Clean sweep for Luxembourg’s Maréchal as Championship visits Oschersleben

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Lotus Cup Europe returned to Germany this weekend 12th-14th May as the championship visited Oschersleben for the first time in over 15 years. With a majority of the grid not having driven the circuit before, it was set to be an exciting weekend, full of surprises.

Lotus Team Th. Verhiest’s Paul Maréchal qualified on pole with a lap time of 1:34.525 ahead of fellow Exige Cup drivers Daniel Palma and Nikolaj Ipsen whilst Wolfgang Henseler took pole in the GT Cup class. Jean-Pierre Genoud-Prachex’s yellow 2-Eleven qualified first in the 211/Open class ahead of wife and rival Nathalie Genoud-Prachex. Production favourite Mark Yates took his class pole with Bailey Edwards securing second position, ahead of dad Mick.

As usual it would be a rolling start for the first race of the weekend, Maréchal made the most of his pole position settling into a race long lead as soon as the lights went green. Sweden’s Palma in the #21 Exige V6 Cup R held onto second position throughout the race, leaving Henseler and Ipsen to a nail-biting fight for third. Henseler’s Evora originally leading the battle until Ipsen eventually gained the upper hand in the final third of the race. Over in the 211/Open class, JP Genoud-Prachex successfully defended his lead from a determined N Genoud-Prachex, the husband and wife both having their sights set on this year’s 211/Open championship title.

The Production class added to the entertainment factor as always, with major battles going on amongst the front runners after a disappointing start for M Edwards, who was forced to retire after the first lap.  A great start by Robin Nilsson saw the Swede take an early lead having recovered from an incident in the opening minutes of the first free practice session which saw the blue Elise Cup R on its roof, an impressive feat by both driver and team ES Motorsport who not only got the car back on track but also made sure it was competitive. Yates however could not be held back for long, the #37 car moving swiftly into the lead as B Edwards got in on the action too. After a 3-way battle, Yates held onto the lead, B Edwards successfully moving up into second position, demoting Nilsson to third.

Maréchal took the chequered flag, claiming the overall and Exige Cup wins, ahead of Palma and Ipsen. Henseler took the GT Cup win in fourth place ahead of Belgium’s Thierry Verhiest and Germany’s Rainer Börgens. JP Genoud-Prachex finished first in the 211/Open class, crossing the line in front of N Genoud-Prachex and Production winner Yates. B Edwards took second in class from R Nilsson who took the final step of the podium with Kai Leymann completing the finishers.

It would be a standing start for the second race of the weekend, Sweden’s Palma took an early lead but was unable to hold off Maréchal for long. With the race one winner having reclaimed his spot at the front of the pack, Palma was left to battle it out with Maréchal’s teammate Ipsen, the Dane eventually completing a successful move and knocking Palma down into third. It would be a repeat of race one for 211/Open class drivers Jean-Pierre and Nathalie Genoud-Prachex, Jean-Pierre proving untouchable despite Nathalie’s best attempts to chase him down.

The Production class stole the spotlight once again, with three different drivers taking the lead during the race. M Edwards was back out after mechanical issues in race one and was determined to make up for the missed track time, moving straight to the front of the class but unfortunately his early lead was cut short as Yates managed to overtake him not long after. The star of the show however was B Edwards, who impressively passed both dad Mick and class leader Yates, the young Brit settling into his place at the front of the class and successfully holding off Yates for the remainder of the race.

Luxembourg’s Maréchal took the chequered flag for the second time of the weekend ahead of teammate Ipsen and Komo-Tec’s Palma and Börgens. Verhiest took fifth place, followed by JP Genoud-Prachex and N Genoud-Prachex. B Edwards took the Production win and 8th overall, his first ever Lotus Cup Europe win ahead of Yates. M Edwards joined son Bailey on the Production podium in third, a positive end to the weekend after a difficult first race. Nilsson and Leymann crossed the line in 11th and 12th.

Lotus Cup Europe will next be out at Spa-Francorchamps 2nd-4th June where it joins Spa Euro Race.

Podium standings:

Race 1OverallExige CupGT Cup211 OpenProduction
1st P Maréchal P Maréchal W Henseler JP Genoud-Prachex M Yates
2nd D Palma D Palma N Genoud-Prachex B Edwards
3rd N Ipsen N Ipsen R Nilsson
Race 2OverallExige CupGT Cup211 OpenProduction
1st P Maréchal P Maréchal JP Genoud-Prachex B Edwards
2nd N Ipsen N Ipsen N Genoud-Prachex M Yates
3rd D Palma D Palma M Edwards

Driver of the weekend: Oschersleben

Paul Maréchal – Exige V6 Cup R

Complete sweep: Pole & 2 race wins.

 

Championship standings: www.lotuscupeurope.com/standings

More pics can be found on: Facebook / Instagram