Thrills and spills in Coppa Shell with Ernst-Albert Berg redeeming himself after yesterday’s bad luck to take the victory in Race 2 on his Ferrari Challenge Europe debut weekend. “Boris Gideon” wins in Am class.
After yesterday’s pole position and an unfortunate Race 1 that ended at the first corner, Ernst-Albert Berg scooped an amazing hat-trick on day two at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The Belgian driver, after having set the fastest lap in the morning qualifying session, also claimed the win and further enhanced it by recording the day’s fastest lap of 2:26.231.
A steady start to the second round of the Coppa Shell, with all drivers following the polesitter Berg into the La Source turn, led by Roger Grouwels – Race 1 winner and leader in the general standings. While the top two began to edge away lap by lap, several spectacular battles ignited behind them: Guy Fawe and Fons Scheltema scrapped over third place, while Christian Kinch and James Weiland repeated the thrilling dogfight already witnessed in Race 1, this time the battle being for fifth spot.
In seventh place overall, Michael Simoncic, who started from pole position in Am class, hung on to the leadership, while keeping the heated duels behind him firmly in check. These included the battle between Matthias Moser and “Boris Gideon” for second place and the tussle between “Alex Fox” and Laurent De Meeus for fourth position.
Approaching the halfway point of the race, Scheltema became more aggressive on Fawe’s tail, but ended up bumping into him and damaging the rear end. While Fawe dropped the order to fifth place, Scheltema was penalized with a drive-through. Kinch and Weiland were on hand to take advantage of the situation, moving up into third and fourth place respectively.
After the obligatory pitstop, Scheltema came back out on track in eighth place, into the thick of a battle in Am class, still led by Simoncic in front of a quartet of cars becoming ever more threatening and compact which only added to the thrilling showdown which would last right up until the final twist-filled stages of the race.
After an on-going battle for the top positions, James Weiland managed to pull off his now trademark overtaking manoeuvre at Les Combes, going around the outside of Kinch to grab third overall place. Behind, the duel between Fawe and Scheltema had resumed as both bid to collect precious points towards the general standings. While the Dutch driver managed to retake fifth position, taking advantage of Fawe going wide, the latter got involved in an accident with Simoncic – the current Am class leader – while the pair headed into La Source. As a consequence Fawe was forced to retire and Simoncic slipped several positions to be overtaken by the group of four led by “Boris Gideon”, now in the fray for a possible class win.
Ernst-Albert Berg crossed the finish-line in clean air, rounding off a perfect day ahead of Grouwels, runner-up while increasing the gap at the top of general standings, ahead of Weiland (third), Kinch (fourth) and Scheltema (fifth). Yet the final thrills were still to come in Am class. “Boris Gideon” succeeded in keeping a cool head and left it until literally the final turn to claim the win and sixth place overall, against a buoyant De Meeus, highly motivated to redeem himself after an unfortunate Race 1, who managed to overtake Moser and finish in second place. Third step on the podium, thus went to Moser ahead of “Alex Fox” and an unlucky Simoncic.