Spa 2012 Race Report

April 16th, 2012 by alisonpepler.

Trophy Fens / Spa-Francorchamps
Moore reigns in Belgium

Following its impressive debut season, the 4two Cup series embarked on its 2012 season last weekend at the infamous Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. With a long winter break drawing to a close, initial fears that the unique series would fail to attract a healthy number of entrants were quickly abated as the 4two Cup rolled into the Ardenne with a combined field of over 40 cars ready to compete for top honours as part of the Fens Trophy.
With both British and Belgian organisers of the series joining forces with their Smart 450 (90bhp) and 451 (130bhp) machines, the racing was as competitive as any other one-make series in Europe. The compact cars provided exciting, close battles throughout the field and the estimated 5,000 spectators left the circuit raving about all they had seen and heard.
While the standard of drivers was high, the weekend belonged to one man – Britcar –sponsored driver David Moore (driving the #1 car), who dominated the weekend securing an unprecedented four wins out of four starts in the Smart451 category. The Englishman was the class of the field in the slippery conditions in Saturday’s opening race and continued his winning form into the following three races on Sunday while younger sister Sarah maintained the Moore in securing two 2nd place finishes in what ultimately proved to be a mixed weekend for the #6 Spacewise sponsored driver. Also impressing around the 4.35mile Grand Prix circuit, Jake Jackson in the First Containers #9 machine who registered two 2nd place finishes, two 3rd place finishes and rounded off his weekend with two fastest laps. David De Coster was the leading Belgian competitor – his best results being two 3rd place finishes while the #3 JC Motorhomes-sponsored car of James Palmer impressed alongside the Smarts4Uracing #2 car of Paul Bates.


Saturday morning brought dawned with the traditional Spa weather front – a mixture of mist, drizzle and gloomy conditions. Yet to the delight of the spectators, the racing failed to mirror the dire conditions and the opening race of the 2012 season was filled with plentiful racing throughout the field. The Indycar-style rolling start saw James Palmer take the lead from 4th on the grid going into the La Source hairpin but down the hill to Eau Rouge it was David Moore who lead the field while behind, fellow Englishman Jake Jackson spun the #9 car at over 100mph cresting the top of Radillon and dropping to 12th in the process. A little further round the track, Sarah Moor lost it entering the right hander after Stavelot before recovering without losing position. The slippery conditions brought with them copious amounts of close racing throughout the field but it was David Moor who took the chequered flag after 25minutes racing on the 6th lap, leading younger sister Sarah home by 20s with Jackson a further 31s behind in 3rd place and David Nash in the Smart7racing #7 car in 4th. Only Maiken Rasmussen and Michael Marek managed to stem the British onslaught – positing 5th and 6th place finishes respectively and hoping for a better run in the final three races on Sunday. 
In the Smart 450 category, Gregory was offered Cosse’s first victory over David Etienne and Cedric Albers.
Spring conditions greeted the drivers for the remaining three races on Sunday and while the weather had unquestionably altered from Saturday, the ultimate race pace in the second race of the year had not as David Moore swept to another victory (and recorded the fastest lap) ahead of Sarah Moore and Jake Jackson. After a dismal opening race the previous day, David De Coster was delighted with a 4th place finish ahead of the gallant Palmer, Damien Verleyen, Paul Bates and David Nash who were locked in a race-long battle for 5th. As for Maiken Rasmussen, she was the victim of engine misfire that resulted in her car going into safe mode without warning. In the 450 class, it was David Albers taking the honours for Cedric Etienne and Gregory Cosse, consoling himself with the fastest lap for the 450’s.
By late morning, the third race brought little change with Moore winning again and the younger Moor being hindered by problems, – Sarah’s car developing a fault in the turbo. This time however, the winner didn’t have an easy run to the flag with Jackson only finishing just over a second behind the #1 car and setting the fastest lap in the process. De Coster ran out a fine 3rd ahead of the chasing pack lead by Rasmussen, Palmer, Verleyen, Bates and Nash while in the 450 class, Cedric claimed a second win.


The final race of the day promised to be explosive, and the spectators were not to be disappointed. At the green flag it was David Moore, Sarah Moore and Jake Jackson who lead the field into La Source – with Jackson battling between the two Moore’s cars. Up Eau Rouge and into Radillion and suddenly the back of Jacksons car stepped out at 105mph, the 451 seemingly destined to connect heavily with the tyre wall before the Englishman had displayed supreme skill in righting the car, dropping it down a couple of gears and heading off up to Le Combes and on his way to an eventual 2nd place finish. 
With oil all over the track – courtesy of an earlier Historic Touring Car race, the conditions were as bad or even worse (depending on which driver you spoke to) than they had been 24 hours earlier yet once again, through it all came David Moore in the #1 Britcar-sponsored machine to round his dominating start to the 2012 season. De Coster claimed third ahead of Rassmussen, Michel Marek and Paul Bates while Sarah Moore was the victim of mechanical woes.
After an eventful season-opener in front of a healthy crowd of 5,000, the series heads to the UK and Donnington Park on April 21st-22nd where the Belgians will try to beat their British rivals in their own back yard. Are we in for ‘Moore’ of the same in Derbyshire? Place your bets…

Comments

  1. lmp451 ( December 20, 2012 at 8:42 am )

    Exciting news, thank you brining such dynamic racing action to the smart fans of the world. I only wish I could have been there in person – I can’t wait to see what these teams achieve in 2013!