Ciamin and Frayssinet make their mark at Zandvoort
The Alpine Elf Europa Cup wrapped up its first half of the season with Lucas Frayssinet and Nicolas Ciamin sharing the spoils at Zandvoort. The two Chazel Technologie Course drivers' teammate, Frédéric Roy, swept both ends of the weekend in the Netherlands in the Gentleman category. With the win, Lucas Frayssinet reclaims the lead in the general classification and Junior category before heading to the summer break and the next meeting in Barcelona (8-10 September).
The Alpine Elf Europa Cup ventured to Zandvoort for the first time in its history. To take up this unprecedented challenge, the 24 competitors got their first taste of the Dutch circuit in their Alpine A110 Cup cars on Friday during two free practice sessions dominated by Rodolphe Wallgren (Herrero Racing) and Louis Méric (Race Cars Consulting).
RACE 1: FRAYSSINET, THE FIRST TWO-TIME WINNER OF 2022
On Saturday, Louis Méric maintained his impressive form, winning the pole ahead of three Chazel Technologie Course drivers, Lucas Frayssinet, Edwin Traynard and Nicolas Ciamin, who quickly demonstrated his ability to adapt from the A110 Rally to the A110 Cup to outdo the leader of the general classification, Simon Tirman (Autosport GP).
Louis Méric held off Lucas Frayssinet at the start to keep the lead while Nicolas Ciamin passed Edwin Traynard as Paul Cauhaupé (Patrick Roger Autosport GP) looked on. Soon under pressure from his pursuers, Louis Méric was attacked by Lucas Frayssinet, whose offensive on lap nine worked to the advantage of Nicolas Ciamin. Further back, Edwin Traynard, Paul Cauhaupé and Simon Tirman also took advantage of this intense battle to close the gap as the race neared its conclusion.
Nicolas Ciamin made his way past Louis Méric with three laps to go after a breathtaking duel that saw them side-by-side in several corners. Lucas Frayssinet was opportunistic and overtook Louis Méric, then took advantage of Nicolas Ciamin's slipstream to take the lead on the penultimate lap.
As Nicolas Ciamin retired due to a turbo issue, Lucas Frayssinet went on for the win and became the first two-time winner this season. Louis Méric held off the menacing Edwin Traynard for second place while Simon Tirman and Paul Cauhaupé completed a top five where five Juniors finished within five seconds. Ninth on the grid, Rodolphe Wallgren was sixth ahead of Alexis Garcin (Herrero Racing), Louis Maurice (Code Racing Development), Romain Brun (Code Racing Development) and Jules Gougeon (Race Cars Consulting). Meanwhile, Frédéric Roy won the Gentleman category after Anthony Fournier (Race Cars Consulting) made a mistake on lap seven. Laurent Richard (Herrero Racing) completed the category podium.
RACE 2: CIAMIN IMPRESSES, FRAYSSINET PULLS AWAY
After losing the Alpine Elf Europa Cup lead, Simon Tirman replied the following day by taking pole position ahead of his rival Lucas Frayssinet. Paul Cauhaupé and Nicolas Ciamin lined up on row two, followed by Edwin Traynard and Louis Maurice, whose mistake late in the session caused the premature end of qualifying.
While the poleman held on to the lead at the start, Nicolas Ciamin jumped from fourth to second place at the expense of Lucas Frayssinet and Paul Cauhaupé. Meanwhile, Louis Maurice got the better of Edwin Traynard for fifth place in a relatively calm field until the cobtact between Louis Méric and Alexis Garcin on lap four.
After a lengthy safety car period, the race resumed for a three-minute sprint to the chequered flag. Once the race went green, Nicolas Ciamin dove to the inside at the Tarzanbocht to pass Simon Tirman for the lead. The latter lost a lot of ground a few turns later when he went straight into the gravel trap before returning to the track in fourth place.
Once he was in the lead, Nicolas Ciamin set the pace to take the win ahead of Lucas Frayssinet and Paul Cauhaupé. Simon Tirman finished fourth, followed by Edwin Traynard and Romain Brun, promoted to sixth place after Louis Maurice retired with two laps remaining in the race. Tim Mérieux (Autosport GP) scored his best result in the Alpine Elf Europa Cup in seventh place, ahead of Rodolphe Wallgren and Jules Gougeon, who finished ninth after passing Thibaut Bossy on the last lap. In the Gentleman category, Frédéric Roy led from start to finish to take his third consecutive victory ahead of Anthony Fournier and Mickaël Carrée (T2CM).
As race two winner Nicolas Ciamin was ineligible to score points, Lucas Frayssinet picked up 40 points and now leads the Alpine Elf Europa Cup and Junior category general classification for the first time since Nogaro. Simon Tirman and Paul Cauhaupé complete the leading trio, who now has a small lead over their pursuers led by Edwin Traynard. In the Gentlemen's category, the back-to-back wins see Frédéric Roy narrow Anthony Fournier's lead to just a few points.
The Alpine Elf Europa Cup now heads into its summer break. The field will be back in action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (Spain) on 8-10 September.
Lucas Frayssinet (Race 1 winner)
It was a tough but positive weekend. We were a few tenths short in qualifying against Louis on Saturday and Simon on Sunday, but we made the most of every opportunity to score maximum points. We will have a busy summer to prepare for Barcelona as best we can. That meeting didn't go very well for me last year, but it was only my second appearance in the Alpine Elf Europa Cup. I have a season of experience now, so everything should go well. We also have a small lead, but it is still wide-open, and we will have to push hard in every round!
Nicolas Ciamin (Race 2 winner)
I had a lot of fun, but you really have to put my results into perspective as I was hardly a total newcomer with my circuit racing and rear-wheel-drive experience and my knowledge of the Rally version of the Alpine A110. The format offers a lot of track time with two forty-minute testing sessions, which allowed me to familiarise myself with the Alpine A110 Cup. The car is powerful, a lot of fun to drive and easy to grasp. There is also a good level of competition, which is conducive to great battles, and I would be delighted to come back if the opportunity arises again!
Frédéric Roy (Winner races 1 and 2 in the Gentleman category)
Three victories in a row... It's no longer a coincidence, it's a reality, and I think the competition is starting to understand! The first race was hardly easy with a complicated restart, but we managed to control the situation with our desire to do well. We will keep working and not give up. Despite the summer break, a productive few weeks await!
1. Lucas Frayssinet (Chazel Technologie Course)
2. Louis Méric (Race Cars Consulting) +2.020s
3. Edwin Traynard (Chazel Technologie Course) +2129s
4. Simon Tirman (Autosport GP) +3.615s
5. Paul Cauhaupé (Patrick Roger Autosport GP) +4.625s
Pole position: Louis Méric (Race Cars Consulting) – 1:44.115s
Fastest race lap: Louis Méric (Race Cars Consulting) – 1:46.020s
1. Nicolas Ciamin (Chazel Technologie Course)
2. Lucas Frayssinet (Chazel Technologie Course) +2.450s
3. Paul Cauhaupé (Patrick Roger Autosport GP) +2.733s
4. Simon Tirman (Autosport GP) +3.103s
5. Edwin Traynard (Chazel Technologie Course) +6.409s
Pole position : Simon Tirman (Autosport GP) – 1:43.481s
Fastest race lap: Nicolas Ciamin (Chazel Technologie Course) – 1:45.164s
1. Lucas Frayssinet – 87 points
2. Simon Tirman – 74 points
3. Paul Cauhaupé – 71 points
4. Edwin Traynard – 55 points
5. Rodolphe Wallgren – 54 points…
Founded in 1955 by Jean Rédélé, the brand has set itself apart with its French-style sports cars. In 2018, the brand presented the new A110, a sports car faithful to Alpine's timeless principles of compactness, lightness, agility and driving pleasure. The Alpine Business Unit was created in 2021 and thus became the brand dedicated to innovative, authentic, exclusive sportscars of the Renault Group, benefiting from the heritage and craftsmanship of its historic plant in Dieppe and the Alpine Racing and Alpine Cars teams engineering mastery.