markus Nikowitsch and Alain Corbiau. Race One The Evora’s V6 grunt looked likely to give Greg Rasse a good chance of making a clean getaway from the rolling start and sure enough, as the cars rounded La Source, he was clear. Only just, however, as the usual scrabble for grip at the hairpin meant that it was anyone’s guess as to the order in which the cars ran down the hill into Eau Rouge. As it turned out, Lisandre would prove to be the leader’s primary chaser, with Meusnier in third, from Georges, John Rasse and Thierry Verheist. However as the race wore on, the Evora runners would benefit from the extra power as the others fought to hold on. As Greg began to ease way from Lisandre, so Verheist would provide an irresistible challenge to his two nearest rivals. Meanwhile, whilst Lisandre drove hard to keep Greg in his sights, Meusnier drew closer to the 2-Eleven leader and began to make a real fight of the final podium positions. As the Evora gradually disappeared from view, Lisandre’s attention shifted from the car in front to that in his mirrors and although the minutes soon ticked away, it was not enough to keep the Exige behind and so, whilst the podium was shared between three classes, it was the 2-Eleven that lost out to the Evora and Exige. With a very similar battle behind settled in the order Verheist-J Rasse-Georges, it was a lonely Marcus Jewell that finished in seventh place, ahead of Denis van den Savel, Bouche and Jean-Pierre Genoud Prachex. Not faring so well after promising starts were Phill Capstick and Savage, the latter retiring with engine troubles. Whilst Harvey was unchallenged in the Open category, Denman also enjoyed a dominant performance, with Nikowitsch and Corbiau holding station to complete the Production class podium. Race Two The 2-Eleven and Exige’s lighter weight relative to the Evora helped Georges and Meusnier make a better start off the line in the second race and it was the former who led the field into La Source. However Meusnier was able to pass the 2-Eleven around the lap and crossed the line first into lap two. Behind the top three, Lisandre led a small group consisting of John Rasse, Lourenco and Goff. Soon enough, Greg was able to reassert himself into the lead, with Meusnier dropping to third. The leader’s brother felt similarly inspired and fought his way up into third, but just as he was poised to attack the leading two, his engine cried enough and the race was over by the mid-stage. Lourenco’s race didn’t last much longer, leaving Lisandre to fight off Verheist. However the focus was further ahead because Georges wasn’t letting Greg get away from him. Indeed, when they crossed the line after half an hour of racing, the gap between the two was barely two seconds. Meusnier had dropped off the pace towards the end but was still some way clear of Lisandre and Verheist, whilst Goff and Prachex were in close company at the flag. Bouche and van den Savel had also paired off during the proceedings, whilst Chatterway completed the top ten, heading a trio of runners that consisted of Jewell, Open class winner Harvey and Herbert Metzker. Craig Denman completed a perfect weekend to match Greg’s, and with the early retirement of Corbiau, Nikowitsch and Dave Carr took second and third places in the Production class. Conclusion Greg Rasse’s double represented the first privateer victory for the Evora, for whilst a V6-powered Lotus won here last year, it was very much a factory effort with Lotus Racing’s Gavan Kershaw at the wheel. It also came as the culmination of much work from the Belgian, who has been knocking on the door of a win for some time. That it should come at his home circuit is richly deserved. Meanwhile Georges and Meusnier continue to impress, whilst Lisandre and John Rasse remain as competitive as ever. Denman’s wild card entry for the weekend paid off handsomely but Nikowitsch was able to provide some strong competition from the regulars. Lotus Cup Europe takes a summer break and will return in two months at the Dijon-Prenois circuit in France, another popular venue that last time saw strong performances from both Rasse brothers.
  14. Marco Sorensen brought the Czech Lotus team its debut win in the World Series by Renault Formula 3.5 at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday. But the team’s joy was tempered by Richie Stanaway’s heavy crash in Sunday’s race. Marco Soresen managed to avoid any trouble at the start of Saturday’s race and the Dane was running third when a safety car period interrupted things. The Lotus driver capitalized on a tussle between leader Kevin Magnussen and Sam Bird on the approach to La Source, and snuck into the lead. He was able to pull away and scored his first win in the World Series by Renault with a solid two second gap over the rest of the field. By contrast, Richie Stanaway went through disappointment at Spa-Francorchamps. Not only did his qualifying go badly but during the warm-up lap he found the car’s pneumatic system was losing pressure. The Kiwi lost a lot of time in the pits and returned to the track only at the end of the race to collect some data and mileage. Marco Sorensen: “The team had prepared a great car and I was able to follow the leaders easily without pushing hard. I saw Bird’s attack on Magnussen and thought that both would go wide. I took my chance and got to the lead. I am very happy. The team did a great job and I am looking forward to tomorrow.” Richie Stanaway: “Four races, four technical problems. We are really unlucky this season. It had started already in the qualifying – I was coming to Les Combes where was lot of dirt on my second approach and I spun as if it was on ice. I did not set a time and during the warm-up lap I experienced a technical problem and had to pit immediately.” Rain hit Spa again before the start of the second race and the race director decided to start behind the Safety Car to avoid possible multiple crashes at the first corner. Both Lotus drivers kept their position when the real race started. There were many crashes and trips across the gravel. One of them occured on lap 9 when Stanaway crashed into the car in front of him and was launched up into the air. He landed heavily and unfortunately sustained fractures to his fourth and fifth vertebrae. The New Zealander is now seeing medical specialists in Paris. The race was stopped after Stanaway’s crash. Sorensen held 10th place after the restart and was ninth at the flag. However, Jake Rosenzweig and Lewis Williamson were penalised after the race as they had not done the mandatory pitstop and Sorensen moved up to seventh. Marco Sorensen now lies fourth in the driver championship while Richie Stanaway is 17th. Team Lotus is fifth among the teams. The whole Lotus family wishes Richie speedy recovery.
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