Jon Walker led almost every session and every lap of Lotus Cup Europe at Dijon-Prenois this weekend, (2/3 May), until reigning champion Jérémy Lourenço passed him with a handful of laps to go in the second race, making it honours even for the pair.
The opening encounter took part in increasingly wet conditions, and was shortened by two safety car interventions, with Nikolaj Ipsen’s Exige V6 first to succumb. Lourenço kept Walker honest at the restart, until Xavier George’s Exige V6 was tagged by the spinning Open Class Exige of Franck Laroche. With the rain showing no sign of abating, the race was halted with two minutes remaining.
A much drier second race saw a thrilling duel between the V6 Exiges of Walker and Lourenço, with the champion piling on the pressure throughout the contest. When the Englishman eased out a gap whilst lapping traffic, his French rival was quick to close in again, and when Walker ran wide at the final corner late in the race, Lourenço gained enough momentum to pass at the end of the straight.
Walker’s brother Nick completed the podium in the second race, heading Ipsen and a hugely entertaining battle between Britain’s Steve Williams and Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Loup, who had earlier braved the rain in his 2-Eleven to claim a well-deserved third place.
Britain’s David Harvey scored two Open class wins in his 340R, whilst John Rasse upheld family honours in the absence of brother Gregory to take a Production category double, which included a top ten finish in the opening race. With four straight victories, the Belgian now has a clear lead in the title race.
The next Lotus Cup Europe rounds will take place at Magny-Cours on 30/31 May.