Alpine Europa Cup: First points of the season for Gosia Rdest at Nogaro
Updated: Apr 28, 2022
With an eighth and ninth place at the first round of the 2022 Alpine Elf Europa Cup, Gosia Rdest started her third season in the series with two solid point-scoring finishes, showing encouraging pace for the remainder of the season.
At her third season in Alpine Europa Cup, former W Series racer Gosia Rdest kicked-off her 2022 season at Nogaro, France, on the Easter weekend.
Rdest, 29, became ambassador for the Alpine brand in 2020 and joined the one-make series at the wheel of the A110 Cup car. In her first year in the championship, Rdest was eighth in the drivers' points table, finishing 9 out of the 10 races in the top ten. Her best result was a sixth place – obtained in six consecutive races in the second half of the season.
In 2021, she was again 8th in the standings, finishing 11 out of the 12 rounds in the top-ten and claiming her first overall podium at Magny Cours, France, at the second race meeting of the season.
The series has witnessed its competitive level skyrocketing over the past few years and its grid growing in numbers of entries. Last year's champion Jean-Baptiste Mela graduated to the European GT4 championship; runner up Ugo De Wilde moved to European Le Mans Series in LMP2 machinery, while third-placed Lilou Wadoux is now part of the Richard Mille Racing crew in World Endurance Championship – as a further proof of the quality platform of the GT4-based Alpine Europa Cup.
While the top-three stepped up from the series, a large number of new up-and-coming talents joined the season opener at Circuit Paul Armagnac, Nogaro. Among them is also Margaux Verza, a young Frenchwoman who made her debut in the Patrick Roger Autosport GP Alpine A110. A total of 25 drivers entere the inaugural round over the Easter holidays.
Rdest's season started off with the right foot, as the fast Polish woman – this year again in the colours of Chazel Technologie Course – was always among the fastest on track in practice.
She would eventually finish eighth in both Saturday sessions – and she confirmed her pace within the top ten in qualifying 1, where she was P8 on the timing sheets.
Gosia had a great start in race 1 and quickly gained one position – before chasing the cars ahead with enough speed to continue to move up the order. While Rdest did eventually catch his competitor, there was not enough time to attack and she took the chequered flag in eighth place, conquering her first points of the season with a solid race.
Her teammate, Lucas Frayssinet, took a lights-to-flag victory – his first ever in the series – preceding Rodolphe Wallgren and Simon Tirman, who had battled for second in an exciting duel. From sixth on the grid, Wallgren had an outstanding race and passed Méric on lap 7, before moving ahead of Tirman in the closing stages. Once in second place, Frayssinet had already opened a 7-second gap.
Paul Cauhaupé (Patrick Roger Autosport GP) had sealed a front-row start in second, but had to retire with a gearbox failure.
Simon Tirman took pole on Monday for race 2, followed by less than a tenth by Edwin Traynard and Paul Cauhaupé. For Gosia Rdest, Q2 would be even more successful than Saturday's session, as the young woman finished one place ahead, in seventh.
Tirman had a perfect getaway and led the pack – progressively pulling away. Behind him, there were battles throughout, and Gosia Rdest was caught in the hectic first laps, dropping to eleventh. She would quickly start to pick up the pace and charge back.
In a thrilling turn of events, race leader Tirman pulled off and retired with technical issues, leaving Edwin Traynard in the lead of the race, followed by Louis Méric and Paul Cauhaupé.
Race 1 winner Lucas Frayssinet also retired with a puncture.
Gosia Rdest, who had managed to climb back up to ninth, also had a few technical gremlins that prevented her from further recovering.
Traynard sealed Chazel Technologie Course's second win of the weekend, winning both the general and junior classes, two years after his first success in the series. Louis Méric and Paul Cauhaupé rounded out the podium, while Rodolphe Wallgren and Louis Maurice completed the top five. in her first weekend in the series, Margaux Verza was P23 and P22.
"Overall, I am very happy with this weekend", commented Gosia Rdest, ninth across the line. "The atmosphere of Easter at Nogaro is amazing and I am glad that I got to spend this unique period of the year here for the second time."
Rdest scored points in both races and showed good pace to remain within the group of front-runners throughout the weekend. "I'm almost fused with the car, the modifications introduced improve the competition, but you don't have to get used to them too much", she continued.
"We had some technical gremlins, some were repaired over the weekend, some the team will be finding out. Most importantly, we got points from both races, I was regularly in the leading group among new drivers. It can only get better."
Edwin Traynard now has a three-point lead from Louis Méric and Rodolphe Wallgren in the driver's standings, with four drivers in six points ahead of the second round at Magny-Cours (12-14 May).
"I am very happy with the performance of my teammates, as Lucas [Frayssinet] and Edwin [Traynard] won the races, which shows that as a team we are able to fight for the top positions", concluded Rdest. "The boys managed to win, so now it's my turn - hopefully as soon as possible!"