Ahead of the grueling 24 hours of Spa Francorchamps the Blancpain Super Trofeo European Championship came to Belgium for the next two races of the 2013 season … and as usual the Belgian weather would be a force to be reckoned, with a combination of high temperatures, bright sunshine … and massive rainfall … welcome to Belgium.
At the practice sessions on Thursday it became obvious the drivers and cars in the 2013 Super Trofeo season are all very close when it comes to putting down a time on the track, this means the competition is fierce and the winner could be undecided until the last lap of the race itself … a very nice battle would be the result on Friday.
During the qualifying session in the morning temperature was high in combination with a wet track and actual rain during the 40 minutes stint, times were around 20 seconds slower compared to earlier ones set on a dry track … during the qualifying session the positions of the different drivers kept changing as better times were put down … still the first race of the Spa Francorchamps stint would see Zaugg and Amici taking the front row with Zucchi taking P3 … unfortunately one of the casualties of this typical Belgian weather was Cédric Leimer who saw his second place drop to a fifth spot for the actual race later on.
Race One at Spa Francorchamps could start in dry track conditions with Adrian Zaugg and Andrea Amici turning in at La Source ahead of the pack only to expand their lead up to 16 seconds in the first six laps. Initially holding third place in the race, Matteo Zucchi had to enter the pitlane after an accident at turn 8 … obligatory pit window did shook up the positions a bit, Cédric Leimer opted for an early stop and managed to move into third place, Zaugg’s team-mate held a 9.5 second lead over Andrea Amici initially, but Amici was able to close up to 6 seconds in the first lap after leaving the pitlane.
Amici was able to pass De Nora and take the lead, the latter was now feeling the pressure from Leonardo Geraci that was thundering through the cars from a 13th position right up to third place, taking down Leimer in the process … in the end Amici took first place, De Nora managed to hold on to his second position while Geraci took third … series leader Leimer still added 8 points to his total for taking fourth place … no podium perhaps but still very important points to keep him at the top of the Championship.
Fifth place overall in Race One would be the first place for the amateur drivers in the Super Trofeo Championship, and the battle was fierce for this position … during the final lap the drivers switched places continually and an accident was waiting to happen … but it didn’t and once the chequered flag came down Richard Chlad took first place in the amateur standings, Laurent Jenny took second and Flavio Pierloni managed to take the final spot on the podium.
Race two of the 2013 Super Trofeo Championship at Spa Francorchamps on July 27 was started behind the safety car … lots of lightning, thunder and pouring rain changed the conditions of the track only minutes before the start … it took two laps for the safety car to leave the track again and the race finally bursted into action with Amici, Zaugg and Geraci taking a healthy lead during the first laps of this wet race.
Because of the enormous spray due to a very wet track most drivers left a gap between the cars, still some felt quite at home in the rain, Andrea Palma racing for Imperiale didn’t seem to have a problem with water as he managed to go from a 9th position up to fifth in only a few laps after some very audacious maneuvers to overtake the competition.
Once again the pit window showed different strategies among the teams, Amici went into the pitlane early while Zaugg again stayed out on the track longer to create a lead before handing over to De Nora again who was able to stay in the lead … for a short time as Amici passed into the lead again by lap 10 only to keep ahead of the competition right until the end of Race two.
The rain kept pouring down at Spa Francorchamps and while Cédric Leimer tried his best to reach third place he unfortunately spun off the track in the last corner during the final lap … Leonardo Geraci passed in second position with Richard Chlad holding onto third position overall and winner of the amateur class … Leimer still took fourth place and increased his points in the championship to 92 … an 11 points lead over Andrea Amici (81 points).
Geraci’s amazing performance at Spa Francorchamps now puts his total at 74 points for overall 2013 Super Trofeo European Champion … a tie with Adrian Zaugg and Federica De Nora … with 30 points being awarded in the final round of the 2013 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo European season on the German based NürnburgRing at the end of September it is still possible for any of these five drivers to take the championship title …