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Challenge Europe – Nicklas Nielsen champion on dream day for Manu Gostner

Challenge Europe – Nicklas Nielsen champion on dream day for Manu Gostner

16 September 2018

Montmelò – Manuela Gostner became only the second woman to win a Ferrari Challenge Europe race, with victory today in Race-2 of the Coppa Shell. Murat Cuhadaroglu, Chris Froggatt and Nicklas Nielsen also won, with the latter sealing the 2018 Trofeo Pirelli title with a round to go.

Coppa Shell. In the Coppa Shell, polewoman Manuela Gostner, set off best and settled into the lead pursued by her Ineco-MP Racing teammate, Erich Prinoth, and Race-1 winner, Christophe Hurni. The Italian quickly established a solid lead over Prinoth who was caught up in a duel with the Team Zenith Sion-Lausanne driver, who passed him on lap 5. The battle for third was hard fought with Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) passing Rick Lovat (Octane 126) to move into fourth and then overtaking Prinoth for third. Shortly after, Lovat also passed Prinoth, then forced to retire, and a mistake by Scheltema handed the Canadian driver third place on a silver platter. Manuela Gostner thus became the second woman to win a Ferrari Challenge race after Fabienne Wohlwend, victor in Race-2 at Imola in 2017 and then three times this season. Hurni’s second place is particularly valuable because it gives him the lead in the standings thanks to the withdrawal of Eric Cheung after a mechanical issue affected the 488 Challenge of Formula Racing.

Shell Am. Alexander Nussbaumer (Formula Racing) failed to repeat his win in Race-1 of the Coppa Shell Am against championship leader Murat Cuhadaroglu who fought tooth and claw to hold his position. Kessel Racing’s Turkish driver ceded first place at the start but immediately recovered to triumph ahead of Nussbaumer and Dusan Palcr (Scuderia Praha). Ingvar Mattsson finished in fourth, a long way behind his two rivals with only the Finali Mondiali at Monza, from 1 to 4 November, to go before the end of the season.

Trofeo Pirelli. In the Trofeo Pirelli, championship leader Nicklas Nielsen needed to finish ahead of Bjorn Grossmann to wrap up the title ahead of schedule, which the Formula Racing driver did easily enough, beating his Octane 126 rival. The race itself was overshadowed by two accidents that obliged the race officials to bring on the Safety Car twice. Third place went to Jens Liebhauser who beat Sean Hudspeth in a final sprint.

Pirelli Am. In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, poleman Jack Brown was quickly knocked out of the running by an accident involving Formula Racing drivers Sean Hudspeth and Jens Liebhauser. This left the way open for the 2018 champion Chris Froggatt (Ferrari GB – HR Owen) to notch up his eighth win of the season ahead of Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) and Tommaso Rocca.