At the opening race of Trofeo Pirelli in Misano, the first 2020 title honours have been sealed: thanks to a runner-up position and the absence of rival Fabienne Wohlwend, Emanuele Maria Tabacchi has officially claimed the European title. The victory went to Michelle Gatting, while in Am class, Frederik Paulsen grabbed a sixth triumph.
Decisive first corner. What happened at the start of Race 1 of the Trofeo Pirelli would eventually affect the final outcome of the event. Michelle Gatting took advantage of a pole position start to reach the first corner in the leading position, but found herself having to immediately fend off attacks from Emanuele Maria Tabacchi, attempting to find a gap to slip through. The Dane, however, did a worthy job of closing down the attacks in determined fashion, even coming into contact with her opponent although without any serious consequences.
In the heart of the main group, meanwhile, an over-zealous Matús Vyboh, while trying to break away, came into contact with Frederik Espersen. A pile-up ensued involving numerous drivers. The Safety Car made its entrance to restore order and allow safety to be re-established in the race. As the dust settled on the accident, Espersen, Leonardo Maria Del Vecchio and Christian Overgaard were all forced to withdraw. Vyboh was, subsequently, forced into the pits due to damage sustained to the vehicle in the incident.
As the Safety Car re-entered, Michelle Gatting stayed focused on retaining the top spot, with Tabacchi attempting to remain in the slipstream. Third place was held by Florian Merckx, followed by Frederik Paulsen and Olivier Grotz, first in Am class. Behind came two season rookies: Tim Kohmann and Vicente Potolicchio.
At the head of the field, meanwhile, Gatting was showing victory aspirations and applying the pressure. Tabacchi, probably focusing more on the general standings, was unable to keep pace, trailing by over two seconds. Only in the final stretches did the Italian driver attempt to narrow the gap, but was unsuccessful in undermining the driver in the Scuderia Niki – Iron Lynx livery, who crossed the finish-line in first place to clinch a well-deserved victory. Runner-up spot went to Tabacchi who, taking advantage of the absence of rival Fabienne Wohlwend, claimed the 2020 Ferrari Challenge European championship crown with one round still to run. Third place went to Florian Merckx, while Tim Kohmann posted fourth.
In the Am category, the triumph was snatched for a sixth time this season by Frederik Paulsen who outclassed Olivier Grotz, ahead of a brilliant Potolicchio. Behind finished Roman Ziemian, Alessandro Cozzi, Nicolò Rosi and Hanno Laskowski. The result proved most favourable to Paulsen, the leader of the general standings, who took advantage of Vyboh’s withdrawal to consolidate the leadership with a 23-point advantage over his rival.