Gearbox troubles came between Romain Rautureau and a spectacular double at the Brands Hatch GP circuit, where Lotus Cup Europe supported Superleague Formula this weekend. The Frenchman, who also scored at Magny-Cours recently, started both races from pole position but a poor start in race one led to an over-optimistic move around the outside of Steve Williams at Paddock Hill after an early safety car intervention. Skipping through the gravel and rejoining well down the order, he then picked off every opponent before chasing after Williams, who was up to this point enjoying a healthy lead.
Lotus Cup Europe – Brands GP Superleague
The pair ran two abreast for much of the GP section of the circuit before Rautureau asserted his authority. However Williams was able to stay with the leader through traffic and pulled off a fine move at Paddock Hill on the final tour, only for Rautureau to repeat his earlier challenge and cross the line first.
Second time around it looked to be a walkover for Rautureau, especially with a rolling start to ease his passage. However within a few laps he was falling down the order and eventually retired from the race, leaving Williams to win as he pleased, his third victory in a fortnight after dominating the Elise Trophy WTCC support rounds. Christophe Lisandre and Simon Deacon also posted fine performances, the latter picking up a brace of third places.
The Exige class was once again hotly contested by the Rasse brothers. John held a useful gap on the first occasion but much faster qualifier Gregory got his revenge later as the pair tussled throughout the 20-minute encounter. They both finished well ahead of Olivier Aggery.
Production was a double victory for Marcus Jewell, who was nearly upstaged by newcomer Stuart Plotnek. Steve Quick got between the pair in race two, with James Proctor the other podium finisher in the earlier event. Honours in the Invitation class went to BJ Chong on both occasions.