A fortnight after the Barcelona round, the Alpine Elf Europa Cup was back in action at the iconic Monza circuit for a meeting where the pressure was on in the various title battles with the end of the season now in sight.
Race 1: Maiden Win For Garcin
Barcelona race winners Simon Tirman and Paul Cauhaupé (Patrick Roger Autosport GP) set the pace in free practice on Friday, but the conditions changed dramatically on Saturday as the rain began to fall.
In very wet conditions, Alexis Garcin caused a stir by edging out Lucas Frayssinet to score his maiden pole position.
Third on the grid, Louis Méric (Race Cars Consulting) made a perfect start to take the lead heading to turn one.
Alexis Garcin replied to stretch a duel allowing Lucas Frayssinet to catch up to the leaders, while Paul Cauhaupé spun at the exit of the Variante della Roggia.
Taking advantage of better visibility at the head of the field and the intense battle between Louis Méric and Lucas Frayssinet, Alexis Garcin built up a four-second lead.
Meanwhile, Louis Maurice (Code Racing Development) led the chase group after successively overtaking Laurent Hurgon (LSGroup), Simon Tirman and Rodolphe Wallgren (Herrero Racing).
In contrast, general classification leader Simon Tirman then fell behind Thibaut Bossy (Herrero Racing), Laurent Hurgon and Jules Gougeon (Race Cars Consulting).
In increasingly tricky conditions, the race was red-flagged after Stéphane De Groodt (Chazel Technologie Course) crashed exiting the Variante Ascari.
The final classification was determined from the running order at the end of lap ten, with Alexis Garcin scoring his first win ahead of Lucas Frayssinet and Louis Méric, ranked third despite being overtaken by Louis Maurice shortly before the race was halted.
Rodolphe Wallgren was fifth, followed by Thibaut Bossy, Laurent Hurgon, Jules Gougeon and Simon Tirman. Poland’s Gosia Rdest (Chazel Technologie Course) completed the top ten while Laurent Richard (Herrero Racing) overcame two spins to claim his maiden victory in the Gentlemen category ahead of Jean-Paul Dominici (Chazel Technologie Course) and Anthony Fournier (Race Cars Consulting).
RACE 2: Tirman Bounces Back
On Sunday, the sun returned to the “Temple of Speed”.
On a drying track where many competitors switched from Michelin rain tyres to slicks, Alexis Garcin snatched his second pole position of the weekend at the expense of Louis Méric.
Simon Tirman, Lucas Frayssinet and Louis Maurice completed the top five.
At the start, Lucas Frayssinet jumped into the lead ahead of Alexis Garcin while Simon Tirman got the better of Louis Méric a few corners later as Louis Maurice looked on.
The latter went on the offensive on lap three when he surprised Louis Méric at the first chicane, but the Race Cars Consulting driver replied instantly ahead of a race-long slipstreaming battle that included Thibaut Bossy and Paul Cauhaupé later on.
The three frontrunners took advantage to pull away while fighting hard for position.
Simon Tirman found the opening on Alexis Garcin on lap four before successfully attacking Lucas Frayssinet to take the lead on lap six.
The two title contenders continued their duel in the following laps, but Simon Tirman held on for the win. At the finish line, the leading trio was covered by just 77/100ths of a second.
Sixth on the grid and eighth at the end of the opening lap, Paul Cauhaupé put the metal to the pedal to finish fourth ahead of Louis Maurice.
Further back, Thibaut Bossy took advantage of the contact between Laurent Hurgon and Louis Méric to finish sixth.
Tim Mérieux, Gosia Rdest and Rodolphe Wallgren also benefited from the incident to gain a place and complete the top ten.
In the Gentlemen category, Laurent Richard sealed his double win by passing Anthony Fournier at the start before fending off his attacks and those of Philippe Bourgois (Chazel Technologie Course).
With two runner-up results at Monza, Lucas Frayssinet reclaims the Alpine Elf Europa Cup lead, five points ahead of Simon Tirman.
Paul Cauhaupé failed to score a podium finish for the first time at a meeting this year, but he remains mathematically in contention for the overall and Junior titles going into the season finale at Circuit Paul Ricard (France).
In the Gentlemen category, Anthony Fournier will arrive in the South of France with an opportunity to clinch the title in the first race, but Laurent Richard and Frédéric Roy (Chazel Technologie Course) can still steal the crown from him.
More than 25 Alpine A110 Cups are expected for the season finale at Le Castellet from 14-16 October.
- Lucas Frayssinet – 140 points
- Simon Tirman – 135 points
- Paul Cauhaupé – 109 points
- Rodolphe Wallgren – 71 points
- Louis Méric – 70 points