Guilvert eases ahead to Silverstone

09.09.2008: Guilvert eases ahead to Silverstone

SILVERSTONE (6/8), September 12-14, 2008

The 2008 THP Spider Cup has turned out to be a drama-packed contest! Thanks to the thrilling clashes that have kept us entertained since the start of the season, the chase for the title is far from settled. Going into Silverstone, round six of eight, Frenchman Grégory Guilvert has emerged on top of the provisional standings with a narrow cushion over Briton Simon Moulton who will be competing on home soil this weekend.

Simon Moulton, who is contesting the THP Spider Cup for the second year, has been remarkably consistent this season. He has clocked up points at each meeting and that could put him in a strong position to secure the top prize – a day's testing in the 908 HDi FAP – as the contest enters its final phase.

Yet despite his score of seven podium finishes, he has yet to win a race outright, although he did pick up maximum points in the second showdown at Monza since the winner, Dino Lunardi, was not entered for the series. In contrast, Moulton missed out on valuable points in the first Nürburgring race after becoming involved in a tangle while battling for first place.

The 36-year old Southgate Motorsport driver, who races car N°51, hails from Bournemouth and would be particularly proud to hear God Save the Queen ring out for the first time this year at his home round. That said, there will be plenty of drivers out there determined to prevent that happening. Their ranks are led by Grégory Guilvert who enjoys an 11-point advantage at the top of the table.

Guilvert's winning instinct was showcased by his recent spectacular drives in Germany where the Frenchman started both races from the back of the grid. He refused to throw in the towel and ended up bagging two podium finishes.

 Buoyed by that performance, he has promised more of the same before the end of the season. Silverstone will mark the comeback of another top challenger, Julien Beltoise, who returns after being forced to sit out the German meeting following his big crash at Spa in July.

He consequently has a 47-point deficit to make up and his hallmark determination must make him a potential winner, especially since he would dearly love to notch up his first victory of the year.

Julien Briché, who is currently third in the standings, will need to keep a close eye on his fellow Frenchman, despite being the driver who has scored the highest number of wins so far (Pau 1, Val de Vienne 1, Spa 1 and Nürburgring 2). This natural showman will be looking for greater consistency.

The situation at the top of the championship promises to produce further exciting action at Silverstone, especially since these four front-runners face the challenge of a charging pack of other quick drivers, led by Marcel Sciabbarrasi and Alexandre Rambure who picked up surprise wins at Nürburgring 1 and Val de Vienne 2 respectively.

Also on form at the moment are the young Gaël Castelli, David Pougen – who seems to have found his marks – and Alexandre Albouy. Some 20 drivers are expected to line up at Silverstone, with plenty of individual battles and ambitions up and down the grid.


THP Spider Cup timetable:

Free practice: Friday, September 12, 2.00pm-2.45pm

Qualifying practice: Saturday 13, 10.10am-11.00am

Race 1: Saturday, September 13, 2.10pm (12 laps)

Race 2: Sunday, Sunday 14, 5.30pm (12 laps)



Tubular chassis: Based on the ACO's LMP1 and LMP2 regulations, notably concerning the roll cage. The rear of the car is redolent of the sport-prototype cars of the 1970s, with a short engine cowling and no rear wing.

Engine: mid-rear 1.6 THP (1,598cc), transversely mounted.

Power: 220bhp.

Gearbox: six-speed sequential dog engagement gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddleshift controls.

Tyres: Michelin 21/65/18 (slicks: S8B; wet weather tyres: P2C. Weight: 765kg


- Cécile Estenave -


09.09.2008 / MaP

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