Thomas Fleming (HR Owen – FF Corse) in the Trofeo Pirelli and Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo – Herter Racing) in Coppa Shell scored repeat victories at Estoril. They also won Race-2 of round five of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe, held for the first time at the historic Portuguese circuit. Franz Engstler (Charles Pozzi GT Racing) also repeated his Race-1 victory, consolidating his lead in the Trofeo Pirelli Am. Henrik Kamstrup (Formula Racing) took his first win in the Coppa Shell Am.
Trofeo Pirelli. The young Thomas Fleming, who started from pole position with a time of 1’37”653, and Eliseo Donno, second in qualifying 142 thousandths behind the leader, fought another exciting contest in Race-2. At the end of the 30-minute outing, the British driver again came out on top, after holding first position in the early stages and progressively stretching his lead over his rival. He also won the extra point for the fastest lap time of 1’39”149. The experienced Max Mugelli (CDP – Eureka Competition) again completed the class podium.
The second Trofeo Pirelli Am race was also tightly contested, with Franz Engstler overtaking poleman Hanno Laskowski (Emil Frey Sportivo) at the start. The duel between the two Germans saw Laskowski regain the lead in the final minutes, but Engstler, who also set the fastest lap time of 1’41”039, struck back to cross the line in first place. Marco Zanasi (CDP – Pinetti Motorsport) finished third, getting the better of newcomer Hendrik Viol (Scuderia Praha) in a long and gripping battle. James Owen (Meridien Modena – FF Corse) was fifth, followed by Nicolò Rosi (Kessel Racing).
Standings Trofeo Pirelli. With his two victories in Portugal, Thomas Fleming cut the gap to leader Eliseo Donno. The Italian now tops the overall standings with 123 points, ahead of the Briton on 100 and Mugelli on 81. In the Trofeo Pirelli Am, Franz Engstler increased his lead over his closest pursuer Hanno Laskowski, to 35 points.
Coppa Shell. Axel Sartingen set off again from pole, courtesy of a qualifying time of 1’40”052, almost two-tenths faster than his best time in the first session. After successfully controlling the race, he came away with a second win at the Portuguese circuit, taking a firm hold of the title battle. After two early entries by the Safety Car when John Dhillon (Graypaul Nottingham) and Mutlu Tasev (Emil Frey Sportivo) went off track (both escaping unscathed), the trio of Sartingen, Herdt-Wipper (Emil Frey Sportivo) and Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) gradually built up an advantage over the rest of the pack and fought a tight duel. The German passed under the chequered flag first after using his experience to fend off the comeback attempts of his compatriot, who set the fastest lap of 1’42”332, second, and Scheltema, third.
In the Coppa Shell Am, Henrik Kamstrup celebrated his first win in the Ferrari Challenge Europe thanks to a ten-second penalty imposed at the end of the race on Kirk Baerwaldt (Kessel Racing) for an overtaking move completed outside the track limits. Having set the best qualifying time of 1’40”858 to start from pole and crossing the finish line first, the Singaporean driver ended the day in fourth, taking the point for the best lap time of 1’42”717. Josef Schumacher (Eberlein Automobile) thus moved up to second place, completing a very positive weekend after Saturday’s triumph, while Motohiko Isozaki (Cornes Motor Shiba) was third, repeating yesterday’s result.
Standings Coppa Shell. Axel Sartingen extended his lead in the Coppa Shell overall standings with his double win and two pole positions. He now holds a 59-point margin over Fons Scheltema, who secured second place by taking advantage of a scoreless weekend for Manuela Gostner (CDP - MP Racing), now third, 66 points behind the leader.
Despite his fourth place today, Kirk Baerwaldt retains an eight-point lead over Motohiko Isozaki, while Henrik Kamstrup climbs to third place.
Next round. The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe will be back on track at Spa-Francorchamps from 15 to 17 September for the sixth round of the season, the last before the Finali Mondiali at Mugello at the end of October.