August 2020 – Sports Prototype Cup stars on International debut
August 2020 - Sports Prototype Cup stars on International debut.
August 2020 – Sports Prototype Cup stars on International debut.
Morten Dons and Scott Mansell shared out the wins as the Sports Prototype Cup made its international debut with a pair of action-packed one-hour races at the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Sharing the weekend bill with the FIA World Endurance Championship, the drivers of 10 Revolution A-One prototype race cars put on a thrilling spectacle to showcase the talent and potential of the fast-growing UK-based series on the global stage.
Race 1 – Dons Leads 1-2 for Mike Smith / Breakell Racing
Mike Smith Motorsport with Breakell Racing celebrated a one-two result on Friday, as Danish ace Morten Dons beat his teammate Alex Kapadia in a gripping contest. Pole-sitter Kapadia used all his prototype racing experience to keep the lead at lights out, as the field made its way through the iconic La Source hairpin. ExcelR8 driver Scott Mansell also made a terrific start to overtake Dons into La Source and Nigel Greensall (Greensall Motorsport) into Eau Rouge which put him second on lap one. The top three refused to be stay still during the opening stanza, not least Dons who drafted past Mansell on the long Kemmel Straight, where the full pace potential of the 440hp/tonne Revolution A-One prototypes could be exploited. Not content with second position, Dons then snatched the lead from Kapadia on lap five, shortly before a safety car period was called for a stopped car at Blanchimont.
The retreat of the safety car into the pits after one lap signalled the opening of the pit window which produced a wide range of strategy calls up and down the field. Kapadia and Greensall pitted as soon as they could, while Dons completed a further three laps before coming in. The lead then transitioned to James Winslow, who stayed out longer than anyone else in the hope of emerging ahead of his rivals. The quadruple Le Mans 24 Hours contestant filtered out in third behind Dons who had managed to keep Kapadia at bay in the pits. They were followed by Marcello Marateotto, Greensall and Michel Frey.
In the final 10 minutes Kapadia launched a bid for victory. The gap between the two Mike Smith Motorsport / Breakell cars came down lap after lap, but there just wasn’t enough time left for Kapadia to make an attempt at passing Dons, who stood firm. Dons took the chequered flag by four seconds, while Greensall rose to third ahead of Frey, Winslow, Marateotto and Mansell, who returned to the track to set some quick times at the end after an issue prevented him from battling for the win. Dutch F1 commentator Rob Kamphues finished eighth on his debut in the Revolution A-One, while Alain Costa and James Abbott (Smart Fitt Racing) completed the top ten.
MORTEN DONS – Race 1 winner, Mike Smith Motorsport with Breakell Racing “It was a cool race. I tried to get Alex into Les Combes at the end of the Kemmel Straight and went a bit off track, lost a position and went down to third. But from there, I gradually started to rebuild the pace. I then passed Scott on the outside on the Kemmel Straight and Alex into Eau Rouge, and after that it just went really well. The Revolution A-One is a really nice car, and the power and aero balance is very good, so it’s a very nice car to drive around Spa.”
Race 2: Rain Master Mansell Takes His Second Win of the Season
Mansell was determined to bounce back from his Race 1 disappointment in Saturday’s one hour contest, which provided a chance to see the Revolution A-One prototype in wet race conditions for the first time. The Brands Hatch Race 1 winner made an inspired getaway, gaining three positions on the opening lap to run fourth behind pole-sitter Dons, Kapadia and Greensall. Mansell spent the first stint comfortably in fourth, while the attention momentarily shifted to the thrilling battles going on around him. Out front, Dons and Kapadia jockeyed for the lead, producing highlight-reel moves on each other at various points around the 7km lap. There was also a terrific multi-car tussle in the mid pack involving Winslow, Frey and Marateotto, who were clearly enjoying the close competition. Kapadia was the first to come in when the pit window opened at the end of lap nine, while Dons stayed out for two additional laps.
After the stops, Kapadia’s advantage over Dons had gone out to eight seconds, however these two drivers were no longer the leading pair. A savvy decision to stay out until the end of the window benefited both Greensall and Mansell who assumed the top two positions, having been third and fourth prior to stopping. That remained the order until Greensall, who had around 20s in hand to Mansell, was deemed to have made his ultra-quick stop a bit too quickly.
The Greensall Motorsport driver’s undercutting of the minimum pit time resulted in a stop-go penalty from the stewards. Mansell was subsequently promoted to the lead ahead of Kapadia and Dons, while Greensall came back out in fourth. But with Spa’s microclimate being as unpredictable as the Sports Prototype Cup track action, the heavens opened. This enabled the drivers to sample the Revolution A-One’s wet weather capabilities in racing conditions for the first time. As the rain intensified the safety car was introduced, before a red flag brought the competition to an end with driver safety the paramount concern of the organisers. This ensured Mansell took the victory from double podium finishers Kapadia and Dons, while Greensall came through in fourth. Dominic Dierkes (DD Compound) completed the top five ahead of Marateotto, Costa, Frey, Winslow and Abbott.
SCOTT MANSELL – Race 2 winner, ExcelrR8 “The ExcelR8 team has made big steps forward this weekend. We started at the back, but right out of the box I knew the car was good. I paved my way through some of the traffic up into fourth, and it was all concertinaing together. And then it started to rain. I was second on track and I just thought we would go a little further and see if we got away with it. We managed it well and I decided to try and stick it out. The weather here is so unpredictable, so we tried to stick it out and fortunately the race ended a bit early.”
RACE RESULTS. Click here
DRIVER RANKINGS: Revolution UK Trophy
1 Scott Mansell (2 wins, 1 second, 1 sixth)
2 Alex Kapadia (1 win, 2 seconds)
3 Morten Dons (1 win, 2 thirds, 1 fourth)
4 Bradley Ellis (1 second, fourth)
5 Nigel Greensall (1 third, fourth, fifth, sixth)
6 James Abbott (1 third, sixth, tenth)
7 Michel Frey (1 fourth, 1 eighth)
8 Marcello Marateotto (1 fifth, 1 sixth, 1 eighth)
9 John Corbett (1 fifth)
10 Dominik Dierkes (1 fifth)
11 Matt Brookes (2 sevenths)
12 Alain Costa (1 seventh)
13 Adrian Reynard ((1 eighth)
14 James Winslow (1 ninth)
15 Rob Kamphues
DRIVER RANKINGS: Sports Prototype Open
1 Peter Tyler (2 wins)
2 Andy Chittenden (1 second, 1 third)
3 Alastair Smart (1 second, 1 fourth)
4 Barry Liversidge (1 third, 1 fifth)
5 Robert Rees (1 fourth)
6 Patrick Sherrington
B.R.M. Speed Award
Brands Hatch – Alex Kapadia
Spa – Morten Dons