Ferrari Challenge: Magny-Cours

History repeated itself at Magny-Cours on Sunday as Ange Barde clinched the European Ferrari 360 Challenge title on home soil for the second year in a row. Barde overcame a lacklustre qualifying performance to win his eighth race of the year and his third Ferrari Challenge championship

Ferrari Challenge: Magny-Cours

Czech pilot Robert Pergl won his first ever Ferrari Challenge race on Saturday after surviving the first-lap mêlée which ruined the races of several frontrunners. Polesitter Philippe Baron, the 18-year old Austrian charger making his Ferrari Challenge debut, came off worst, retiring on the first lap and being denied the chance to show the field what he was made of.

Pergl had opened out an eight-second lead by the end of lap two, leaving another newcomer to the series, Riccardo Ragazzi, trailing in his wake. Ragazzi looked set for a strong second place until he spun a few laps from the end, handing the position to Michael Cullen, but was able to recover to finish third.

Barde was a changed man on Sunday. The engine gremlins which saw him qualify down in 12th having been repaired, he was running in second place after five laps and reeling in the leader Robert Pergl at the rate of over a second a lap. When Pergl cracked under the pressure and went off at Chateau d'Eau, Barde pounced to seize the lead, the win and the title.

A quartet of Cullen, Pergl, Ragazzi and Baron fought it out to be best of the rest - the highly impressive Baron eventually triumphing to take the second-place trophy after starting from the back of the grid. Pergl stood on the bottom step of the podium, while Ragazzi ended up in the wall. Paddy Shovlin's late-race charge saw him overcome teammate Michael Cullen to finish fourth.

In class two, Englishman Oliver Morley bounced back from his heavy accident at the Nurburging in the best possible fashion, taking a dazzling double victory and regaining the lead of the championship. Morley set the pace from the moment he arrived, snatching pole and winning on Saturday ahead of Rolf Galliker and Freddy Kremer, and beating Kremer and Antonin Herbeck to the flag in race two.

Robert Pergl (CZE) 30m51.161s
Michael Cullen (IRL) 31m04.236s
Riccardo Ragazzi (I) 31m13.790s
Ange Barde (F) 31m18.432s
Olivier Mayer (D) 31m32.620s
Emilio Giusti (I) 32m23.730s

Ange Barde (F) 45m28.269s
Philippe Baron (AUT) 45m28.648s
Robert Pergl (CZE) 45m43.520s
Paddy Shovlin (IRL) 45m49.666s
Michael Cullen (IRL) 45m49.940s
Olivier Mayer (D) 46m19.619s

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