After two new winners emerged from Race 1 on Saturday, the title winner of each class was settled in the final race of the season at Spa-Francorchamps, in Belgium. In Trofeo Pirelli, Andrew Morrow (Charles Hurst, Belfast) simply needed to finish the race to secure the title win, or finish 4th in the event that Carl Cavers (Graypaul, Nottingham) secured maximum points available – meaning also taking Pole and Fastest Lap as well as Race Win. In Coppa Shell, Paul Hogarth (Stratstone, Manchester) regained the title lead by just two points from Paul Simmerson (Graypaul, Birmingham) in 2nd, after the Manchester man’s podium in Race 1 made all the difference, leaving it all to be decided in the final race. 

Qualifying 2. In the final qualifying session of the season, high drama ensued as a red flag disrupted proceedings before key contenders in the title race could set a lap time. A water pump failure in Morrow’s car leaked fluid onto the tarmac, sending Simmerson skidding off track into the barrier, as both drivers were looking to challenge for their respective class victories. When the lights went green again, it was Trofeo Pirelli title-chaser, Cavers, who took a fortuitous pole with 2:25:482, as Hogarth topped the Coppa Shell with a 2:29:463.

Trofeo Pirelli As Morrow started at the back of the grid after failing to set a lap time in Q2, it was all eyes on the frontman, Cavers, the title-chaser leading the field into the opening corner at La Source. H.Sikkens (HR Owen, London) was trying to go round the outside, as Faisal Al-Faisal (HR Owen, London) looked up the inside, but Cavers, confident and collected, shrugged them both off and held the position. With Eau Rouge looming ahead, Cavers showed no sign of lifting as he approached this fearsome corner, heading into Raidillon faster than Sikkens, who had dropped back into a squabble with Al-Faisal for 2nd . Within half a lap, Morrow had carved his way through the field, gaining five places in almost as many corners. Whilst Sikkens lost out to Al-Faisal through Malmedy for 2nd, a more important duel was happening behind. Morrow was on a mission to clinch the title, but a determined John Dhillon (Graypaul, Nottingham) stood in his path, defending brilliantly to hold off the aspiring champion. 

With 20 minutes left to decide his fate, Morrow stepped up the pace and tried everything possible to gain the vital place for the title, but Dhillon closed off every attempt. The pair almost collided as Morrow left his braking far too late into the final chicane with brakes glowing and the rear sliding around. On the 6th lap, Morrow’s persistence proved too much for the man ahead to bear as he went the long way round through Malmedy and came out ahead and now in Championship position. With cheers filling the paddock, he just needed to maintain the position despite Cavers now being 8.5 seconds ahead at the front and setting fastest lap. 

With 10 minutes left, a spin from Stuart Marston (Marinelli Sales, Ogham) into the gravel in Copa Shell forced a Safety car to bring the field back together, reducing Cavers’ lead. Upon the restart, Al-Faisal nearly profited from a great run out of La Source, but couldn’t capitalize as the order remained unchanged. A miscalculation from Al-Faisal on the penultimate lap sent him careering into Cavers’ rear wheel through the Bus Stop Chicane, damaging the race-leader’s toe-link in the process to send them both out of the race. With only three Trofie Pirelli drivers left on the grid, Slickens, Morrow and Dhillon formed the podium as Morrow was crowned the Trofie Pirelli Champion on his return. 

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