Roger Grouwels wins again in Race 2 in Portimão, while in Am class “Boris Gideon” makes it onto the honours list.
The final race of the day on the Portuguese track, involving the protagonists of Coppa Shell, turned out to be a thrill-packed affair full of twists. As the lights went out, Roger Grouwels set about defending his pole position and took control of the leadership with Axel Sartingen in hot pursuit. Corinna Gostner and Fons Scheltema were likewise making their presence felt behind in what would turn out to be a bitterly hard-fought battle for the podium that would last the entire race.
Ernst Kirchmayr got off to an excellent start, beginning the race from way down the order, clawing back no less than seven positions in the course of the opening lap. In Am class, “Alex Fox” was ruling the roost, followed by Boris Gideon, Laurent De Meeus and Michael Simoncic.
The race, however, soon went static with the entrance of the Safety Car, triggered to allow Simoncic’s stationary car to be removed from a hazardous point on the track. When the racing resumed after four laps, Sartingen pounced on Grouwels to leap to the head of the field. Elsewhere in Am class, it was all “Alex Fox”, the driver holding the top spot ahead of Boris Gideon and Miroslav Vyboh. On the seventh lap, Grouwels retook the leadership, while, almost immediately after, Sartingen was summoned in for a drive-through for overtaking while the Safety Car was on track. Race stewards also intervened for “Alex Fox” whom they slammed with a 10-second penalty for making contact with De Meeus.
At the end of the 30-minute race, the Coppa Shell victory was seized by Grouwels ahead of Kirchmayr, who had come very close to pulling it off: the Austrian driver finished just three tenths of a second shy of the winner, after having registered the fastest lap of the race. Third place went to Corinna Gostner who arrived alongside Fons Scheltema; however, the latter’s time was hindered by a 10-second penalty after contact with the Italian during the final lap.
Among the Am class, a first season success for “Boris Gideon”, ahead of Laurent De Meeus, who let the chance of victory slip through his fingers, after a spin in the final minutes of racing saw the driver stumble and lose the leadership. “Alex Fox” made it onto the final step of the podium, holding on to the top of the class standings.