Europa Cup rounds one and two

Snetterton 16 April 2000 Swedish driver Bobby Issazadhe opened the 2000 Europa Cup Britain series with a fine win in the first of two races held at Norfolk’s Snetterton Circuit today. Justin Sherwood, second in the first race, returned ...

Snetterton 16 April 2000

Swedish driver Bobby Issazadhe opened the 2000 Europa Cup Britain series with a fine win in the first of two races held at Norfolk’s Snetterton Circuit today. Justin Sherwood, second in the first race, returned the favour in the later encounter, while young Britons Mark Langfield and Chris Vincent took a third place each.

After the miserable weather of Saturday, when the cars splashed around this 1.952 mile circuit to qualify, Sunday dawned bright and dry, if a little cold. The Performance Racing team-mates Bobby Issazadhe and Sven Frindelius lined up on the front row, but is was Marque Cars driver Chris Vincent who made the best start, overtaking Frindelius off the line and challenging Issazadhe into the first corner. Menwhile, Andy Neate’s car (Team Brask / Steve Mole Motorsport), fourth on the grid, jumped out of gear at the start and the drivers behind him did well to avoid an accident.

Chris Vincent pushed Bobby Issazadhe hard for the first lap, and halfway round the second thought he had been rewarded as he saw a gap on the inside of Bobby’s car at the Esses. However, the gap was not as big as he thought, and the resulting contact saw Chris retire at the end of the lap with a bent front wing and damaged tyre.

Issazadhe then continued on his way for a fairly untroubled win from Justin Sherwood and Mark Langfield (Steve Mole Motorsport). They had also found a way past Sven Frindelius, who was finding Sunday’s dry conditions less to his liking than Saturday’s wet ones. The top six was rounded out by Lance Robson (Cyclone Racing) and Peter Gustafson (Peter Gustafson Motorsport), with Dermot Healy (Top-Marx Racing) taking a fine seventh place to win the Invitation Class.

The second race of the day was nearly cancelled after a major incident in an earlier sports car race badly damaged the circuit’s barriers. Then, as the cars formed up on the grid, Invitation Class runner Richard Purcell’s car (Top-Marx Racing) caught fire and had to be extinguished by marshals as an exhaust pipe cracked. However, at exactly the curfew time of 6:30pm, the Europa Cup field got away for a shortened, 8 lap race.

This time Chris Vincent, who made the fastest start in the first race, was on pole but it was Marque Cars team-mate Justin Sherwood’s turn to make a superb start, leading into the first corner from third on the grid. Bobby Issazadhe followed him, demoting Vincent into third place.

The story of the race was then the battle between the first two drivers. Bobby pushed Justin hard, and at the end was only half a second behind as the positions from the first race were reversed. Chris Vincent, who admits he needs more testing time in the car, was ten seconds back in third, closely followed by Sven Frindelius, Mark Langfield and Andy Neate. Lance Robson suffered his third plug-lead failure of the weekend which put him out while Dave Richardson (Gyrotech Motorsport) recovered from a ten second penalty at the start, legacy of a qualifying session accident, to overtake Dermot Healy for the Invitation Class win.

With two winners after two races, and a third driver having taken one of the pole positions, the prospects for a classic year of Europa Cup competition is good. The racing continues at Pembrey on 7 May 2000.

Result - Round 1 (16 laps)

1 Bobby Issazadhe 18:49.395 2 Justin Sherwood +5.455 3 Mark Langfield +11.323 4 Sven Frindelius +15.900 5 Lance Robson 6 Peter Gustafson 7 Dermott Healy 8 David Richardson

Result - Round 2 (8 laps)

1 Justin Sherwood 9:28.126 2 Bobby Issazadhe +0.559 3 Chris Vincent +10.823 4 Sven Frindelius +11.961 5 Mark Langfield +12.912 6 Andy Neate 7 Peter Gustafson 8 David Richardson 9 Dermot Healy

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Series General
Drivers Justin Sherwood , David Richards , Andy Neate