CIK-FIA European Championship & Academy Trophy, Le Mans on 2 July, 2017
Brits at Le Mans Posted on July 3, 2017
There were no British winners at Le Mans but Jonny Edgar has retaken the lead of the European Junior Championship.
Free Practice on Friday was in wet conditions, and Qualifying in the early evening was mixed, with the Juniors experiencing three different conditions in their three sessions. Every class hit the 101% rule so drivers were alternated according to their position in the session rather than going in strict time order. On Saturday there was drizzle on several occasions, and Sunday was overcast but dry.
Jonny Edgar (Forza, Exprit/TM) qualified 3rd, fastest in his session, and was 4th in his first heat on Friday evening. On Saturday evening he was 2nd to Frenchman Gillian Henrion after two 2nd places and in the end was 2nd on the grid for the Final after a 3rd on Sunday morning’s last heat. In the Final he lost several places at the start but moved back to the sharp end, including attacking for the lead, and finished 3rd after a four-lap slow period. He has regained his lead in the Championship with two rounds to go.
Zak O’Sullivan (RFM, Alonso/Vortex) qualified 14th, 5th in his session, and won his first heat on Friday evening. On Saturday and Sunday he had a 2nd but two bad races, ending up 20th on the grid for the Final. Racing in mid-pack is always tough and he suddenly found himself at the back of the field, finishing 28th.
Dexter Patterson (Forza, Exprit/TM)qualified 32nd and was 5th in his first heat on Friday evening. After 3rd, 9th and 21st in the rest of his heats, he started 18th on the Final grid but retired on lap 10.
Harry Thompson (RFM, Alonso/Vortex) qualified 7th, 3rd in his session, and was 6th in his first heat on Friday evening. On Saturday things were more complicated because of a DNF, but he also scored a 2nd place. On Sunday morning he won his last heat, in overcast but dry conditions, which placed him 19th on the grid for the Final. He had moved up to 6th but was involved in a crash so didn’t finish. He is now 3rd in the Championship.
Chris Lulham (PSR, Tony/Parilla) qualified 49th after falling foul of a drying session, but he was 7th in his first heat on Friday evening. It was more difficult in the heats on Saturday as he had a DNF and a bumper penalty in a heat where he posted the fastest lap. He started 32nd on the grid for the Final and gained 23 places to finish 9th in the chasing pack. He is now 5th in the Championship.
Results provisional as suspended due to an appeal
Finlay Kenneally (Baby Race, Tony/Vortex) qualified 20th but in the heats he took a 3rd, 2nd, 4th and 6th to put him 5th on the Final grid. In the Final he was easily fast enough to compete in the lead group but not quite fast enough to challenge Lorenzo Travisanutto and finished just off the podium. 3rd-placed Dennis Hauger was penalised for hitting him in the last corner though so Kenneally was promoted to the podium.
Wildcard Oliver Hodgson (PFi, Birel/Parilla) qualified 42nd and took 10th, 6th and two 15ths in his heats to put him 23rd on the grid for the Final. During the race he gained 14 places, a good half of them at the start, to finish 9th.
Callum Bradshaw (CRG, CRG/Parilla) qualified 11th, 4th in his session, then his heats started badly with a DNF. He won the next one and took two 2nd places to take 10th on the grid for the Final, which is also where he finished.
Tom Joyner (Chiesa Corse, Zanardi/Parilla) qualified 13th, 5th in his session, but was disqualified in his first heat due to receiving help outside the dummy grid. He redeemed himself somewhat with a 2nd in his next heat then had a 14th and a 5th to put him near the back of the Final in 27th. He moved up to 16th during the race and gained another couple of places after penalties.
Wildcard Archie Tillett (Ricciardo, Ricciardo/TM) qualified 66th and had two DNFs in his heats so didn’t qualify for the Final.
All on Exprit/Vortex/Bridgestone
Alexander Simmonds took pole from the second group after the rain had stopped. But after 5th, 2nd and 7th after a bumper penalty in his heats he was 7th on the grid for the Final. He quickly moved up to 4th then 3rd in the pack chasing the leader Xavier Handsaeme, but was disqualified for trying to reattach his front bumper.
Joseph Taylor qualified 4th after topping the first group, while it was still raining. In the heats he took 7th, 5th and 2nd and qualified 8th on the grid for the Final. In the Final he finished 11th after gaining several places due to others’ penalties and is now 5th in the Trophy.