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    Fleming and Gostner win Race-2 at Spa

    Spa-Francorchamps 17 settembre 2023

    Day two of the penultimate round of the season in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe at Spa-Francorchamps saw wins for Thomas Fleming (HR Owen - FF Corse), who keeps the race for the Trofeo Pirelli title open, while Manuela Gostner (CDP - MP Racing) won in the Coppa Shell. Franz Engstler (Charles Pozzi GT Racing) celebrated with another triumph in the Trofeo Pirelli Am 2023, with Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa – Pellin Racing) snatching his first win of the year in the Coppa Shell Am.

    The circuit in the Ardennes also hosted the showdown of the British Prancing Horse single-marque series. The final race of the season saw H. Sikkens (HR Owen) cross the line first ahead of Andrew Morrow (Charles Hurst) with the latter clinching the Pirelli Trofeo championship trophy. In the Coppa Shell, Paul Hogarth (Stratstone Manchester) celebrated the title with a sixth win of the season.

    Trofeo Pirelli. After the pole position secured in the morning, in a qualifying session made trickier by the still partly wet asphalt from the previous night’s rain, Thomas Fleming managed to hold the lead throughout the race, crossing the finish line first. The race ended behind the Safety Car due to an off without consequences at the rear of the field several minutes from the end. The young British driver – who also earned the bonus point for a fastest lap of 2'23"129 – thus reduces the gap to the leader of the overall standings, Eliseo Donno (Radicci Automobili), to 19 points. After yesterday’s win, the driver from Salento had to settle for fourth place, while having still pulled back three positions from the starting grid. Also on the podium was Bence Valint (Rossocorsa - Ferrari Budapest), runner-up, who was able to fend off until the very end, the overtaking attempts from a determined Adrian Sutil (Gohm - Baron Motorsport), third.

    It was a perfect weekend in the Trofeo Pirelli Am for the newly-crowned champion Franz Engstler, who took pole position, the fastest lap time of 2'25"430 and first place on day two at the Belgian circuit, having led the race throughout. There was a tight tussle behind him with Hendrik Viol (Scuderia Praha), posting second, who replicated the result of Race-1, while third place went to American Enzo Potolicchio (Ferrari of Central Florida) thanks to a decisive overtaking manoeuvre on Claus Zibrandtsen (Formula Racing), fourth.

    Classifications. With one win each in Belgium, Eliseo Donno and Thomas Fleming continue their challenge in the Trofeo Pirelli, which sees the Italian ahead by 19 points, with the title race to be decided at the final round of the season at Mugello during the Finali Mondiali week at the end of October. Franz Engstler, who was crowned champion of the Trofeo Pirelli Am, now boasts a 70-point advantage over his nearest rival.

    Coppa Shell. With the title of champion of the series already in the bag, Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo - Herter Racing) started from the first grid position, thanks to the fastest qualifying time of 2'26"192, but a spin on the opening lap while defending himself against an attack by Manuela Gostneron saw him drop to mid-pack. The Italian took the lead with Roger Grouwels (Kroymans - Race Art) and Ernst Kirchmayr (Gohm - Baron Motorsport) in pursuit. The trio stayed ahead in close contact for the entire race with Manuela Gostner successfully defending her position to make it past the finish line in first place for a third time this year, whilst also gaining the bonus point for the fastest lap of 2'28"609. Behind Grouwels in runner-up spot, and Kirchmayr in third, were Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm - Scuderia GT) and Thomas Gostner (CDP - MP Racing) in that order, in a race featuring as many as 55 overtakes.

    In a gripping challenge in the Coppa Shell Am, Giuseppe Ramelli got off to an excellent start to take the lead and, thanks also to the fastest lap of 2'30"374, was the first past the chequered flag. Pole-sitter Motohiko Isozaki (Motors Cornes Shiba) had to settle for second place, while Kirk Baerwaldt (Kessel Racing) made up for a poor first day on the Belgian circuit with a third-place finish, having moved up eight places from the start.

    Classifications. Behind 2023 champion Axel Sartingen, Manuela Gostner reaches second spot in the overall standings, where she lies 11 points ahead of Alexander Nussbaumer and 13 ahead of Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing). In the Coppa Shell Am, in the run-up to the final round, Motohiko Isozaki leads by 12 points over Kirk Baerwaldt, 31 over Henrik Kamstrup (Formula Racing) and 32 over Giuseppe Ramelli.

    Next event. The final round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe is scheduled during the eagerly awaited Finali Mondiali week from 24-30 October at Italy’s Mugello circuit.