The penultimate event of the 2020 European Super Trofeo Championship was held at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit this weekend. Pro-Am leaders Andrzej Lewandowski and Karol Basz in the number 16 VSR Huracan were joined by Olli Kangas and Yuki Nemoto in the number 6 car.
LEWANDOWSKI AND BASZ CROWNED PRO-AM CHAMPIONS AS KANGAS AND NEMOTO LEAD HOME VSR 1-2
Oct 24, 2020
The ever-changeable weather conditions of the Ardennes saw the first free practice session take place on a wet but drying track and the sun come out for the second session. It was wet again for Friday morning’s qualifying sessions and the VSR cars took double Pro-Am pole positions and Basz the overall pole for Saturday with a lap that was over a second faster than everyone-else.
The track was still wet but there was a dry line appearing as the cars lined up on the grid for race one. Nemoto, starting from the sixth row, decided to gamble on slicks whilst Lewandowski two rows back stayed on wet tyres. Over the course of a tricky first lap Lewandowski made up three places and took the Pro-Am lead as Nemoto slipped back to fourteenth. By lap three the Japanese driver was starting to regain ground and on lap six it looked like his tyre choice would pay off as he started to set sector records but then heavy rain drenched the circuit at Blanchimont. Nemoto managed to stay on track until the pit window opened allowing him to hand the car over to Kangas who promptly opted for a new set of wets. Lewandowski pitted from the Pro-Am lead on lap ten and Basz took over. He was quickly the fastest man on track and overtook Schwartz and Pavlovic as the race drew to a close. Problems for Weering and Stoneman meant Basz took the chequered flag in fourth overall, first in Pro-Am, but a time penalty for a pit-stop infringement dropped him down to fifth, just two tenths behind Pavlovic. Kangas finished thirteenth overall and third in Pro-Am.
The track was damp, slippery and cold for race two on Saturday but Basz made a perfect start from pole and was nearly three seconds clear of the field at the end of the first lap. Kangas started from twelfth and by lap four was up to tenth having passed Niskanen to move into second in Pro-Am. Alone out front a string of fastest laps allowed Basz to stretch his lead to ten seconds but as the pit window approached a heavy crash by a back-marker he was about to lap called out the safety car. His lead annihilated, Basz was picked up by the safety car just as the pit window opened. The team quickly called in Kangas who handed the number 6 car over to Nemoto, a strategy which saw them take the lead of the race as well as the Pro-Am category. Basz pitted as soon as he could and Lewandowski rejoined the race just behind Nemoto. Racing resumed on lap thirteen with fifteen minutes left on the clock. Nemoto made a perfect restart as Lewandowski in second battled with the Pro cars. Behind him, in the run up to Eau Rouge, a hefty shunt between Cecotto and Guzman bought out the red flags. The race was not restarted and overall and Pro-Am victory went to Kangas and Nemoto. Second overall and second in Pro-Am was enough to secure the Pro-Am title for Basz and Lewandowski who will go to the final race at Paul Ricard as 2020 Champions.
Photos by Fotospeedy