A Simoni first
Mac and Kuppens occupied the front row of the grid but could not contain Simoni as he fought to make up for his team mate, Ragazzi’s, unfortunate end to Race 1.
The cars lined up in almost perfect conditions and the race started without a hitch. Barde, on third, sped past Kuppens to move into second but soon lost his spot when he locked his wheels. Behind him Simoni strayed wide but managed to keep control of the car to make it back on behind Kuppens. Waszscinski was not so lucky as his spin saw him drop down the field.
With Barde labouring, Mac crossed the start-finish line for the first time leading Kuppens, Simoni, Bakker and Gardelli. Behind them came Calamia and Cullen, who had both overtaken Segler.
Barde’s unhappy weekend continued as he was forced to retire on lap 2. One lap later Kuppens pulled off a sweeping move on Mac to take the lead. Simoni was looking to do the same, probing for weaknesses in the Dane’s armour before out-foxing him on the next lap.
It was turning into a captivating race with a series of battles taking place behind the leaders. One of these duels involved Gobbo as he attacked and overtook Gardelli to take fifth; another saw Sicart, in fifteenth, sent spinning down the pack by a Lino Curti clip.
Fascicolo was also having to deal with a potentially serious problem with his rear left tyre, a setback that saw him steer into the pits.
Up front Kuppens was unable to pull away from Simoni or Mac. The Dane was sticking close to the Italian with the trio within 1.5 seconds of each other.
Simoni shook things up when a decisive move saw him grab the lead. Shanghai offers the drivers a host of overtaking points and the chance of running duels on its lengthy straights. This is why there were frequent spins, drivers careering onto the grass and controversial incidents. One such episode was unfolding in the middle of the pack as Fascicolo was not letting Cullen, Tengyl or Wong past him despite being a lap down. The chasing group swapped positions with each other and this continued until Fascicolo clumsily sent Cullen into a spin and caused him to puncture. Fascicolo was shown the black flag shortly after.
Swiss Team’s Gardelli also failed to finish as a slow puncture made it harder and harder for him to handle the car.
The excitement was not over: on lap 12, Mac attacked Kuppens who, in trying to defend his place and also chase the lead, mistimed a turn and strayed off the track. Mac wasted no time in sneaking through the open door.
From then on, the Dane did everything to chase down Simoni and hope for the win that would have allowed him to close the gap on the overall leader. It wasn’t to be: Simoni was unruffled while Kuppens opted to stay clear of trouble and cruise to the finish.
So, Simoni took the chequered flag for his first Trofeo win. He was followed home by Mac, some seven seconds down, and Kuppens. Just off the podium was a consistent Bakker, and Calamia, who made the most of a lively Gobbo’s retirement near the end. Behind the Swiss Team driver came Tengyl, from China, who put in an encouraging display. Wong, the American, built on his Silverstone win by beating Segler and Adrian De Leener to the finish. Cordoni took the final top ten slot, preceding Ibran, from Spain, Xu, from China, and Taiwanese driver Yeh. Carlo Curti came up next after sending Sicart into an unintentional spin.
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