SRWC result from Spa

Fillipo Francioni and Salvatore Ronca were the surprise winners of the third round of the SportsRacing World Cup at the Belgian track of Spa Francorchamps, with their Lucchini SR2 beating the BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 333SP to the finish line by a margin of just two seconds.

SRWC result from Spa

The weather had been unpredictable all weekend, with heavy showers alternating with warm sunshine, and these typical Spa conditions were to play a significant part in the race of attrition that followed.

Starting in heavy rain, Didier de Radigues took an early lead in the Kremer Lola, pulling away from the field. However, the safety car was called out to clear a spun car, and he lost the 37 second advantage he had built up.

The steadily improving DAMS Cadillac, driven by Marc Goossens, was next to take the lead. However, his race ended in the barriers just minutes after Eric Bernard, in the other DAMS Cadillac, had finished in a similar style.

The Panoz also went off, spinning on oil and landing in the barriers next to the DAMS cars. The Kremer car regained the lead, but a second safety car period, followed by a lost wheel nut, saw the car slip down the field, while the #1 JB Giesse Ferrari 333SP moved into the top position.

Both David Terrien and Christian Pescatori drove well in the treacherous conditions, and as the track dried they looked certain of taking the win. But a differential problem slowed them down, and they finally crossed the line fifth.

While the SR1 cars struggled, the lighter SR2s showed their strengths, with the Italian Lucchini and Tampolli cars moving up into the top three. When Pescatori slowed, it was the #60 Lucchini that took the lead, chased by the BMS Ferrari, with the Kremer Lola in third.

A misjudgement of the exact length of the race meant that Angelo Zadra, in the Ferrari, left his attack too late, and the Lucchini took the chequered flag.

"It's fantastic for Lucchini," Francioni said afterwards. "They are a very small constructor, but the car was perfect today - engine, tyres, everything. It was very fast, and a perfect result for Ronca and me."

"We were very happy to finish the race in these conditions," Lilian Bryner said after taking second with Calderari and Zadra. "A typical Spa race," Calderari added.

The Kremer Lola finished third, on the same lap as the other two cars, after Christian Gläsel set a storming pace in the final laps, claiming fastest lap in the process. "I didn't realise I was so fast," he said afterwards. "The radio was down, and I didn't know what was going on. It was unfortunate - without the pace cars and our problems with the wheel nut, it could have been a good win for us."

Eleven cars were classified, with only three SR1s finishing the race. However, with their third place in the SR1 class, JB Giesse have extended their lead over R&M, who failed to start due to an engine problem.

The next round of the SRWC takes place in Daytona on June 29th/30th, in conjunction with the GrandAm series.

1 Ronca/Francioni, Lucchini Luchini SR2
2 Calderari/Bryner, BMS Ferrari 333SP
3 Gläsel/Vann/Radigues, Kremer Lola B98 Roush
4 Saccomanno/Tonetti Audisio Luchini 99
5 Pescatori/Terrien, JB Giesse Ferrari 333SP
6 Bruneau/Rostan, Bruneau Debora BMW
7 Owen/Smithson, Redman Br. Pilbeam MP84
8 Henderson/Merche, EBRT Pilbeam MP84
9 Peroni/Ligonnet, Tampolli Tampolli RS2
10 Fores/Harris, MarkBailey MBR 972 MK2
11 Blom/Aa, Nogueira Tampolli Tampolli RS2 46

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