Ferrari Challenge: Nurburgring

On a weekend when Michael Schumacher was present to soak up his annual dose of hero-worship at the Nurburgring, it was fitting that Ange Barde continued his Schumacher-like dominance of the European Ferrari Challenge championship with his seventh win of the year. But the Frenchman's retirement in race two handed victory to experienced Irishman Michael Cullen, who led home an Irish 1-2 from Paddy Shovlin

Ferrari Challenge: Nurburgring

Shovlin rocked the paddock on Saturday afternoon when he took pole by three-quarters of a second, and led the opening laps of Sunday's race one. Front row man Karl Baron led into the first corner but his race was ruined when he outbraked himself and ran wide. Shovlin dominated until he fell victim to the first of several irresponsible bits of driving by Robert Pergl - the Czech pilot clipped Shovlin's rear and sent him pirouetting down the field on lap eight.

Barde, who had been waiting in the wings, was handed the lead. He looked unthreatened by Michael Cullen and Louis Machiels and went on to take the chequered flag by just under a second from Cullen. Karl Baron, who had been recovering strongly from his first-lap mishap, was eliminated at the NGK chicane by Pergl on lap11.

The second race looked certain to be another win for Barde until he peeled off into the pit lane five laps from the end with mechanical gremlins. Michael Cullen seized the advantage and took victory ahead of teammate Shovlin and Austrian Karl Baron. It was the Irishmen's first 1-2 since the Ferrari Challenge support race at the United States GP in 2002.

Oliver Morley, the English star of class two, endured a dreadful weekend. He lost the lead of the first race after he was plagued by intermittent mechanical problems and crashed heavily in race two. Rolf Galliker won on Sunday morning ahead of Freddy Kremer and Pierre Schroeder; Kremer took the spoils in the afternoon, giving him a one-point championship lead over Galliker.

Ange Barde (F) 35m40.608s
Michael Cullen (IRL) 35m41.595s
Louis Machiels (B) 35m41.982s
Raffaele De Simone (I) 35m42.616s
Paddy Shovlin (IRL) 35m46.020s
Daniel Model (CH) 35m47.543s

Michael Cullen (IRL) 45m08.266s
Paddy Shovlin (IRL) 45m20.333s
Karl Baron (AUT) 45m22.011s
Daniel Model (CH) 45m25.739s
Robert Pergl (CZE) 45m26.696s
Wido Roessler (D) 45m31.646s

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