Two months after the A480’s victory in the 6 Hours of Monza and two weeks after the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, Alpine returns to the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza from 23 to 25 September for the first appearance of the Alpine Elf Europa Cup at the “Temple of Speed” since its revival in 2018.
More than 20 drivers will be on hand at the iconic Italian track, and several will be playing their cards close to their chests in the run-up to the season-finale at Circuit Paul Ricard (14-16 October).
With the titles still hanging in the balance in all three categories, the action promises to be magnificent in this new setting offered by the A-arrow brand.
The start to the back half of the Alpine Elf Europa Cup season a fortnight ago in Barcelona saw three drivers break away at the head of the field.
Simon Tirman (Autosport GP) was the only driver to score two podium results in Barcelona, which also saw him take control of the general classification.
The leader will have the opportunity to put the hammer down as he is one of the few contenders with prior experience at the Italian track, having scored a podium in Formula Renault Alps in 2013.
Despite this advantage, he will again have to be wary of his closest rival, Lucas Frayssinet (Chazel Technologie Course).
With two wins this season, the Frenchman will be looking to regain the psychological and numerical upper hand ahead of the season-finale, when the title and €40,000 in prize money for a move to GT4 will be at stake.
Victorious in Barcelona, Paul Cauhaupé (Patrick Roger Autosport GP) will try to repeat the feat to remain in contention for the overall and Junior category crowns.
Third, fourteen points behind Simon Tirman, the best rookie will count on Monza’s maiden appearance on the calendar to make up for his lack of experience, which he has already overcome brilliantly on other tracks.
Now Or Never For The Chase Pack
Behind this trio, five drivers must make up ground on the leaders to keep their title hopes alive.
Among them, Rodolphe Wallgren (Herrero Racing) and Louis Méric (Race Cars Consulting) will be counting on the absence of Edwin Traynard (Chazel Technologie Course) to lead the chase group.
Meanwhile, Thibaut Bossy (Herrero Racing) and Alexis Garcin (Herrero Racing) are eager to demonstrate how much they have improved while Laurent Hurgon’s (LSGroup Autosport GP) mission will be slightly different as he looks to build on his double podium finish on his return to Spain to deprive his teammates’ rivals of valuable points.
Mathematically out of the running for the crown, other contenders are determined to excel at Monza to give their rivals something to think over.
Gosia Rdest (Chazel Technologie Course) will aim for her first top-five of the season, but the Polish driver will have to deal with Louis Maurice (Code Racing Development), Tim Mérieux (Autosport GP) and Jules Gougeon (Race Cars Consulting), all ready to make a place for themselves in the top ten of the general classification. Further back, Margaux Verza (Patrick Roger Autosport GP) aims to do her best to narrow the gap to the front-runners.
All Titles Up For Grabs
Like the general classification and Junior category, the race for the title is also undecided in the Gentlemen class.
Although Anthony Fournier (Race Cars Consulting) scored good points in Barcelona by beating his closest rival Frédéric Roy (Chazel Technologie Course) twice, his lead is just nine points with 60 still up for grabs.
In this context where the slightest mistake could be costly, the two drivers must pay close attention to Laurent Richard (Herrero Racing), twice runner-up in Barcelona and ready to get back into the leaders’ draft.
Meanwhile, Belgium’s Philippe Bourgois (Chazel Technologie Course) looks to regain the success that has eluded him since Nogaro.
Pierre Macchi (Patrick Roger Autosport GP) and Jean-Paul Dominici (Chazel Technologie Course) hope to beat the odds by winning in Italy while Franc Rouxel (Herrero Racing) has nothing left to lose and will also try to upset the pecking order.
Lastly, one final competitor arrives in Italy with high hopes despite his ineligibility for points.
Only eight days after getting behind the wheel of an Alpine F1 car at Monza, Stéphane De Groodt will be back on the Italian track in his third weekend of the season with the A110 Cup n°110, and his ambitions have been revised upwards.
Held at the venue of the A110 Rally’s first international victory in the 2020 ACI Rally Monza and the A480’s success in the 2022 Monza 6 Hours, both races will be streamed live on the Alpine Elf Europa Cup’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.