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Istanbul Park. 07 April 2020
April 05, 2018


Kevin Ryan repeated his Sepang result, this time coming on top after a relentless drafting and fighting race on the unforgiving Bathurst track.
The scene was set for change when the defending champion Risto Kappet took pole from Irishman Ryan, who had dominated all sessions last time out. Less than a tenth behind the championship leader was the ACR Zakspeed supersub, Blancpain Endurance Series participant Dennis Lind. Chris Shepherd had set the best practice times but had to settle for 4th due to not being able to find a clean lap on the crowded track. Fifth and only 0.261s from pole on the two minute lap was Hany Alsabti, who did not qualify last time out but almost climbed to the top 5 before retiring. Borja Milan was the first Radical in 6th but already eight tenths behind. Mike Bell also impressed with ninth on the grid for Downforce.

The green flag was dropped in the middle of the last corner and it was Kevin Ryan who was caught out on the outside to let Lind by for an ACR Zakspeed 1-2. Kappet, however, was not translating his qualifying speed into race pace and so the top six formed a racing bunch that turned out to be inseparable until the end of the race.

Hany Alsabti was the man on the move, fighting through the pack and putting a bold move on Kappet into The Chase, followed the next corner by Ryan, pushing the Estonian off the asphalt and shuffling him onto the back of the pack.

Alsabti, however, could not pull away and had Lind in his mirrors, the Dane having a peek for the lead into The Chase but nudging Alsabti under braking and sending him flying uncontrollably into the tyre wall. Lind was caught in another incident while giving Ryan a hard time fighting for the lead, nudging the Irishman onto the grass and into the back of the pack again.

This gave a chance for the win to Chris Sheperd, having impressed with his new found smooth driving and tyre saving while watching the action unfold in front of him. However, halfway into the race the drama continued as Lind and Shepherd did not fit two wide into The Chase and found themselves spinning and losing positions again. Shepherd was dealt a final blow a few laps later when he blew his engine under downshifting.

The order after the incident was Kappet, Ryan and Arne Schoonvliet, the Belgian favouring race pace over quali. Ryan soon overtook Kappet without much of a fight and extended the lead into and out of the pitstop cycle.
As the race was coming to an end, like in Sepang, Kevin Ryan was slowing down, perhaps due to having pushed his car the hardest or maybe playing a masterstroke and ending the race a lap early to stop Kappet and Arne gaining on him. The 90 minute mark passed in the middle of the last corner for the leader and he crossed the line taking his second win of the season, only 1.020s ahead of Kappet and 2.993 from Schoonvliet.

Nico Barclay and Borja Milan benefited from keeping their distance from the drama and finished 4th and 5th, half a minute behind the leaders. Corvette drivers David Francic, Yuri Kasdorp and Fran Lopez all improved five positions from their qualifying result to finish sixth, seventh and eight. Osvaldo Angelone finished ninth and teammate to the winning SimTech car, Mateuz Bogusz beat ACR Zakspeed's Dennis Lind to 10th place, the latter having had to pit longer after a bigger contact with the wall.

The results mean Simtech stretch their lead to 18 points infront of ACR Zakspeed, who in turn have overhauled Streetfighter Racing Systems, the Australians having a quiet race after challenging for the lead in Sepang.

Kevin Ryan doubled his lead on Kappet, with Arne Schloonvliet rewarded for his consitency by placing third in the drivers standings.

Two rounds into the eight-race championship, 21 drivers have scored out of 44 total entrants and only three out of 19 teams have not yet finished in the top 15.

In two weeks' time, the next race will take place on the Suzuka track.

Results: HERE

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