Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo

Race 2

Infineon Raceway - USA

Renaud Kuppens 

The redemption of Kuppens

Renaud Kuppens hit back with a win in Race 2 after seeing victory slip away with a puncture yesterday. The Belgian held on to take the chequered flag despite Giorgio Sernagiotto’s last ditch efforts.

The cars got off to an even start and Kuppens tried to make the most of his pole position and build a lead. Behind him filed Sernagiotto, US driver Van Overbeek, Simoni, Popow, Pigoli and Denny. Hollywood stuntman Greg Tracy was in tenth, right in the middle of the pack. The other American, Kratz, skipped the race as he was still suffering from the backache caused by the crash in Saturday afternoon’s Race 1.

Things seemed to be going Kuppens’ way and a series of quick laps saw him put 1.2 seconds between his car and Sernagiotto’s. Then, on lap 3, Kuppens got it all wrong taking a turn and allowed Sernagiotto to pull up to his bumper. Things were heating up between the two, just as they were down the field in the battle for fourth between Popow and Pigoli. In the end it was the Italian who came through with a splendid overtaking move just two minutes before the end.

While all this was going on, Tracy was having to hold off Gardelli and Tadlauoi was shown the black flag for not respecting the track speed limit. As he continued breaking the rule, the race officials had no option but to disqualify him.
The race now saw Kuppens up front followed by Sernagiotto, Van Overbeek, Simoni, Popow, Pigoli, Denny, Merjech, Bakker and Tracy. Azcarate was maybe pushing too hard in trying to climb through the field and committed a few mistakes.

The podium positions were decided eight minutes from the end when Sernagiotto attempted to get past Kuppens on the bend leading into the main straight. It was a longshot and the clash was inevitable. The two drivers spun and the Italian restarted first but had to let his rival past to avoid getting hit with a penalty from the officials. Sernagiotto’s crucial mistake was to spend too long looking in the mirrors: he ended up on the grass and left Kuppens more space than was necessary. The door was now wide open for the Belgian to cruise to victory.
Behind the front two came Van Overbeek, Simoni, Pigoli, Popow, Denny, Merjech, Bakker, Tracy, Gardelli, Azcarate, Ockey, Segler, Hedman, Adrien De Leener, Becker, Rasmussen, Nielsen, M. De Leener and Richard.


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