Ivan Bellarosa wins dramatic SPEED EuroSeries encounters

Le Mans Series feeder championship provides excitement at Silverstone

 Frantically close racing, heartbreak for some and two wins for Italian Ivan Bellarosa were the order of the day for this weekend’s Silverstone rounds of the SPEED EuroSeries. Once again performing on the same card as the Le Mans Series and proving to be an ideal final step to international endurance racing, the two 60 and 90 minute races provided green light-to-chequered flag thrills.

 The first race was one highlighted by pit stops and heartbreak. The hard charging Frenchman Frederic Makowiecki looked a potential winner as he sliced through the field, having had to start at the back following a fuel pump problem during qualifying. However, reluctance on the part of his Ligier to restart once former Grand Prix driver Philippe Alliot had taken over after half distance destroyed any chance of victory.

 Earlier in the race, Ivan had lost the lead to TFL Racing’s Daren Burke. Daren pulled out a reasonable lead to hand over to co-driver Sarah Reader. The Italians had chosen to race solo and in the second part of the contest relentlessly hounded Sarah down to retake the lead. Heartbreak followed for the lady when fuel pick up problems brought her to a halt with one corner to go.

 The 90-minute race was even more exciting even if the story was ultimately similar. The battle between Ivan, Daren and Fred was frenetic for lap after lap with, at times, a mere second between them. However, in diving for the lead Frank spun off the track. Freed from his attentions, Daren was then in a position to move ahead and build up a 16 second lead to hand over to Sarah. Again Ivan chased her down to take the lead. However, this time there were no last minute dramas for the TFL Juno and Sarah was able to finish second 12.5 seconds behind the winner.

 Finishing second and then third in the two races, the WFR pair of Warren Hughes and Jody Firth moved up to level points with long-term leader Dean Stirling at the top of the championship table. It left all to play for during the final two races at Estoril, Portugal on September 23-25.