Super Trofeo Europe: Kroes, Afanasiev take points lead at Spa
Bonaldi Motorsport’s Danny Kroes and Sergey Afanasiev moved into the lead of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe standings after claiming a win and second place at Spa-Francorchamps.
Having taken over from Afanasiev at the mandatory pit-stops, Kroes made two decisive overtakes at Les Combes, on teammate and race one winner Jack Bartholomew and the pole-sitting Target Racing srl of Davide Venditti.
Kroes and Afanasiev now hold a 13 point advantage over the Imperiale Racing duo of Vito Postiglione and Kikki Galbiati heading into the penultimate round of the season at the Nurburgring.
Postiglione and Galbiati started Friday’s opening encounter from pole position, but were quickly swallowed up by the chasing pack off the rolling start.
This allowed the sister Imperiale Racing car of Karol Basz to assume the early lead from Kroes and the #66 Micanek Motorsport ACCR car of Josef Zaruba.
Postiglione’s nightmare start was then compounded after making contact with the Leipert Motorsport car of Anthony Lambert at La Source. Both suffered damage; Postiglione retired while Lambert’s teammate Niels Lagrange brought the #30 home in eighth.
Zaruba managed to shuffle out in the lead following the pit-stops, but was later penalised after failing to respect the 90-second minimum pit time.
Bartholomew brought the #32 Bonaldi car in one lap before the leading trio, which allowed teamate Stuart Middleton to surge past three cars in two corners to take the lead at Les Combes.
The former British GT4 driver slipstreamed past the #8 – now with Bartosz Paziewski at the wheel – on the exit of Raidillon before passing Zaruba’s teammate Jakub Knoll as the pair braked for Les Combes.
Middleton then seized the lead from Afanasiev around the outside of the corner and immediately broke clear, winning by 9.758 seconds.
Paziewski brought the #8 car home in third place, beating the Venditti/Alberto di Folco Target car.
Di Folco started race two from pole and built a comfortable four-second margin over Middleton despite the former’s start procedure being investigated.
The #9 rejoined from the pit-stops still in the lead, but quickly came under pressure from a charging Bartholomew and Kroes.
Kroes then made a daring move round the outside of Bartholomew at Les Combes to grab second, before going to the inside of the same corner to snatch the lead from Venditti with eight minutes remaining.
Galbiati and Postiglione recovered for their first race retirement to finish behind Venditti in third place, passing Bartholomew late on.
Leipert Motorsport’s Mikki Eskelinen and Jake Rattenbury were denied a double triumph in the Am class after being taken out of the second race by the GT3 Poland car of Andrej Lewandowski.
A strong opening stint in the first race meant that Rattenbury ran as high as sixth overall before Eskelinen took over.
They were set to repeat that performance at the start of race two, but suffered suspension damage early on, retiring soon after.
Nico Gomar (AGS Events) therefore claimed victory in class after a race-long battle with Robert Zwinger’s GT3 Poland machine.
Photo by: Lamborghini Super Trofeo
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