Kuppens in commandRenaud Kuppens secured Race 1 in commanding style. On his favourite circuit, the Belgian got the better of Mikkel Mac, his most likely rival for the overall crown. Heavy fog put the race was in doubt for much of the morning but things eventually got going on a dry track and with good visibility.
The start was event-free with all twenty-four cars making it through the first chicane. Kuppens managed to defend his position despite a very aggressive Mac and Simoni hot on his heels.
Simoni was the driver who got off to the best start and he managed to outdo Zamparini and Cadei. Even Barde and Romagnoli got off brightly and both climbed a few places. Frenchman Barde was particularly quick when it came to overtaking Zamparini, who later retook his spot at the Dunlop hairpin.
Barde did not throw in the towel and hit back at the last chicane; for Zamparini the problems were not over because he had Romagnoli hounding him. With the two playing cat and mouse, the leaders were able to stretch away into the distance.
Up front, Kuppens was lapping consistently fast with Mac and Simoni struggling to keep pace. Nothing much was happening further down the field, aside from Bakker overtaking Cadei on lap three.
As Mac tried to close in on Kuppens, the Belgian responded with a lap of 2:08.145 to extend his lead to over two seconds. Behind them Romagnoli was trying to pressure Barde and had closed in to within three tenths but his efforts to further disturb the Frenchman were coming to little. Meanwhile, Cadei retook the eighth place he had lost to Bakker and was soon in Zamparini’s slipstream.
On lap ten, Kuppens was leading from Mac (+4.130) and Simoni (+8.902). Then came Barde, Romagnoli, Zamparini, Cadei, Bakker, Venier - who made a great comeback from last spot - and Merjech.
The race unfolded without any major incident until Kuppens cruised across the line for the penultimate time, a lap on which Cadei finally managed to overtake Zamparini. It was the last move in a race that ended with Renaud Kuppens taking the win from Mac, Simoni, Barde, Romagnoli, Cadei, Zamparini, Venier, Bakker and Merjech.
Behind the front ten came Fascicolo, Cesari, Silva, Gobbo and Adrien de Leener.
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