Both Lotus Cup UK and Lotus Cup Europe shared the support bill at the FIA European Truck Grand Prix round at Belgium’s Zolder circuit this weekend (22-23 September). A huge crowd watched the final rounds of the 2012 Cup Europe season, whilst the Cup UK title battle rolls on.
John Walker ended Gregory Rasse's current domination of Lotus Cup Europe, but only temporarily, as a wild second race from the Englishman saw him lose the lead twice. He was destined to watch Rasse take his fifth win of the season from the sidelines after crashing out, whilst a thrilling battle saw Jean-Baptiste Meusnier chase the Evora to the line with Xavier Georges in third.
Georges led much of the race but a safety car period gave Meusnier the chance to take the lead, which he promptly spun away on the exit of the first corner! It was the second time Georges had lost the lead that day, with Walker and Rasse taking first and second places in the earlier encounter.
Meanwhile Meusnier drove a superb Lotus Cup UK race, but had to give best in an hour-long battle to Rob Fenn's Motorsport Elise. The Frenchman then lost out to fellow Lotus Cup Europe regulars Laurent Feve and John Rasse, who had teamed up in the former's 2-Eleven for the event, but passed them at three-quarters distance. A pitstop penalty ended the duo's challenge for the podium, as Simon Deacon completed the top three. Steve Train took fourth to further aid his title challenge, whilst Rob Boston extended his lead in the Production table with another dominant performance, with Andy Napier and Stuart Plotnek taking second and third in class.
Kevin Ritson - Press Officer - LOTUS CUP UK
Evora racer Gregory Rasse (right) powered to two fine wins in the penultimate round of the Lotus Cup Europe season at Dijon this weekend (7-8 September). The Belgian overcame a slow start in race one to pick off his opponents, with pole position holder Xavier Georges holding on for second place in his 2-Eleven. Briton Jonathan Walker claimed the final podium position, whilst early leader Jean-Baptiste Meusnier took Exige Cup honours.
In an equally hard-fought second contest, Rasse overtook Georges early on, but the Frenchman was destined to be disqualified from the results for ignoring a drive-through penalty for jumping the start. With Walker taking second this time around, Georges’ team-mate Jeremy Lourenco completed the
podium, whilst John Rasse headed the Exige runners.
A blisteringly hot weekend at the former French and Swiss Grand Prix venue saw the Open Class wins claimed by Christophe Calley and Motitz Mannappel. Meanwhile a fierce Production battle yielded a brace of wins from Nigel Ayres.
Race 1 Start
Gregory Rasse used the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps circuit to break his Lotus Cup Europe duck, with a brace of victories in the V6-powered Evora, the first for a privateer entrant. The Belgian was challenged in both encounters, initially by a strong charge from Jean-Baptiste Meusnier in the first race. The Exige class winner overcame Christophe Lisandre’s 2-Eleven, Thierry Verhiest’s Evora, John Rasse’s Exige and Xavier George’s 2-Eleven in a close battle, proving the competitiveness of each class within the series.
The second encounter’s standing start gave Georges and Meusnier the chance to fight back but despite the V6’s heavier weight, Gregory was able to overcome both by the flag. Britons David Harvey and Craig Denman claimed the Open and Production class spoils respectively.
Xavier Georges took a brace of victories at Hockenheim, delivering on his promising performance earlier in the year at the Nürburging circuit in the same country.
The Frenchman was chased home in race one by the Exige of John Rasse and poleman Christophe Lisandre’s 2-Eleven. Meanwhile in the second encounter the winner’s main challenger was Gregory Rasse, the Evora runner enduring a tough time in the earlier contest. Lisandre took another podium place after getting the better of the Exige Cup leader.
David Harvey claimed the Open class wins, whilst Nigel Ayres prevailed over Matt Bartlett to take the Production spoils in both races.
"The second round of the 2012 Lotus Cup Europe season saw the drivers return to the Magny-Cours circuit in central France, home to the French Grand Prix for nearly 20 years. A fast track, with several technical corners, it would provide a challenging lap for the competitors, albeit one that many had driven on two previous occasions.
The Rasse brothers would be facing tough competition from Xavier Georges, the star of round one, whilst Jon Walker and Magny-Cours specialist Christophe Lisandre were also expected to be at the head of the field."
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Jon Walker (pictured right) was ready to continue his great Nürburgring form in Lotus Cup Europe last weekend but the Eiffel snow wasn’t the only spoiler, as 2-Eleven convert Xavier Georges took pole position as the drivers adapted well to the arctic conditions.
However Walker regrouped to take the race one win, despite a spin that had looked set to hand victory to Gregory Rasse’s Evora. Georges took third place and full advantage of Walker’s problems in race two, however fuel starvation problems on the final lap handed a great win to John Rasse’s Exige, who led his brother home, with Italian visitor Nechhi completing the podium.
Two close contests could also be found in the Production class, where Matt Bartlett and Nigel Ayres claimed the honours.
Lotus Cup Europe is a race series designed to offer Lotus owners the opportunity to experience some of the best race circuits in Europe with like-minded enthusiasts.
It’s aimed at both experienced racers as well as those wishing to compete for the first time.
To find out more about the Lotus Cup Europe series, entry, regulations, preparation, sponsorship, teams and contact
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