Race 2

Sonoma - USA

Renaud Kuppens

Kuppens serves up seconds

Renaud Kuppens dished up more of the same at Sonoma as he added Race 2 to his morning success.

The Belgian drove majestically to beat off the challenge put up by Ange Barde and Alan Simoni. Nothing should much be read into the small gap between the front two - four tenths of a second - as the European champion was in control throughout.

The start to Race 2 was much more eventful than the first race. Kuppens' start was quick but, if anything, Simoni's was even better as it allowed him to overtake Mac. Mac was also hounded by an aggressive Barde as the race lost one of its stars in Andrea Cecchellero who was clipped by from behind, spun, and ended up in the middle of the track. Bakker, Cola and Romani were a few of the drivers who finished up in the sand trying to avoid him.

While Barde found a way past Mac, the officials called for the safety car prompting Bakker, Cecchellero and Becker to pit. Once the car had left, Calamia attacked McQuarrie in an attempt to take fifth and Barde tried to put the pressure on Simoni, who stayed focused.

Calamia's fun didn't last that long as he was first caught and overtaken by Gardelli, Damon Ockey and, on lap six, by Harry Cheung.

Kuppens was now holding a lead of almost three seconds over the chasing pack of Simoni, Barde, Mac and McQuarrie, all within a second of each other. Calamia pitted on lap eight but his chances were slim.

In the trio tracking Kuppens, Ange Barde managed to get past Alan Simoni on lap ten, a move that Mikkel Mac also tried to pulled off. The Dane's efforts came to nothing; there were too many back markers in the way and he was always checking his mirrors as McQuarrie was threatening. The American eventually took fourth towards the end, making the most of the opportunity presented by the lapped drivers. The trailing cars also allowed Barde to close in on Kuppens. However, the chances of him taking the lead never really presented themselves.

From then on, not much happened. Kuppens went on to cross the line ahead of Barde (.476 back) and Simoni (3.486). McQuarrie finished just outside the podium places after a solid display; Mac came fifth on a track that he is struggling to come to terms with and Andrea Gardelli came sixth. Canadian Damon Ockey, American Cheung, Ryan Ockey and Andreas Segler completed the top ten.

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