By: Irina Boyarskaya


Misfortune can be different. For example, you are stuck in the traffic jam on your way to the airport before your vacation on Maldives. Your baggage is lost by the airline, you sunburn on your first day of vacation, besides it reveals that you are allergic to the coconut milk. Misfortune? I’ll say!

Or, let’s say, you arrived to the Spa Francorchamps circuit for Porsche Carrera Cup France race, you participated in the free practices, the cars are tuned perfectly and you are dreaming about the pole position, better two pole positions: in the overall classification and in the Division B. The list of participants consists of 39 drivers, there is a significant traffic during the qualification, but here you are, entering the track. As soon as you are ready to perform your best lap, the Belgian driver Glenn Van Parys (who has already managed to demonstrate the 10th time result) decides to finish the qualification in the fence. There are red flags on the track, your time is canceled (though Alessio Rovera managed to demonstrate the third result on the first fast lap), and at the end you receive the frustrating positions on the start of the first race: Rovera is the 23rd, Thomas Nicolle is the 26th.


Having made a helpless gesture (it happens, so it goes), you are preparing for the next qualification. Start, traffic, entering the track, fast lap... And at that moment the French driver Enzo Samon also finds a nice spot in the fence where he goes. The marshals enter the track happily waving the red flags... And your fast lap goes... To the same place as during the previous qualification. To the area of vague memories, we would say.

Thomas Nicolle managed to reach the 16th starting position (and the 5th in the Division B), but Alessio Rovera did not have enough time even to push the accelerator pedal before the story had started. He is the third. But from the end of the peloton – the 37th starting position for the second race! It was not already the moment for the helpless gesture, but for clutching our heads!



A.Rovera (#21): "My tactic for the races? Well, it’s so simple: to overtake, overtake and overtake! It is possible on this track – there are some places where you can overtake, I know 3 or 4 such places. The target for this round will be to get to the points.
I hope for the rain. It’s a high possibility of it and then the things will change rapidly. I like driving in the rain and the car is very good. So we need just some rain… or some luck".

On the very first race Alessio managed to put all the Porsche Carrera Cup France on toes. And there was something to see!

Rovera was the 23rd at the start. Rovera was the 19th at the end of the first sector. Rovera was the 16th at the end of the second sector. And he was the 14th at the end of the first lap. He reached the scoring zone in one lap.
- Oh! – the live broadcasting directors said, and the cameras literally concentrated on the Tsunami RT car with the Ukrainian flag on the roof from that moment.

Meanwhile, the second Porsche in Tsunami RT colors was disporting itself at learning attacks and defense. Overriding the competitors and then giving way to them, Thomas Nicolle was coping with the new racing car: he used to drive BMW, Aston Martin, Ferrari, but, according to him, Porsche turned out to be much more complicated.


Let us look into the front part of the peloton for a moment. It is leaded by Julien Andlauer, who, having started from the pole position, just left everybody without involving in any conflicts. All the interesting things were happening behind him...

The peloton passed the second race lap. Alessio Rovera was on the 12th position already. Now he attacked the Dutch driver, Xavier Maassen, and it looked really funny.

Let us turn back to Maldives, where we were so unlucky at the beginning of our article. Do you know how we managed to catch the flight? We were just followed by a hungry crocodile. And we raised the pace involuntarily, and reached the airport with the crocodile towed in recordingly short time.
In the same way, Maassen had to drive at all speed: Rovera was rushing behind chattering the jaws, stubborn as a crocodile. The gruesome-twosome overran one competitor after the next at a shot without separating even for a minute.



The seventh lap of the race. Rovera is on the 8th position. The circuit drivers happened to be on the track, but, we’ll give them that, they gave the way at once.
The eighth lap. Maassen failed and gave up, and Alessio, not to lose time, overran also Jurgen Van Hover and targeted to Valentin Hasse-Clot. The latter was not opposing to the looby Italian signaling with lights for a long time, and our driver became the fifth!

Five minutes to the finish! The well-known by our fans Vincent Beltoise was on the fourth position. He is not easy to overrun, and the two drivers have a gap of almost 5 seconds... And, nevertheless, Alessio Rovera was approaching Beltoise with every single lap.

Four minutes to the finish. The gap was more than 4 seconds.

Two and a half minutes to the finish. The gap was reduced to 2.8 seconds.

Alessio Rovera who had started 23rd passed the fifth under the checkered flag, only 1.4 second behind Vincent Beltoise (who had started 4th). By the way, without a scratch on the car!

A.Rovera (#21):“It was a lot of fun – many overtakes and that was what we needed. I think I could go on the podium – not the 1st place but the podium was reachable. Other 2-3 laps would be enough. I didn’t take risks, all the overtakes were safe, the car was very good from the beginning to the end and I felt comfortable and calm”.



Thomas Nicolle, manfully defending his position, finished on the 26th position in the absolute classification, on the 10th – in the Division B and much more experienced as on the start.

T.Nicolle (#15):“Oh yes, it was very informative! It was my first performance on Porsche and it was not so easy but a lot of pleasure to drive this car. But I see how much I still have to learn to get to the podium”.

Porsche Carrera Cup France 2017, round 1, Spa-Francorchamps
Race 1, overall

1. ANDLAUER Julien (Martinet By Alméras) 13 laps
2. DERDAELE Dylan (BELGIUM Racing) +8.850
3. LATORRE Florian (Martinet By Alméras) +9.358
5. ROVERA Alessio (Tsunami RT) +16.682
26. NICOLLE Thomas (Tsunami RT) +1:07.661
37. KREEFT Jeroen (Squadra Aragosta by PG Motorsport) +2 laps


Porsche Carrera Cup France 2017, round 1, Spa-Francorchamps
Race 1, Division B

1. LINDLAND Roar (Sébastien Loeb Racing) 13 laps
2. MISSLIN Nicolas (Martinet By Alméras) +3.449
3. LAPIERRE Christophe (Sébastien Loeb Racing) +5.968
10. NICOLLE Thomas (Tsunami RT) +37.446
21. KREEFT Jeroen (Squadra Aragosta by PG Motorsport) +2 laps



The Saturday race of Porsche Carrera Cup France united much more viewers in front of the screens as the previous one. The merit belongs to Alessio Rovera who really caused a furor in the French series. Of course, many people were impatient to see how the guy would start from the 37th position. So, let’s start!

Sector 1 – Rovera is the 31st. Sector 2 – Rovera is the 29th. The end of the first lap – he is the 27th. The end of the second lap – he is the 20th!..

At that moment Maxime Gimbert made a mistake, turned around and rammed into by the Belgian driver Willem Meulders. Wrecks and oil on the track...
Of course, the only car Rovera would not be able to overrun appeared on the track – the safety car. 10 minutes we watched, kicking ourselves, the sine curves of the Porsche caravan following the safety car. We physically felt how the time was trickling out when it was so needed by our Italian driver...

The restart of the race happened 14 minutes before the finish. Rovera is the 17th.


Sylvain Noel and Valentin Hasse-Clot make mistakes. Rovera is the 14th – scoring zone.

Yves Noel and Valerie Chiasson have a collision. Rovera is the 11th.

Dylan Derdaele and Valentin Hasse-Clot have a collision. Guys, do whatever you want, but do not call the safety car!..


6 minutes to the finish, and Rovera needs 3.8 seconds to reach Xavier Maassen that we already know, a stubborn guy holding the 10th position.

2 minutes left to the finish. The gap was reduced to 1.4 second!..

At that moment the cameras switched to the demonstration of the triumphant finish of Julien Andlauer who had repeated the yesterday program: pole, best lap, victory. That is why we did not see clearly how Alessio found a way to overrun both Maassen and Cristophe Lapierre and finished with the 9th result!

28 overruns in 20 racing minutes (except the period with the safety car). At this Alessio Rovera is the only driver except Andlauer who could demonstrate the faster lap time then 2:26. And if you tell that it was not an astonishing performance, let us not believe you!

And how was Thomas Nicolle doing? When you were reading these lines, he reached the 4th position in the Division B, also very attractive for Pierre Piron (the latter is known to you, and that means that for him Porsche is a usual tool, as distinct from Thomas!). But the Tsunami RT driver coped up with the competitor and finished, as it is customary to say, "a footstep away from the podium" (a cliche, but an artful one!).

T.Nicolle (#15):"For the first round it is not bad but next time I'd like to be the 3rd although it's not so easy! The most difficult thing was braking. And at the end of the race Pierre Piron attacked me so I used all my concentration and even had to take some risks to go faster".


Porsche Carrera Cup France 2017, round 1, Spa-Francorchamps
Race 2, overall

1. ANDLAUER Julien (Martinet By Alméras) 11 laps
2. DE NARDA Joffrey (Sébastien Loeb Racing) +4.645
3. JUNG Antoin (Team 85) +9.779
9. ROVERA Alessio (Tsunami RT) +16.698
17. NICOLLE Thomas (Tsunami RT) +39.786
36. CHIASSON Valerie (DVB Racing) +2 laps


Porsche Carrera Cup France 2017, round 1, Spa-Francorchamps
Race 2, Division B

1. MISSLIN Nicolas (Martinet By Alméras) 11 laps
2. PERFETTI Egidio (Mentos Racing) +1.809
3. LAPIERRE Christophe (Sébastien Loeb Racing) +3.270
4. NICOLLE Thomas (Tsunami RT) +25.389
21. CHIASSON Valerie (DVB Racing) +2 laps

It is good to have people in your team who do not care about the bad luck at all. These people do not wait for a run of bad luck to end, but simply do everything that they were going to do. It has an amazing effect! We can go everywhere with such drivers – either in Spa or in Maldives. Even in Misano. It's a good idea, by the way. We will be there definitely, in the beginning of June!


Photo: Porsche – Alexis Goure