MIDDLETON AND BARTHOLOMEW FIGHT BACK TO CLAIM STUNNINGC SECOND WIN OF THE SEASON AT SPA-FRANCORCHAMP
Stuart Middleton and Jack Bartholomew claimed a sensational second Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe victory of the season in the opening race at Spa-Francorchamps, beating Bonaldi Motorsport team-mates Danny Kroes and Sergey Afanasiev.
The British pairing started fourth on the grid and held that position until the mandatory pit-stops, with Middleton pulling off a magical manoeuvre to pass three cars in two corners to seize the lead. Pre-event championship leaders Vito Postiglione and Kikko Galbiati started the race from pole position but fell back early on as Postiglione got a slow getaway from the rolling start. The Imperiale Racing Huracán dropped to eighth at the end of the opening lap and was quickly forced out of the race after making contact with the Leipert Motorsport car of Anthony Lambert at the La Source hairpin on the second lap. Karol Basz assumed the lead in the #8 Imperiale Racing car from Danny Kroes and build a comfortable, if slender 1.525 second lead in the opening laps. Kroes then began to eat into this deficit and was right on the tail of Basz as the pit window loomed. By the time the window opened, the #66 Micanek Motorsport ACCR car of Josef Zaruba had joined the leading trio and leapfrogged both the #3 of Afanasiev - taking over from Kroes - and the #8 - now with Bartosz Paziewski at the wheel - to take the lead. Middleton took over from Bartholomew a lap before and used the evolving track conditions and extra lap to put in a strong out lap from the pits. The British driver then slipstreamed past Paziewski through Eau Rouge and Raidillon to take third place on the exit, before breezing past Afanasiev on the run down the Kemmel Straight. Middleton then went around the outside of Jakub Knoll - in place of Zaruba - to spectacularly grab the lead at Les Combes. Middleton then went on to extend his lead to the flag.