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BELGIAN GT CUP
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. 28 June 2018
March 02, 2018

 

The Frenchman gave his team a memorable debut win after a two-hour battle with Risto Kappet, Liam de Waal and Jarl Teien in a race that has been dubbed 'the best simrace in history'
It was the race that had it all: the Australian Grand Prix that opened the 2018 Superleague will go down in history as one of the classic races of GPVWC - if not THE ultimate race.

Geoffrey Fournier, on his only sixth race in the top tier, recorded a remarkable victory - one obtained with guts, grit and determination against incredible opponents. It was a well-deserved triumph, although it can be argued it would have been well-deserved by any of the top four finishers. And it was a special moment for Epic Racing, scoring a popular win in their first race at this level for the uncontrollable joy of Team Principal, Lee Davidson.

The 19th season of Superleague re-wrote the paradigm of excitement - in a race that by lap four already looked like a foregone conclusion.After poleman Alex Siebel had taken off and disappeared in the distance, followed by team-mate Risto Kappet, the spectre of an ACR Zakspeed domination loomed large. It took only nine laps, however - and a hefty dose of misfortune - for Siebel's dreams of a van-Buresque domination to disappear. An unfortunate incident with Alex Cooper saw both drivers retire on the spot, a very sorry end to the race weekend for the German.

Left in clean air, Kappet - who had by then switched to hard tyres - didn't manage to make his advantage last. Storm's Liam de Waal had been reeling him in, but the Dutchman couldn't foresee a resurgent Jarl Teien, who moved from fourth to second in a few corners, skewering Fournier and de Waal on the way. It was just a matter of time until the Norwegian was in the lead, making the most of his softer compound to overtake Kappet's ACR.

The pitstop seemed to restore order, with Kappet back in front and the rest squabbling behind. But as the last 20 laps wound down, the gaps steadily shrinking, it became clear the race was going to go down to the wire.

With nine laps left, the Estonian's advantage had reduced to 1 second over Teien, with de Waal a further four behind and Fournier within ten seconds of the leader. The first move was the Dutchman, who cleverly passed Teien and set out to chase the leader. Kappet's defense was excellent, and with but a handful of laps to go it seemed like the ACR driver could hold on for his second-ever Superleague win. A decisive move by de Waal, however, broke down resistance, releasing the Storm driver into the lead.

His lead relinquished, the Estonian had to suffer further ignominy as a move by Teien resulted in contact between the two. The clash released Fournier - among the top four, the one on freshest tyres, to chase de Waal.

The Frenchman tried every way, but it was only on the final lap that he could pass, quickly opening a gap as he rode towards the chequered flag.

Teien claimed the final spot on the podium, while Kappet, holding on to what remained of his tyres, managed to fend off a resurgent David Fidock.

It was the start the Superleague deserved. It was a start that leaves wanting more.

Next round is China - in just two weeks.

Full race results.



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