After thirty minutes of spectacular battle in the Coppa Shell, American James Weiland (Rossocorsa) and Austrian Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm Motorsport) in the Am won the first of two races in round five of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe, held at the historic and captivating Nürburgring circuit in Germany.
Coppa Shell. After this morning's wet qualifying session, it didn't rain at the Nürburgring for the start of Coppa Shell Race-1. However, the still damp asphalt was treacherous. Indeed, it immediately took its toll at the first corner, where overall poleman Joakim Olander (Scuderia Autoropa) overshot, leaving the way clear for James Weiland to move into the lead. In the middle of the pack, among all the overshooting and spins, Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) and Matthias Moser (Baron Motorsport) had the worst of it after a collision, with both having to retire early. After a few minutes of the Safety Car, the race resumed with a tight battle between Weiland and a rampant Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport). Attempting to pass, the two drivers, separated by just one point at the top of the overall standings, came into contact and the Austrian lost positions. However, the Baron Motorsport driver didn't lose heart, setting out on a spectacular attempt at a comeback. In the end, though, he foundered on Christian Kinch's (Formula Racing) strenuous defence of fourth overall and third in class, in a thrilling and prolonged contest that also involved the Am driver Ingvar Mattsson (Scuderia Autoropa).
While Weiland was the first to the chequered flag, ahead of an unexpected Christian Herdt-Wipper (Saggio München), Kinch kept his place on the lower step of the podium (fourth overall). He was behind Kirchmayr (sixth overall) and Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo), who recovered in the final stages and set the fastest lap time of 2:10.908.
Coppa Shell Am. The Am class also served up plenty of excitement, with drivers scrapping it out amongst themselves and the leading Coppa Shell drivers. After Joakim Olander overshot at the first turn, Martinus Richter (MERTEL Italo Cars Nürnberg) moved into first. However, after an outing of the Safety Car, Nussbaumer took the lead. He then defended his position with authority down to the line, which he crossed first in class and third overall. A combative Mattsson climbed the second step of the podium. After the initial frantic stages, he joined the fight for fourth place overall with Coppa Shell drivers Kinch and Kirchmayr, protecting fifth place in the end. After initial problems, Joakim Olander took third place in his class, finishing just ahead of Willem Van Der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo). Behind them, an excellent Josef Schumacher (Eberlein Automobile) set the fastest lap, ahead of home driver Richter and Italian Paolo Scudieri (Sa.Mo.Car.).
Schedule. Race-2 qualifying starts on Sunday at 9am, while the start light will go off at 1.55pm.