Twin Ring Motegi was the location for Round Three of the 2013 S2 Lotus Classic Teams Championship and multiple champion, Gernot Fritsche finally got his season going at the third time of asking.
Fritsche put in a strong 194 point performance, outgunning the championship leader by a narrow margin. On a week which traditionally is lower in popularity, Tony Lamberti took full advantage to take third and surge to fourth overall, while Niklas Brattemark continued to hold second ahead of Michel Dudognon, despite the latter besting the McLaren driver by seven points.
Speaking of seven, seven drivers managed wins during the week with just 91 drivers starting races. Fritsche and James Hand both registering two wins from three starts. Several drivers managed four starts during the week but only Melchester Racing’s Dror Mizrahi managed a victory. Mizrahi made the most of that win, however, scoring an impressive 179 points.
Ligier topped the points with 37 narrowly besting Lotus by a single point – a score matched by Renault, while Fittipaldi slipped a place with 34 points.
Moving on to Round Four, 96 drivers wheeled their virtual Lotus 79s on the challenging but exciting, Brands Hatch circuit in the UK.
Once again Fritsche top scored amongst the CTC regulars and, in doing so, notched an impressive 219 points, 39 more than the championship leading Nuno Moreira who saw his advantage cut by Dudognon. The Lotus driver scored 206 points, an impressive seasons best, to surge into second place ahead of Battemark who dropped a place to third after a seasons worst score.
Several drivers registered big climbs, mostly as a result of poor season starts or missing the previous week. Fritsche was the biggest mover, advancing 20 places, but Mizrahi continued an excellent run with 193 points and shot up to 24th overall. At the rate these two are scoring they will soon be inside the top 10 in the championship and Fritsche is certainly on course to challenge for the title once again.
David Ballew put-in a season’s best performance at Brands Hatch. The Arrows sim-racer has registered finishes in all four weeks and registered a 118 point performance this week to climb seven places to 27th overall — the biggest climb of any driver who has entered the entire season to-date.
Guest driver Tapani Linnaluoto registered the most wins during the week: four starts, four wins for the impressive Finn, who scored a huge 245. Linnaluoto has featured several times but as of yet has not taken the plunge and signed with a CTC team.
Five other drivers registered wins, while Baz West and Jacek Madejski both made five starts, the latter scoring one win on the way to 142 points.
In the teams championship Lotus top scored with a huge 58 points, but the UK team failed to overhaul the French Ligier team. The gap between the two, however, narrowed to just one point, while a poor week for Fittipaldi dropped them to third, 12 points back.
Williams hold fourth after a strong week ahead of Wolf racing. Both teams scored in the 30s and moved 13 points clear of McLaren who, despite a lesser week, are 17 clear of Brabham.
BS Fabrication were another impressive team this week and a season’s best 36 points dragged the non-world championship team up to P8 overall embarrassing several teams on the way.
The field now moves to Watkins Glen which usually attracts substantial fields and the competition is sure to hot up.