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NATIONS CUP
France's Beauvois (Wong_Baguette_F1) Takes the Closely Contested First Stage!
2020 Series Nations Cup - Stage 1(EMEA)
23/06/2020

The first stage of the 2020 Nations Cup got underway on April 25th.
Kevelham (HRG_RK23) of the Netherlands got off to a good start, taking 433 points in Round 3, but found points hard to come by in subsequent races, allowing the chasing pack to make up ground.
France's Beauvois (Wong_Baguette_F1), on the other hand, remained in good form throughout, peaking in Round 7, where he took 448 points.
Round 7 was less successful for Italy's Gallo (Williams_Bracer), who only managed 265 points, his lowest score overall. Despite this, his consistently high scores in other races meant that he emerged as Beauvois's closest rival for the stage.

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The final race of Stage 1 featured Gr. 1 cars, and took place on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Italy's Gallo started in pole position, with the stage leader Beauvois taking second place on the grid. The stage was set for a fierce showdown between the pair.

Gallo opted to start the race with soft tyres, while Beauvois went for medium tyres. It was expected that this would help Gallo to establish a lead at the start of the race, but disaster struck on Les Combes as he overran the corner. Beauvois saw his chance and slipped into the lead, despite operating with the disadvantage of medium tyres.

This was a huge blow to Gallo's hopes, as his plan had been to use his soft tyres to build up a lead in the early stages of the race. It didn't seem to affect his driving unduly, however, and in fact he managed to reclaim the lead on the second lap, overtaking Beauvois on the Eau Rouge corner.

Beauvois's line had only slipped slightly, but this gave Spain's Lopez (Williams_Coque14) the glimmer of opportunity he needed to try and claim second place for himself. As the battle between the two intensified, Gallo was able to increase his lead at the front of the pack.

On the fifth lap, Beauvois switched from medium to soft tyres. Gallo waited till the ninth lap to switch from soft to medium, by which point he had established a seven second lead on the chasing pack. This meant that he was able to return to the track still in first place.
Every car apart from Gallo's was now on soft tyres, but thanks to some extremely clever driving, he was actually able to further extend his lead, building up a gap that not even the veteran Beauvois was able to close.

The mandatory tyre change on the final lap saw all of the leading pack switch to hard tyres. This made no difference to the overall standings, with Gallo crossing the finishing line more than two seconds ahead of Beauvois, thus completing a spectacular pole-to-win victory.

Unfortunately for him, however, it was not quite enough to overhaul Beauvois's points total, as the Frenchman clung on to top spot and claimed the first stage.

Rank Driver DR SR Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Rd. 3 Rd. 4 Rd. 5 Rd. 6 Rd. 7 Rd. 8 Rd. 9 Rd. 10 Total
1 France Wong_Baguette_F1 S S 355 365 401 343 375 378 448 385 381 431 1280
2 Italy Williams_BRacer S S - 369 417 362 348 382 265 346 378 448 1247
3 Spain Williams_Coque14 A+ S - 353 301 329 324 377 431 355 395 414 1240
4 Netherlands HRG_RK23 S S - 351 433 313 368 361 382 369 377 381 1196
5 Italy Williams_Gio S S 345 351 385 376 384 355 349 376 393 398 1176
6 Italy Markus15_3A A+ S 340 0 337 360 240 366 398 0 - 249 1132
7 Spain PR1_JOSETE A+ S 331 360 321 375 144 376 348 378 365 359 1129
8 Hungary TRL_ADAM18 S S - 336 358 360 - - 364 362 379 348 1127
9 France SpideeR_3A S S - 345 305 0 344 354 415 - 349 331 1118
10 Finland maatu79 A+ S - 337 369 - - - 299 126 142 365 1071

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