Laurent Seron

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Laurent Seron (born 24 May 1991 in Dinant, Belgium) is a Belgian racing driver who has competed in the REECCS and F1RWRS and is currently competing in the 2014 F2RWRS season, alongside Wouter Lamberigts. He had a short F1RWRS career, starting the non-championship 2013 Budweiser 500 as third driver for Gillet Ecurie Nationale Belge. Seron finished the race in 15th place, 3 laps down.

Career

1995-2005: Karting

Seron was brought up in a racing family through and through. He was encouraged to drive karts since he could walk, and the constant practice turned him into an incredibly consistant driver. This ability to do very long runs with little speed variation would help him greatly in his career.

Aided by his parents, Laurent decided to try his hand at competition karting, and in 2003, at age 12, he was driving full-time in the national junior championship. He kept out of trouble nicely and simply racked up the points, taking his first victory at Genk and eventually finishing sixth in the championship. The next year, he crushed the opposition to take the title, as well as the Dutch title.

Still too young to move up to cars, Laurent decided to step up to continental level, driving in the European championship. He quickly realised the difference in speeds between the karts, but quickly grew accustomed to them and eventually finished second in the championship. At the end of the year, he took part in the World Junior Championship, in which in finished fourth. At 14, he was ready to move up to cars.

2006-2007: Formula Ford

Still relatively young, Laurent preferred to stay close to home, and chose the relatively uncompetitve Benelux and Dutch Formula Ford championships. The jump to cars being even more impressive than any previous ones, he took more time to get used to the car's nature, and eventually finished a respectable fourth in the championship.

With one year's useful experience, Laurent decided to move to Britain to drive in the highly competitive series. He never showed a single sign of homesickness, and after many battles against eventual champion Callum MacLeod, he earned the attention of team managers higher up the racing ladder. At 17 years old, Seron moved to Formula 3.

2008-2010: Formula 3

In 2008, Laurent was in German F3 driving for Ombra Racing alongside Matteo Chinosi and Federico Leo. Despite driving a third car, Laurent made his presence known by picking up three podiums in the first four races, including a win at the first race at Oschersleben. However, in qualifying for the round of the Nürburgring, Seron lost control of his car on the front stretch after the rear suspension collapsed. His car steered into the pitwall, somehow jamming the throttle open, and Laurent struck the tyre wall at full speed. He was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken right leg, ending his season. The points he gathered, however, were still enough to guarantee him ninth place in the championship.

His performances in 2008 were enough to guarantee him a first driver role at Zettl Sportsline Motorsport alongside Nico Monien and Shirley van der Lof, grand-daughter of Dries van der Lof. Indeed, a Belgian dominated the season, but it wasn't Laurent, as Laurens Vanthoor demolished the field, becoming the youngest ever champion. More often than not, it was Laurent who picked up the pieces however, and with four race wins and countless other podiums, Laurent finished the year in a safe second, which guaranteed him a seat as third driver at ART Motorsport in Formula 3 Euroseries for 2010.

In the series, Laurent was very impressive. He scored points in 14 of the 18 races, including 10 podiums and three race wins. He was unable to stop Edoardo Mortara from winning the championship, but he was set for a bright few years in World Series by Renault and GP2. Inexplicably, however, he decided to move away from open-wheels in 2011.

2011-2012: REECCS

Indeed, Thomas De Bock had decided to start a racing operation for the new REECCS series, a touring car series gathering old cars from the Eastern bloc. Patriot as always, De Bock wanted a Belgian. After Aurelien Moll decided to enter the F1RWRS, De Bock decided to sign Seron, "the next big driver in Belgian motor racing".

However, De Bock showed his lack of team-leading experience and ran an underpowered (but surprisingly well-balanced) Dacia 1300, who would have a hard time coping with the difficult tracks in the 18-race season. Even so, Seron's driving talent was demonstrated, dragging the Dacia in the points for four of the first five races, including fourth place at the Top Gear Test Track. Then came a four-race points drought, that lasted until Oran Park, where Laurent finished seventh.

The race at Lyngas was expected to be tough, as the first chicane's layout was deemed very dangerous by the drivers. Indeed, most of them left the track and collided with the unprotected control tower on the inside of the chicane. Laurent, helped by the Dacia's stability, managed to avoid hitting the tower, coming through the attrition to win his first race.

The results sank again immediately following the win, but at Monza, Laurent was up front again. In third place entering the final lap, he took advantage of a collision between the top two to steal an unlikely second victory. After two more consecutive no-scores, he would have to do well in the Bathurst Enduro alongside co-driver Eric Swerts in order to finish in the top-five in the championship. Both drivers finished their respective races in sixth, and the resulting 33 points were enough for Laurent, who finished the year in 5th. He immediately decided to remain a further season, as he deemed the series to be a good place to develop close-combat skills.

2013: GP3, F1RWRS

After exiting REECCS, Laurent decided to head back into open-wheel racing. Thomas De Bock had convinced Gillet to back Laurent in a GP3 campaign to groom him for a drive in the announced F2RWRS for 2014. Laurent would spend the season driving for RSC Mücke Motorsport.

The season went very well, considering that he had to adapt to open-wheel cars after two years in tin-tops. In the 18-race season, Seron won four races, including a double victory at Monaco. He finished third in the championship with room for improvement. Instead of staying one more year to aim for the title, he was to spend 2014 in the F2RWRS. In preparation for the season, he competed in the non-championship FedEx 100 at Indianapolis. While his team-mate Wouter Lamberigts took a surprise victory, Laurent finished the race in fifth. In addition, Laurent was selected by Gillet as the third driver for the 2013 Budweiser 500, the marquee race of the F1RWRS, despite it being non-championship. His lack of experience meant that nothing was to be expected of him. This lack of pressure meant that he didn't make any mistakes and finished a respectable 15th, three laps down.

2014-2015: F2RWRS

Laurent was ready for his first full season in the FRWRS system, and he would be driving alongside Lamberigts. In pre-season testing, both drivers proved to be excpetional qualifiers, but much slower on longer runs. As it turned out, Seron couldn't really show his race pace, as, during the season-opening Turkish Grand Prix, he collided with Andrej Kremnicky while rejoining the course after a minor spin. His car was split in half on impact, and Seron sustained fractures in his left arm, sidelining him for four races.

However, the car had proven to be a rocketship in qualifying, but hopeless in the races (except for Terry Hawkin, who had replaced Seron). Laurent did nothing to prove this fact wrong. It isn't known whether it was because he was recuperating from his accident, because the car was bad or because Laurent was just slow, but he didn't score a single point. His accident made Gillet think twice, and he will drive for the team again in 2015. However, he will be given less races to work with, as Eric Swerts, his teammate in REECCS at Bathurst, will drive in select races.

2016-current: SARS, F1RWRS

Relegated to a F1RWRS test driver for Gillet in the 2016 season, Seron was on the lookout for new challenges to combine with his testing duties. An offer soon came from an unexpected source - the Himalayas Racing team, newly announced as running in the 2016 Siemens Ausdauer Reject Series season. Laurent was given the lead driver role in the team, and is expected to have a lot of work on his hands training up his inexperienced Nepali co-drivers, Raju Chalise and Ganesh Basnet.

REECCS Results

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 DC Pts
2011 De Bock Race Engineering Dacia 1300 BSP
13
TGT
4
KNO
16
LRN
12
LYD
11
ROC
19
F8T
Ret
SAN
25
SAO
16
ORA
7
LYN
1
MON
10
PAU
25
BKM
11
MNZ
1
LIE
28
NOR
23
BAT
6
5th 141

F2RWRS Results

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 DC Pts
2014 Group Lotus Professional Ecurie Nationale Belge - Gillet TUR
Ret
MON
INJ
FRA
INJ
GBR
INJ
AUT
INJ
GER
Ret
NED
Ret
BEL
Ret
HUN
15
CZE
12
ITA
15
POR
9
ESP
17
CAN
13
USA
Ret
=26th 0

*Season in progress