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Found 5 results

  1. Bus stop fails to halt Lourenço’s double decker at Spa A spin at the Bus Stop chicane on the final lap of the second Lotus Cup Europe race at Spa-Francorchamps was the only blot on Jérémy Lourenço’s copybook this weekend (10-11 July). Whether or not it was down to exuberance, the reigning champion had reason to celebrate a perfect score at an event where many of his rivals lost ground in the title fight. The opening race was interrupted by several incidents, starting at La Source on lap one, which took potential winners Nikolaj Ipsen, Gregory Rasse and Philippe Loup out of contention. When Production category challenger David McInulty spun into the barriers at Eau Rouge whilst battling double classwinner John Rasse, the safety car was called into action. When the race was resumed, Jon Walker took second place from Xavier Georges, but before he could work on a strategy to take the lead, the safety car returned to the track. With Kees Versluys’ Elise having collected a spinning Jean Potier, the resultant clear-up meant that the race finished under yellow flags. Last corner spin aside, the second race was a much more straightforward affair for the leader, who had opened up a 30-second gap over eventual runner-up Thierry Verhiest. Georges recovered to third place after a slow start, whilst Nicolas Ferrer completed a double Open class victory just behind. Jean-Baptiste Loup also took a pair of class victories in the 2-Eleven category, the second after a race-long fight with Jon Packer, Christophe Lisandre, and Andrew Wright, the latter of whom was unable to complete the distance. Lourenço’s double makes him the most likely challenger to John Rasse, who has won every race in his class so far this season. The next round of Lotus Cup Europe will take place at Brands Hatch on 15/16 August.
  2. Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean were both forced to retire from today’s Belgian Grand Prix. Pastor was ordered to make an early retirement as a result of suspected exhaust failure, whilst Romain’s race was comprised due to damage on track. Though it wasn’t result the Lotus F1 Team was hoping for, Romain’s E22 had a strong race at Spa, delivering impressive pace on the medium compound tyres despite the loss of downforce. “The car was pretty good; the pace was much better than expected, which is encouraging. Unfortunately the race was compromised early on,” said Romain. First lap damage to Romain’s car forced a pit stop for a new front wing and new medium compound tyres, though it was damaged following his final pit-stop that caused the retirement. “Unfortunately, he picked up some damage after his final pit stop which made his car a real handful for him – he radioed in that the car was dangerous, so the only sensible thing to do was retire,” Trackside Operations Director, Alan Permane explained. Pastor displayed a positive outlook on the day as reflected of what could have been at Spa. “We were expecting a tough weekend – both here and Monza are challenging tracks for us – although the car seemed competitive and consistent today. “It might have been possible to fight with Sauber and Force India during the race.” Looking on the brighter side of life, Romain is optimistic for the following races. “We’re moving forward every weekend and learning a lot, though Monza is likely to be challenging too. Singapore should suit us a lot better.” It was always going to be a tough race at Spa-Francorchamps, but in true Enstone style, the team are undeterred by today’s result. “We will regroup between now and Monza of course, and do everything we can to improve further. We’ll also keep looking for that pot of good luck,” surmised Deputy Team Principle, Federico Gastaldi. Onward to Italy.
  3. #31 Kevin Weeda (USA) – Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) – James Rossiter (GBR) #32 Thomas Holzer (GER) – Dominik Kraihamer (AUT) – Jan Charouz (CZE) Race #32 Position 7 (LMP2) #31 Position 8 (LMP2) Lotus Praga LMP2 finished the 6 Hours of Spa with two cars at its second race with the new Lotus Praga T128 LMP2. Thomas Holzer, Dominik Kraihamer and Jan Charouz in car #32 ended up in seventh position in LMP2 class. Kevin Weeda, Vitantonio Liuzzi and James Rossiter in car #31 finished the race in eighth position. Both cars suffered alternator problems and had to return to the garage. Lotus fixed the problems successfully and afterwards, the cars were running until the end of the race. Without these issues, Lotus could have had a better result. Nevertheless, the team is pleased about today’s outcome and was able to collect a lot of important information for the next races. James Rossiter, Race Driver #31: “We are happy about the result and to finish the race with both cars. It was important to get a lot of mileage and to drive until the end. It was a big step forward and we will build on this result to get ready for the next races.” Dominik Kraihamer, Race Driver #32: “We finished the race with both cars and we are very happy about it. We improved the car during the weekend and collected a lot of information about the new Lotus Praga T128 LMP2. The team did an incredible job and I would like to thank all of them to make this possible.”
  4. #31 Kevin Weeda (USA) – Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) – James Rossiter (GBR) #32 Thomas Holzer (GER) – Dominik Kraihamer (AUT) – Jan Charouz (CZE) Race #32 Position 7 (LMP2) #31 Position 8 (LMP2) Lotus Praga LMP2 finished the 6 Hours of Spa with two cars at its second race with the new Lotus Praga T128 LMP2. Thomas Holzer, Dominik Kraihamer and Jan Charouz in car #32 ended up in seventh position in LMP2 class. Kevin Weeda, Vitantonio Liuzzi and James Rossiter in car #31 finished the race in eighth position. Both cars suffered alternator problems and had to return to the garage. Lotus fixed the problems successfully and afterwards, the cars were running until the end of the race. Without these issues, Lotus could have had a better result. Nevertheless, the team is pleased about today’s outcome and was able to collect a lot of important information for the next races. James Rossiter, Race Driver #31: “We are happy about the result and to finish the race with both cars. It was important to get a lot of mileage and to drive until the end. It was a big step forward and we will build on this result to get ready for the next races.” Dominik Kraihamer, Race Driver #32: “We finished the race with both cars and we are very happy about it. We improved the car during the weekend and collected a lot of information about the new Lotus Praga T128 LMP2. The team did an incredible job and I would like to thank all of them to make this possible.”
  5. 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.
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