Mela back on track
Defending champion Jean-Baptiste Mela (Autosport GP) returned to form in style at the second meeting of the Alpine Elf Europa Cup, this time held as part of the GT World Challenge, as he picked up two race wins at Magny-Cours.
Two pole positions, two fastest race laps and two clear wins. Reigning champion Jean-Baptiste Mela (Autosport GP), having been slightly off the pace at the first round in Nogaro, returned to form in authoritative manner at Magny-Cours. In the process, he confirmed that once again he will be a force to be reckoned with in the title race in this fourth edition of Alpine Elf Europa Cup. In race one, the Porto-Vecchio driver finished ahead of former driver-turned-broadcaster Bruce Jouanny (Chazel Technologie Course), the Top Gear France presenter making a one-off appearance in the series, and Louis Méric (Méric Compétition). Meanwhile, Laurent Hurgon (LSGroup Autosport GP) and Ugo De Wilde (Herrero Racing) – the leading drivers at the first meeting – lost out big style here, eliminated after clashing on the opening lap.
Race two saw Mela beat Hurgon and Lilou Wadoux (Patrick Roger Autosport GP) to the chequered flag, whilst Wilde found the going tough again, forced to retire after three laps due to a mechanical failure. In the Gentlemen drivers’ class, Stéphane Auriacombe (Herrero Racing) made it two out of two, having already taken the category win in the first race. “To be honest, I'm a bit lost for words after winning twice again at Magny-Cours,” commented a delighted Jean-Baptiste Mela at the finish. “This is a fantastic result. The car was exceptional and we managed to correct the things that weren't right in Nogaro. I had some doubts after the first round, but I feel better now, even though the season has only just started. I feel pretty confident heading to Spa-Francorchamps, but we’ll have to keep an eye on Ugo, who didn't score any points this weekend. He’ll be looking to bounce back on a track he knows inside out!” Indeed, the Alpine Elf Europa Cup competitors now head north to the Spa-Francorchamps race track for the third round of the 2021 season, held on 18-20 June.
Jean-Baptiste Mela’s clean sweep in central France fired him to the top of the drivers’ standings, ten points ahead of the very consistent Lilou Wadoux. Laurent Hurgon, and especially Ugo de Wilde, the top two at the first meeting in Nogaro, lost significant ground at Magny-Cours and find themselves down in third and fourth places respectively.