Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport) and Willem Van Der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo) won the Am class in an exciting and challenging Coppa Shell Race-1 in Valencia, made even more unpredictable by a slippery track.
The twists and turns came early, with the race lead first changing hands after just a few turns when poleman Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo) yielded to Kirchmayr. Sartingen also had to keep an eye out for attacks from championship leader James Weiland (Rossocorsa), who tried hard to snatch second place.
The Am category also enjoyed a lively start, although poleman Willem Van Der Vorm kept the number one spot. It was behind the Monegasque driver that the race ignited. Joakim Olander (Scuderia Autoropa) and Maurizio Pitorri (CDP – Best Lap) passed Peter Christensen (Formula Racing) and Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa), taking respectively second and third place in class. However, Olander’s joy was short-lived. First, Pitorri passed him, and then he ended up in a spin that sent him crashing into the barriers. Unfortunately, his race was over after just four minutes. At that point, the Safety Car came on, freezing proceedings for three minutes.
Immediately after the green flag, sparks flew again. Weiland attacked Sartingen once more, getting the better of him to move into second. Then, a real battle broke out at the top, with Weiland also trying unsuccessfully to catch up with the leader Kirchmayr. Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) took advantage of the situation, ousting the American driver to grab second place. Christian Kinch (Formula Racing) joined in this fierce scrap, passing both Weiland and Sartingen in a few moves to slip into third position.
At the halfway stage, the situation was far from clear even in the Am where Pitorri and Mattsson had to watch out for the uncontainable Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa - Pellin Racing), Josef Schumacher (Eberlein Automobile) and Paolo Scudieri (Sa.Mo.Car). Then, after a spin, Sartingen lost his hold on fifth place.
Kirchmayr and Scheltema continued their struggle down to the line. The Austrian appeared to give way initially but recovered and kept his rival at bay down to the chequered flag. Kirchmayr claimed the win by less than a tenth of a second. Kinch finished in third place, while Weiland crossed the line in fourth, a fraction ahead of “Alex Fox” (SF Grand Est Mulhouse).
In the Am, Van Der Vorm triumphed ahead of Mattsson, who, with only a few laps to go, grabbed second position from Pitorri. Fourth place went to Peter Christensen and fifth to Paolo Scudieri.