In the Lotus Cup UK Simon Deacon took his Datum-Motorsport prepared 2-Eleven to an emotional victory at this year’s Lotus Festival, held once again on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.
The race took place in front of a crowd of Lotus owners and fans, and after demonstrations of Grand Prix-winning Lotus 49 and 91 cars, courtesy of Classic Team Lotus. Jamie Stanley led the initial laps before a brake problem sidelined his charge. Steve Train and Ken Savage’s 2-Elevens then took turns to lead but two safety car interventions just as the pitlane window opened kept the entire field on their toes.
Savage retained his position at the front of the field but was passed by a charging Ben Hetherington, who looked to have the race in his pocket until he slowed just a few laps later. This left Deacon, a delayed Rob Fenn and Train to challenge for the honours and the former seized his opportunity with minutes to go. Fenn claimed second on the final lap to add to his Open class win, with the Exige class taken by Matt Bartlett and James Knight.
An emotional Deacon said: “This race is dedicated to Anthony (Humphries of Datum Motorsport, who passed away days before the event), it was big shock to us all and the team rallied round, got everything together and this race is dedicated to him and his family, girlfriend and all the supporters that we’ve had.”
The Production class was led by Adam Gore from title leader Andy Napier and Craig Denman but after the pitstops the latter led Stuart Plotnek and Dan Plant and they finished in that order. With a pitstop penalty for Napier the points chase has closed up after Plotnek’s high score. Denman also took victory in the opening Elise Trophy race after chasing and passing Andrew Bentley. However Bentley took his revenge in the second contest, with Lugi Mazza and Adam Gore in close attendance. Straight after his win, Bentley took second place.
Jon Walker charged to a brace of victories as Lotus Cup Europe’s penultimate round played out to a crowd of Lotus owners and fans at the annual Lotus Festival.
With the Lotus Cup UK and Elise Trophy series also on the bill, along with Formula 1 demonstrations and a Lotus Cortina 50th anniversary race, several UK drivers also took part. This included Andrew Bentley, who starred in a Lotus Evora that started from the back of the grid in both contests.
However it was not enough to defeat Walker, who maintained a steady gap to the rest and was able to pull away at will. Christophe Lisandre starred in qualifying but was unable to resist the V6 cars of Greg Rasse and Nikolaj Ipsen. Meanwhile Jeremy Lourenco and John Rasse, driving Xavier Georges 2-Eleven for the weekend, both featured well in the opening encounter.
Bentley took a top ten finish in the opening encounter but it was race two that showed his mettle. Despite recovering from a broken wrist, he jumped straight out of his race-winning Elise Trophy car and into the Evora at the opposite end of the grid. In the top ten within a few minutes of the start, he was second by mid-distance and gave Walker cause to increase his pace.
The Production class battle was fought between pace-setter Thomas Dehaibe and Britain’s Charlotte Burridge. Dehaibe was the winner on the road in both races, but had passed under a yellow flag in the opening encounter, so Burridge took the spoils.
Photo captions (images courtesy of Derek Partridge)