The Spa Francorchamps circuit was the backdrop for the final decisive round which would award the ALPS Championship title in Formula Renault 2.0. Three drivers were still in the running, of which two are alumni from the EUROFORMULA School, Paul Loup Chatin, the “EUROFORMULA VOLANT” 2010 and Yann Zimmer, and not least, Javier Tarancon.
Leading the championship on the hills and twists of the Ardennes, Paul Loup Chatin showed his form from the first free practice, but his two main rivals for the title were never far behind.
Despite a best time with his first set of new tyres, the “EUROFORMULA VOLANT”, Paul Loup Chatin, did not manage to pull it off in the second and finished the qualifiers in 5th place just behind Yann Zimmer but in front of Javier Tarancon. The two races of the weekend were definitely going to be exciting on more than one count!
The strategy for Saturday’s first race was simple. Paul Loup needed to stay ahead of Javier Tarancon and follow Yann Zimmer to the finish to consolidate his position. Unfortunately, he had to abandon the race with a flat tyre three laps from the finish and lose his 4th place. Yann Zimmer and Javier Tarancon finished respectively in 2nd and 6th place.The next days race was therefore going to be the decider for the title and despite a good 5th place, Paul Loup Chatin had to concede to Javier Tarancon and Yann Zimmer, and step up third on the podium in the ALPS Championship final.Paul Loup Chatin: “Losing a championship because of a flat tyre is really frustrating, especially when it’s a driver who collides with you. I was on track to win the championship but circumstances decided otherwise, particularly in the second race where I twisted my front wing on the very first bend which made steering right difficult. It’s part of the race. Regardless, I’d like to thank my team for their very good work once again.”
There was no disappointment for Laurent Fradon, the Director of the EUROFORMULA School, on the contrary: “To have two students on the final podium of the ALPS Championship is reason to celebrate for the whole school. I understand Paul Loup’s disappointment because the title was just within his grasp. To lose it in that last moment is very frustrating. It’s a tough experience which will certainly make him stronger. Yann’s second place is a great satisfaction, we have followed him all along the season and he has been producing the results, he has a great future in front of him, on a par with Paul Loup. Congratulations are due all round!”
On the eve of the final selections for the “EUROFORMULA VOLANT”, the students who will make it through to the final will certainly have a thought for the winner who precedes them. Paul Loup Chatin has shown them the way.