Breathtaking duels and a no-holds-barred finish decided the order of arrival in a thrilling Coppa Shell Race-1 at the Spielberg circuit in Austria. Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo) mounted the top step of the podium, while Joakim Olander (Scuderia Autoropa) triumphed in the Am.
Polesitter Axel Sartingen had to give way to Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport) after the first few turns, while James Weiland (Rossocorsa) kept a firm hold on third position. The early stages were exciting, with plenty of contacts. Indeed, Christian Kinch (Formula Racing) suffered the consequences, spinning while trying to disentangle himself from the still compact group. Sartingen and Kirchmayr slugged it out in a tight duel at the top, with the German driver grabbing the lead in the seventh minute of the race.
It was similar in the Am class where Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa - Pellin Racing) took the lead after battling with Michael Simoncic (Baron Motorsport) and Willem Van der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo), who failed to capitalise on his pole start. However, Ramelli was hit with a five-second penalty for an irregular manoeuvre, irredeemably compromising his brilliant performance.
The duel between Simoncic and Van der Vorm turned fierce seven minutes from the flag, with the Polish driver taking advantage of a straight stretch to press his Austrian rival until making the final pass. Van der Vorm, in second, veered onto the gravel with a few minutes to go and spun out. Simoncic (Baron Motorsport), intent on defending third place, could do nothing to avoid a collision. The accident didn't alter the Coppa Shell standings, with the entry of the Safety Car freezing the positions down to the chequered flag. Sartingen was the winner ahead of Kirchmayr and Weiland.
However, it certainly changed the Am rankings: Joakim Olander climbed from fourth to second place, followed by Laurent De Meeus (HR Owen - FF Corse), who recovered several positions. Ramelli was first over the line, but his penalty handed the win to Olander, relegating him to second ahead of De Meeus.