2011 Supercup Belgian Grand Prix
|2011 Supercup season|
|Date||October 5th, 2011|
|Official name||2011 Supercup Belgian Grand Prix|
|Location|| Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps|
|Course|| Road Course |
4.352 mi / 7.004 km
|Distance||22 laps, 95.705 mi / 154.028 km|
|Driver||Bart De Vos||Malta Force GP|
|Driver||Bart De Vos||Malta Force GP|
|First||Jason Muscat||Globe Racing|
|Second||Ryan Walker||Nordsjoen Racing|
|Third||Georgios Davakos||Water Blue Racing|
The 2011 Supercup Belgian Grand Prix was the 18th race of the season and was won by Jason Muscat.
With the Supercup field heading to the magical Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium for Round 18 of the season, all eyes were on championship leader Bart De Vos, who was odds on favourite to take the win, and also secure the Supercup Driver's championship. The only man able to stop him, or at least delay De Vos's celebrations would be Pavel Loknovski for Triple-Double Racing, who'd need to try and beat De Vos to keep his title hopes alive.
This race would see three new faces on the grid, with Abdel Damghi taking over Supercup duties as well as Superleague for Nijo Racing, filling in for the absent David Jundt. Adam Rouse returned to the track for the first time in a while, and his first Supercup race this season, filling in for the absent Tommi Koivunen at HawkEye Racing, and finally Boyd Bryson at Woods Racing, taking the place of Gregg Lawson who is now solely concentrating on his Superleague duties with Red Archer.
Qualifying went pretty much as expected, with De Vos taking another pole position, 3 tenths ahead of his championship rival Loknovski. Jason Muscat for Globe Racing took 3rd, ahead of Lewis Redshaw having to settle for 4th. The best of the rest was Ben Warren taking 5th on the grid, ahead of Sam Millar for Williamson Dynamics, and teammate Ryan Walker. Ric Scott took 8th, ahead of the surprising Wopke Hoekstra, and Damghi rounded out the top 10. Adam Rouse took 13th on the grid on his return to GPVWC, and Boyd Bryson took 16th. Phil Perkins and Erik Tveit were both moved to the back of the grid due to completing more laps than the allotted 12. Despite Damghi and Chris Williamson qualifying, both Nijo Racing cars were sadly unable to take to the start of the race.
At the front, the start of the race was fairly straightforward, with Muscat getting ahead of Loknovski, and Walker getting ahead of a few cars, easily making the best start of the front runners. Further down the order, a clash between Tom Parker and Roy Schroten meant lost wings for both cars. A dream start for Bart De Vos saw him pull out a 3 second gap after just one lap over 2nd placed Redshaw, who was fending off the advances from Muscat, Loknovski, Millar, Walker, Davakos and Warren! Lap 3, and going through Eau Rouge, a scary sideways moment for Loknovski dropped him down to 9th behind Rouse. Many people wondering how the Estonian impressively kept his car out of the wall, he was able to go on his way without any damage. Further on down the lap, Georgios Davakos impressive start to the race continued, moving up into 5th place past Ryan Walker with a cheeky pass through the Fagnes chicane, and showing great race pace in comparison to his mediocre qualifying performance. Another driver showing good race pace was Adam Rouse, close behind Warren who was running in 7th, whilst fending off the recovering Loknovski, who would find his way past Rouse and Warren fairly quickly. Walker was able to break free from Davakos a lap later, but a close battle between Davakos, Loknovski, Rouse, Warren, and now Ric Scott was set to ensue for many laps.
Loknovski's recovery took another blow on Lap 4 after missing his braking point trying to pass Davakos and Rouse at La Source, dropping back down to 8th behind Warren. 2 laps later, his miserable start continued, running onto the kerb at the final chicane, earning himself a stop-go penalty for cutting it during his recovery. Lap 8, and a good race for Sam Millar came to an end after a huge crash coming through Eau Rouge, retiring from 4th place, elevating Walker into that position, Davakos 5th, Rouse 6th, and Warren 7th. Despite the battles between the aforementioned drivers, further up the field, the top 3 were fairly spread out, with Bart De Vos on his merry way, getting close to securing the championship with every lap passing. His championship possibilities were looking even more realistic with his only possible rival Loknovski having a disastrous race. Lap 9, and Lewis Redshaw lost his rear wing, requiring extensive repairs, dropping him out of 2nd place, moving Muscat up to 2nd, and Walker into 3rd. The Malta Force driver rejoined way down the field.
With all the scheduled pitstops completed, De Vos maintained a comfortable lead over Muscat, who despite somehow losing his front wing whilst entering the pits, was able to pull out more of a gap over Walker who had a slow pitstop. Davakos stayed in 4th, but with Ben Warren not far behind up to 5th. The Nordsjoen driver pitted earlier than his rivals to get some clear air, and was able to leapfrog both Scott and Rouse. However, a small error from Warren saw his hard work come undone, and allow the two driver's behind him to find their way through. Lap 14, and absolute horror struck for race leader De Vos, forced into retirement due to technical issues. With Loknovski now running in the points again, and closing down his rivals, it now looked like the title battle would be heading to the next race at Zandvoort after all. Muscat inherited the Belgian's lead, with a 12 second gap between himself and Walker. Davakos now found himself in an excellent 3rd place, with Rouse 4th, Scott 5th, Loknovski 6th, and Warren recovering back in 7th. Loknovski did indeed catch and pass both Rouse and Scott in the latter stages of the race, moving himself up into 4th place, an unbelievable result considering his stop-go penalty earlier, and a mistake filled beginning to the race. With 3 laps to go, 4th placed Rouse made an error on the exit of the corner before Pouhon, losing his front wing. The HawkEye driver opted to not pit for repairs and to stay out on track despite the damage, and had to settle for a disappointing 8th place finish.
With 22 laps completed, Maltese driver Jason Muscat took the chequered flag for his second race win of the season, 8 seconds ahead of an impressive Ryan Walker in 2nd. Georgios Davakos looks to be rounding into some form again after a difficult previous few races, taking an excellent podium in 3rd place. Loknovski somehow kept his championship hopes alive taking 4th place, ahead of Warren taking another good 5th place after getting ahead of Ric Scott with a few laps to go, and would have to settle for 6th place. Lewis Redshaw recovered to 7th place after requiring a lot of repairs to his car earlier in the race. Rouse limped home in 8th, ahead of Christoph Lichtenstein for CP Lotus, and Gavin Thomas taking the final point in 10th place.
With De Vos retiring, and Loknovski taking 4th place, the Driver's championship battle did indeed go on, with Loknovski cutting De Vos' lead to 26 points. With only 2 more races remaining though, Loknovski's task looked a tough one, and despite his technical issues at Spa, De Vos was still the odds on favourite to seal up the championship in Zandvoort the following week. With Jundt absent, Redshaw was able to move 4 points ahead of him and into 3rd place. Muscat's win saw him climb into 5th in the standings, pushing Lawson down to 6th. Davakos held onto 7th, but was just 2 points ahead of Walker in 8th, and was now level on points with Tom Parker, who had a very difficult evening at Spa. Liam Hatchell still held onto 10th despite not racing for sometime, but had the likes of Williamson, Millar and Warren looking to take that top 10 spot. With Malta Force already the constructors champions, the main focus for the rest of the teams was to maximise their potential in the last few races. With the unfortunate absence of Nijo Racing, and with Walker and Warren finishing 2nd and 5th respectively, Nordsjoen Racing now had a 38 point gap between themselves and their green liveried rivals. Loknovski's 4th place finish saw Triple-Double Racing now just 3 points behind Nijo, and had a realistic shot at 3rd place in the Constructors. The battle for 5th place was an extremely close one, with Woods Racing just one point ahead of Water Blue Racing and Synergetic Motorsport. HawkEye Racing recorded their first points of the season, with Rouse finishing in 8th.
|1||30||Jason Muscat||Globe Racing||22||42:41.894||3||1||01:53.757||15|
|2||10||Ryan Walker||Nordsjoen Racing||22||+8.208s||7||1||01:53.971||12|
|3||26||Georgios Davakos||Water Blue Racing||22||+16.721s||11||1||01:54.622||10|
|4||19||Pavel Loknovski||Triple-Double Racing||22||+18.501s||2||2||01:53.078||8|
|5||9||Ben Warren||Nordsjoen Racing||22||+25.148s||5||1||01:54.915||6|
|6||2||Ric Scott||Draig Racing||22||+25.714s||8||1||01:54.338||5|
|7||15||Lewis Redshaw||Malta Force GP||22||+40.155s||4||1||01:53.559||4|
|8||35||Adam Rouse||Hawkeye Racing||22||+46.898s||13||1||01:54.633||3|
|9||21||Christoph Lichtenstein||CP Lotus||22||+1:00.631||15||1||01:56.096||2|
|10||8||Gavin Thomas||Red 5 Racing||22||+1:06.090||12||1||01:56.554||1|
|11||34||Viesturs Priede||Hawkeye Racing||22||+1:11.810||18||1||01:56.467||0|
|12||16||Boyd Bryson||Woods Racing||22||+1:20.914||16||1||01:56.718||0|
|13||36||Roy Schroten||Racing Team Schroten||21||+1 Lap||17||2||01:59.888||0|
|Ret||24||Teemu Toikka||PB Racing||18||DNF||23||2||01:57.105||0|
|Ret||14||Bart De Vos||Malta Force GP||14||DNF||1||1||01:52.437||0|
|Ret||27||Erik Tveit||Water Blue Racing||9||DNF||25||1||01:55.02||0|
|Ret||5||Sam Millar||Williamson Dynamics||7||DNF||6||0||01:54.218||0|
|Ret||19||Andrejs Pestovs||Triple-Double Racing||5||DNF||14||0||01:56.558||0|
|Ret||37||Mike Schroten||Racing Team Schroten||3||DNF||20||0||02:05.566||0|
|Ret||28||Tom Parker||Kernow Sport||2||DNF||21||0||01:59.164||0|
|Ret||29||Wopke Hoekstra||Kernow Sport||2||DNF||9||2||02:14.570||0|
|Ret||0||Phil Perkins||Draig Racing||1||DNF||24||1||02:46.269||0|
|Ret||7||Ben Morgan||Red 5 Racing||0||DNF||22||0||-||0|
|-||4||Abdel Damghi||Nijo Racing||0||DNS||10||0||-||0|
|-||3||Chris Williamson||Nijo Racing||0||DNS||19||0||-||0|
Standings after the Race
2011 Supercup Spanish Grand Prix
|2011 Supercup Belgian Grand Prix
2011 Supercup Dutch Grand Prix