With fortunes as mixed as the Ardennes weather, Mark Speller and Jon Walker were the overall victors at Spa-Francorchamps in Lotus Cup Europe on an important weekend for the marque.
Speller was subbing for an unwell Mark Gooday and dominated practice and qualifying in the wet before making the most of the rolling start to take a commanding lead after Walker retired with a failed engine sensor, possibly caused by the conditions. Brands Hatch and Magny-Cours sensation Romain Rautureau and Mark Fullalove completed the podium.
Speller endured a more torrid second race, fighting back after losing several places early on, only to have his engine cut-out at Eau Rouge. By the time he’d restarted, he was right at the back of the field. Before then, a Safety Car intervention had bunched everyone up and also provided Rautureau’s undoing as he overtook a little too soon and with Walker out front, Steve Williams and Christophe Lisandre took the runner-up places.
Both John and Gregory Rasse scored class wins as they continued their on-track rivalry but things were much easier for BJ Chong, claiming both Invitation class trophies. The Production class also counted as a round of the Elise Trophy and it was very much an open field as pole man Ken Savage lost out after a clash with Jez Braker in race one and retirements for Adam Bewsey and Matt Bartlett left Rob Austin the victor. Savage was more determined the next day and Bartlett and Austin followed him home.
Also joining in a bumper grid were competitors from Lotus Cup Italia and Maurizio Fortina and Matteo Castiglioni shared the spoils, with a third in class taken by ‘70s Formula One hero Arturo Merzario.
Photographs courtesy of Kevin Ritson