Jon Walker powered the Exige V6 Cup to victory in its debut race on the Snetterton 300 circuit yesterday (7 April), as the 2013 Lotus Cup UK season got underway.
The Lotus Cup Europe pacesetter was unable to match polesitter and early leader Michael Lyons for outright speed, but timed his pitstop to perfection. Returning to a clear track, he was in position to pounce when Lyons handed the 340R over to owner David Harvey in the final half hour, before an alternator issue ended their challenge.
Jamie Stanley in the GWS Exige was next to attack, closing to within a second after a late race safety car period, but retired on the final lap with loss of drive. However he had done enough to take class honours. This left the overall runner-up position to be disputed between the 2-Elevens of Liz Halliday, Simon Deacon and Tom Chatterway. The trio ran in close company throughout the race, with the lead changing several times, until a final skirmish during which Chatterway spun several times into retirement. Halliday then held off Deacon to the flag, completing a strong performance.
Last year’s Production champion and KX Akademy driver Rob Boston returned to race with newcomer Adam Gore, but despite setting a scorching pace, the pair retired with engine failure. This left another tight battle that was eventually won by Andy Napier. The Open Class was taken by Steve Guglielmi and Jeff Mileham, in a 90-minute race of attrition that also accounted for Rob Fenn, just when he was in position to challenge for the overall victory.
On the previous day Luigi Mazza had returned to the Elise Trophy after a year’s sabbatical and immediately picked up where he left off, with a dominant win in race two. He picked off his opponents in the early corners of the 300 circuit to take the lead from eighth place on the reversed top ten grid, and pulled away from a fierce battle for second that was eventually taken by Martin Wills. However in the earlier encounter Mazza could only finish runner-up to new pacesetter Gore. Despite tripping up on an oil spillage, and losing the lead to Mazza at mid-distance, a well-judged pass at Murrays late on sealed the win. A delighted Matthias Radestock completed the podium in both races.
Images courtesy of snappyracers.com