Yesterday was finals day for the first round of the X30 Euro Series season opener from the Genk circuit in Belgium. Over 80 drivers made the trip to Belgium in the hope of getting their season off to a good start.
Lulham takes clean sweep in Juniors
Despite qualifying on the sixth row for the heats defending champion Chris Lulham was back to business in the X30 Euro Series and got his title defence off to a perfect start with wins in all three heats.
It was a similar story in the Pre-Final as Lulham cruised to a fairly comfortable victory. As he had done in the heats Elie Goldstein was the closest challenger to Lulham and finished 2nd to put himself on the front row for the final with Tuur Stalmans and Even Spenle both moving up to secure a row two start. Flynn Jackes had a stand out performance gaining 16 places to make up for some bad luck in the heats which would out him the inside of row five for the final.
There was an early scare in the final for Lulham who dropped back behind Goldstein and found his 2nd place under threat too. But Lulham was quickly back past Goldstein and would have a comfortable run to the flag to take victory and a maximum 89 points into round two. Tuur Stalmans and Enzo Joulie rounded off the podium and left 2nd and 4th in the championship respectively with Goldstein 3rd.
There was bad luck for the Brits in the final with Tyler Read, Angus Moulsdale and Joseph Taylor all getting caught up in a first corner pile up after qualifying in the top ten. Masatora Warda had finished 5th, but a front fairing penalty dropped him to 9th.
Brown-Nutley remains unbeatable in 2017
It’s hard to be surprised at Brown-Nutley’s performance given his 100% win rate in 2017, but with the quality of the field it’s hard to believe how he is managing to be so dominant across three different championships. Brown-Nutley sent out the early warning signs of this continuing in qualifying as he was pole by over two tenths!
He went on to win all three of his heats. Behind Mark Kimber and Brett Ward both took a win each to line up 2nd and 3rd on the Pre-Final grid. Joey van Splunteren is starting to find his form of old and was 4th with Oliver Clarke 5th and Yarne Goovaerts 6th who took the remaining heat win. Brown-Nutley again won the Pre-Final from Ward and Goovaerts with Kimber and Clarke rounding out the top five.
As for the final itself it was unfortunately a slightly processional one with nothing to separate the lead pack in pace. Brown-Nutley lead from Goovaerts and Ward in the early stages and with Ward needing two attempts to pass Goovaerts by thee time he was through Brown-Nutley was a second down the road. Kimber came through and mounted a late charge but it was all too late with Brown-Nutley taking the win. Kimber was disqualified post-race for a ‘technical non conformity’ which promoted Ward to 2nd and Goovaerts to 3rd. Joey van Splunteren got the fastest lap on his way to 4th place.
Brown-Nutley leaves Genk with a perfect 89 points with Ward on 85 and Goovaerts on 82.
Delre wins Super Shifter class
It was disappointing to see just five drivers entered into the Super Shifter class, but it was a field full of European and World Champions nevertheless!
Two-time Super Shifter IAME International Final Champion Thierry Delre was unbeatable on Sunday and took wins in both the Pre-Final and Final. John Antoniadis took a 5th and 2nd with Sten Dorian Piirimagi finishing 2nd and 3rd.
Bart Ploeg leads X30 Mini Championship
Bart Ploeg won the X30 Mini Final from pole position. The race wasn’t as straight forward as it sounds though, Ploeg was being heavily challenged by Maximus Mayer and Diego LaRoque, but the pair unfortunately collided in the latter stages of the race which gifted podiums to Lukas Blomgren-Dahl and Amaury Meertens.
Round two of the X30 Euro Series takes place at Salbris, France on the 18-21 May
Written by Chris McCarthy