Hurgon and De Wilde claim wins at 2021 Alpine Elf Europa Cup opener
For the start of its fourth edition at Nogaro’s Coupes de Pâques, the Alpine Elf Europa Cup served up some superb on-track action as Laurent Hurgon, last year’s runner-up, and young Belgian driver Ugo de Wilde won the opening two races.
With some nineteen entries, the Alpine Elf Europa Cup boasted a bumper line-up at the opening round of the season, held as part of the French track racing championship (CFC) at the Paul Armagnac race track in Nogaro over the Easter weekend. Featuring drivers ranging from 18 to 78 years old, it also confirmed the merits of its convivial formula, intended for all and offering maximum driving pleasure. Predicting who would finish where before the racing got underway was no easy task.
The fact that the Alpine A110 Cup cars have switched engines this year, running the 300 hp Alpine A110S, only made the outcome even more difficult to call, the odds perhaps having been evened out slightly. Would the defending champion Jean-Baptiste Mela (Autosport GP) remain the dominant force? Would Laurent Hurgon (Patrick Roger Autosport GP), runner-up in 2020, continue to improve? Or would new faces come to the fore?
In any event, Hurgon delivered in the opening race, finishing ahead of Ugo de Wilde (Herrero Racing), the young Belgian who has switched from single-seater racing and was runner-up in the French F4 championship in 2018. Last season's surprise package, Lilou Wadoux (Patrick Roger Autosport GP) was third, whilst Franck Labescat (Race Cars Consulting) – who won two races in the category on his first appearance at Portimao last season – got this year off to a flying start in the Gentlemen Drivers’ class. Race two was won by De Wilde, confirming his remarkable debut in the Cup. Wadoux and Hurgon joined him on the podium in second and third, whilst Stéphane Auriacombe (Herrero Racing) took the honours in the Gentlemen Drivers’ category. The next round of the Alpine Elf Europa Cup is due to be held on 7-9 May at Magny-Cours as part of the GT World Challenge.
Ugo De Wilde could not have hoped for a better start: his performances this weekend in the south of France put him top of the overall standings, as well as the Juniors standings. Having finished as runner-up in both races in the Gentlemen Drivers category, defending champion Philippe Bourgois (Chazel Technologie Course) collected enough points to make the perfect start to his 2021 season.