Bellarosa Bounds Ahead In Sunoco Daytona Challenge

Ivan Bellarosa maintains his position at the top of the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge standings after another points haul at the SPEED EuroSeries second round in Spa, whilst Javier Morcillo is on the charge and maintaining his consistency in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship.

The second round of the SPEED EuroSeries took place under changeable weather providing tricky track conditions. In qualifying Italian Ivan Bellarosa stormed ahead and was 1.9 seconds quicker around the legendary Spa Francorchamps track than his nearest rivals and picked up another pole position and the extra 20 points on offer towards the Sunoco Daytona Challenge.

Race 1 was lucky enough to start in dry conditions and at the rolling start Bellarosa was picked off, by then second placed in the Challenge standings, Darren Burke. Burke lead the pack but it wasn’t long before Bellarosa had re-established the lead and Burke dropped back into fourth.  

For the opening 10 laps Bellarosa tried to get away, building a lead over new to the series Mako and Valori. The challenge from Valori suffered a set-back on lap 10 when the car pulled into the pits and remained there for 2 laps. After the mandatory pit stops there was no stopping Bellarosa and he took the win and 100 points towards the Challenge – plus 20 points for posting the races fastest lap on lap 5 with an average speed of 181.6 kph.

For the second race the heavens opened and monsoon arrived returned at the track! The race got underway from a rolling start and saw Bellarosa get the inside line at the first corner however new comer to the series, Julian Schell, showed a great pace and was in front at the end of lap one.

The wet conditions claimed 2 victims – the Williams Juno of Darren Burke and Duncan Williams span off and damage stopped the car on lap 3. Tony Mastroberardino and his Wolf only complete 6 laps before problems with the engine also cut his race short.

By lap 5 Schell had a 2.7 second advantage over second and third place with Bellarosa struggling with the water down in fourth. This was all change after the mandatory pitstops and Makowiecki was lapping nearly 5 seconds quicker than the rest of the field and passed Valori for the lead on lap 17 and proceeded to draw away as the 60 minutes ran down to the chequered flag. Second place went to Line Racing and their new young duo of Frederio Vecci and Ronnie Valari. Anthony Gandon took his first car racing podium in third place which has promoted him to overall second in the Challenge standings.

Lars Viljoen was selected as the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend. He had not driven anything since the SPEED Spa event last year and despite having not met them before, turned up and got on with the job professionally with the Springbox team alongside Christophe Burrick. Lars made significant progress in his stints, gaining numerous places from the starting grid position (12th in race 1 and from pit lane in race 2 [Burrick starting race 2]) to finish 8th and 11th.

This weekend saw Snetterton play host to the third round of the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship. An impressive charge by Javier Morcillo in the Azteca/Strata 21 Mosler, after early-race drives by Paul White and Manuel Cintrano, gave him points for another win in the series and points towards the Sunoco Daytona Challenge.

Pete Storey was award the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend Trophy after a great drive in the Motionsport Ferrari – moving from mid-grid to the top of the leader board. Pete had been in line for a win until technical problems dropped him down into fourth place.

The next point scoring round is for racers in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship AT Brands Hatch on the 2nd of June