Roger Grouwels beat Ernst Kirchmayr at the end of a heated battle in the first Coppa Shell race at Misano to score a sixth season win, thus consolidating his place at the top of the leadership table. In Am class, a first victory for Laurent De Meeus.
The race. As the lights on the gantry went out, Ernst Kirchmayr capitalized on the advantage of pole position to keep command of the race, closely pursued by Richard Grouwels. Third position was occupied by Christian Kinch being threatened by Fons Scheltema, while in fifth place Laurent De Meeus held the leadership among the Am contenders ahead of “Alex Fox”. In seventh spot sat Thomas Gostner followed by Claudio Schiavoni and Michael Simoncic.
“Boris Gideon” was forced to withdraw prematurely from the race after falling foul of early contact, prompting race stewards to neutralize the race with a Safety Car entrance to allow the removal of the vehicle. No major reshuffle occurred once racing resumed with all the frontrunners effectively consolidating positions. On lap four Giuseppe Ramelli came into contact with Willem Van Der Vorm: race authorities deemed the manoeuvre unlawful and sanctioned the Italian with an additional five-second penalty at the end of the race.
The race revolved around the heated battle for the first position between Kirchmayr and Grouwels, as well as the feud for third spot between Kinch and Scheltema. Only on lap thirteenth did Grouwels – after preying on his opponent throughout the race – stage the decisive attack to snatch the lead, skilfully overtaking Kirchmayr. The Austrian then ran the risk of dropping second place too and was forced to fend off attacks from Kinch, who, in the meantime, had managed to outpace Scheltema.
The leading trio continued the tussle right up until the chequered flag, however, the order remained, with the victory – the sixth of the season – going to Roger Grouwels ahead of Kirchmayr and Kinch. Fourth place was claimed by Scheltema who finished ahead of Thomas Gostner and Claudio Schiavoni. Seventh, and first in Am class, was Laurent De Meeus who collected a first 2020 win in the Ferrari Challenge, pipping class leader “Alex Fox”. On the lowest step of the podium in the Coppa Shell Am category was Michael Simoncic. Fourth final place went to Giuseppe Ramelli.