Roger Grouwels secured his third Coppa Shell victory of the season at Portimão, while Alex Fox stretched his lead the standings with his second win of 2020.
Coppa Shell Race-1 contained its fair share of excitement. Poleman Ernst Kirchmayr got off to a good start and retained his lead, although Roger Grouwels stuck close on his tail. Fons Scheltema’s excellent start took him from sixth to fourth, while Corinna Gostner was surprised by “Alex Fox” and Michael Simoncic who passed her.
At the end of lap one, Grouwels prepared his attack on Kirchmayr which he completed a few laps later, with some help from the mechanical problems that afflicted the Austrian’s car, forcing him to retire.
During lap three Corinna Gostner passed “Alex Fox” and Laurent de Meeus in close succession, all battling for victory in the Coppa Shell Am.
Meanwhile, a fight erupted for the last two places on the Coppa Shell podium, involving Alex Sartingen, Fons Scheltema and Thomas Gostner, in that order. However, in reality, the latter two fought the real battle with passes and a result that hung in the balance down to the chequered flag. Corinna Gostner also tried to elbow her way into the mix, but while attempting to pass her father lost control of the car and saw her two rivals pull away.
In the Am, De Meeus appeared to be heading for victory, but on lap 14 the marshals inflicted a five-second penalty on the Belgian driver for not respecting the track limits. A little later, De Meeus started to lose ground due to a puncture and was forced to abandon the race.
Victory in the Coppa Shell went to Roger Grouwels ahead of Axel Sartingen and Fons Scheltema. Thomas Gostner preceded his daughter Corinna over the finish line but failed to pass the Dutchman. He is yet to mount the podium this season. With this triumph and Kirchmayr’s withdrawal, Grouwels consolidated his lead in the overall ranking.
“Alex Fox” on the other hand, with De Meeus out of the picture, celebrated victory in the Am class, pulling away from his nearest rival Michael Simoncic, second at the chequered flag ahead of “Boris Gideon”. Miroslav Výboh crossed the line in fourth. Alex Fox’s now enjoys a nine-point lead in the standings.
Coppa Shell Race-2 will take place on the Portuguese circuit tomorrow, Sunday 2 August, starting at 4:20 pm, local time (UCT+1).