Wartique, Grotz, Grouwels and “Alex Fox” on top in Portimão
Ferrari Challenge Europe

Wartique, Grotz, Grouwels and “Alex Fox” on top in Portimão

Portimão | 1 August 2020

Portimão, 1st August 2020 – The Algarve International Circuit today hosted the first races of the third date of the European Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli series. John Wartique and Olivier Grotz claimed their first ever Ferrari Challenge success at the end of an action-packed Trofeo Pirelli thriller full of twists and turns. Roger Grouwels and “Alex Fox” added continuity after their recent victories in Barcelona, dominating Coppa Shell.

Trofeo Pirelli. In the line-up reserved for the 488 Challenge Evo in Trofeo Pirelli, the honours were scooped by John Wartique (Francorchamps Motors Luxemburg) ahead of Fabienne Wohlwend (Octane 126) and Emanuele Maria Tabacchi (Rossocorsa), today’s pole-sitter and leader in the general standings. The Italian, who started the day as odds-on favourite, was involved in a first lap-incident, coming into contact with Florian Merckx (Baron Motorsport) which forced him into the pits and eventually saw him finish a lap adrift of the eventual race winner. Tabacchi, however, took away the fastest lap of the race as a consolation. Wartique produced a very solid showing after having dictated the pace throughout the mid-section of the race, a phase led by Olivier Grotz. Once back at the head of the field, the returning Dutchman’s bid for victory was a foregone conclusion.

Olivier Grotz (Formula Racing) claimed his first success in the series, edging out Matúš Výboh (Scuderia Praha) and Frederik Paulsen (Formula Racing) who, in spite of being hindered by a 10” penalty after contact with Frederik Espersen (Baron Motorsport), nevertheless managed to finish four hundredths of a second ahead of his fellow countryman. Výboh’s performance was the most eye-catching of the race, with the highlight of the fastest lap.

Coppa Shell. Roger Grouwels (Race Art – Kroymans) claimed a third season triumph after taking advantage of Ernst Kirchmay’s (Baron Motorsport) retirement from the race. The Dutchman managed to get the better of Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo) and Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing), one of the main protagonists of the race who made a valiant effort at warding off the final assaults from Thomas Gostner (CDP – MP Racing), the author of the fastest lap. In Coppa Shell Am, the winning spoils again went to “Alex Fox” (SF Grand Est Mulhouse) who, after having brought the battle to the drivers from superior classes, kept a rapid late surge from Michael Simoncic (Baron Motorsport) firmly in check. Third was “Boris Gideon” (Formula Racing), while pole-sitter Laurent De Meeus (H.R. Owen), after having clocked up the fastest lap of the race, was forced to abandon the competition two laps shy of the finish due to a puncture.

Schedule. Tomorrow, the second and final day of racing at the Portuguese track gets underway with qualifying for Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell scheduled to start from 10:00 to 10:30 and 11:00 to 11:30 respectively. The thirty-minute Trofeo Pirelli race sets off at 15:00, followed at 16:20 by the Coppa Shell event. All times are local (UTC+1).

Live and streaming. The Ferrari website (live.ferrari.com) will be transmitting the qualifying sessions and race with live commentary in English.


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