Barde builds points lead with victory

French racer Ange Barde opened out a six-point gap at the top of the Ferrari Challenge championship with a crushing win and a calculated second place at this weekend's Czech round at Most

Barde builds points lead with victory

Even Barde, however, was unable to match Irishman Paddy Shovlin's faultless drive to his maiden victory in Saturday's race. Polesitter Shovlin was finally able to convert qualifying advantage into victory, holding off Dutchman Nick Hommerson and teammate Michael Cullen into the first corner and resisting late-race pressure from Cullen and Barde to take the flag.

Cullen was running in second throughout but a combination of pressure from Barde and tyre wear in the intense heat forced him into an error on the penultimate lap, allowing the Frenchman to pass.

Sunday's race was more of a demonstration run for Barde. Refusing to back off into the first corner, he got by Shovlin and set off into the distance, eventually taking the flag by 17 seconds. Cullen passed his fellow RossoCorsa pilot Shovlin on the opening lap in the first of a series of position changes between the two but Shovlin's spin on lap 15 meant he had to settle for fifth.

Cullen's second place was his fifth podium finish in six races - keeping him well in contention for the title, only six points behind Barde - and Shovlin's competitive weekend puts him third in the standings. Tony Ring, the Swedish Lueg Sportivo driver, saw a return to form with third place in race two, whilst Gianni "Base Up" Santini was fourth on his début outing in the Trofeo Pirelli class.

In class two, Rolf Galliker scored a flawless double victory in only his third round as a permanent driver in the Challenge. The Swiss profited from a coming together between leaders Markus Lehner and Emilio Giusti on the last lap of race one to take the win. In Sunday's race, Galliker withstood heavy pressure from Lehner, the Austrian driver who now leads the standings.

Paddy Shovline 21m08.271s
Ange Barde 21m.09.532s
Michael Cullen 21m10.541s
Nick Hommerson 21m16.699s
Norbert Graf 21m23.710s
Tony Ring 21m26.529s

Ange Barde 32m44.730s
Michael Cullen 33m02.170s
Tony Ring 33m05.892s
Gianni Santini 33m06.331s
Paddy Shovline 33m10.523s
Jindrich Hudecek 33m31.256s

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