Kirchmayr takes third overall at Mugello for Coppa Shell title win
Ernst Kirchmayr was crowned overall 2021 Ferrari Challenge Coppa Shell champion at the end of a race that was twice interrupted by the safety car and then definitively by the red flags at the Mugello circuit today when he finished third in his Baron Motorsport Ferrari 488 Challenge.
The Austrian had two things on his mind as the 41 cars lined up for the start of the 30-minute decider, first to keep out of trouble as poleman Todd Coleman (Ferrari of Denver) powered away and then to keep his championship rival James Weiland (Rossocorsa), ninth on the grid, at a safe distance behind.
Coleman nailed the start to take the lead into Turn 1, while Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing) got ahead of Kirchmayr, but their efforts soon came to nothing as Ingvar Mattson (Scuderia Autoropa) went off and the safety car came out.
Coleman was again quickest off the mark as the lights went green with 22 minutes remaining, the American pulling out a gap of 1 second, but an incident two minutes later decided the outcome of the championship battle.
Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa-Pellin Racing) had a spin at the final Bucine corner, and his right rear was clipped by Weiland who could do nothing but head into the gravel trap, where his Ferrari remained beached. The safety car was out again and now all Kirchmayr had to do was keep his 488 on track to be crowned champion.
On the third start Coleman again powered ahead, leaving Kirchmayr to harass Scheltema for the second place slot and the Europe win. The Austrian was all over him for a couple of laps but the Dutchman held firm, as the American increased his lead up front.
With four minutes remaining, the red flags came out to decree the end of the race when Benoit Bergeron (Ferrari Quebec) got it all wrong on the grass, crossed the track at the San Lorenzo and clattered the innocent Laurent De Meeus (HR Owen-FF Corsa) with him into the barriers.
So Coleman took the overall and North America win, Scheltema the Europe honors and Kirchmayr the crown, while Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm Motorsport) finished fourth for the AM class win after pushing the second and third men hard for the final podium place. AM category champion Willem van der Worm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo) came in nicely in fifth ahead of Joakim Olander (Scuderia Autoropa) and Thomas Gostner (CDP-MP Racing), while John Cervini (Ferrari of Ontario) and Jae Sung Park (FM Korea) were winners in the North American and Asia Pacific standings.
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