Jeffrey Buis tackled the wet weather to extend his title lead ahead of Scott Deroue in race restart.
Drama was to be had from the get-go in today’s race, as a high-side from Victor Rodriguez Nunez on the opening lap resulted in a red flag. The restart race length was cut down to just 6 laps – two thirds of the original amount. Making Race 1 a dash to the line in heavy rain.
From the opening lap, it was the pole-man versus the title leader, as Tom Booth-Amos and Jeffrey Buis pulled away from the pack. Dutchman Scott Deroue climbed the board early on in the race, improving on his P8 grid position to battle for third against the likes of Bahattin Sofuoglu.
Marc Garcia, who started from the front row of the grid, met the end of his race at Turn 3 of the opening lap. Lap 1 also saw crashes from Mika Perez and Filippo Rovelli at Turn 6 also.
Booth-Amos looked set to take the win today, continuing his strong performance in the Free Practice sessions, as well as leading the pack from pole position on the grid. However, Booth-Amos’ valour in the first laps was marred by the lack of grip on the soaking asphalt. With 4 laps to go, the Briton lost the rear grip of his Kawasaki while heading onto the start/finish straight, resulting in him high-siding out of the race.
The commotion of Booth-Amos’ crash allowed Scott Deroue to catch up to the new race leader Buis, closing the 2.5 second gap, eventually taking the lead with 3 laps to go. The final lap proved to be a battle of who-dares-wins between the title rivals; however, it was Buis who came out on top, as an overtake into the final chicane allowed the 18-year-old to steal first place back from his teammate.
Due to Booth-Amos’ crash on the second lap, and teammate Nick Kalinin being involved in a last-lap crash with Alfonso Coppola, the RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki team’s only points of the race came in the form of Aussie Tom Bramich, who achieved 14th in the race after starting from P28 on the grid – a commendable ride.
Sofuoglu remained strong throughout the race, and was able to break away from the fight between Kevin Sabatucci and Hugo De Cancelis to take the final spot on the podium. A third-place result to match his position in the overall 2020 championship.
Thanks to Buis’ last lap bravery, his championship lead now extends to 21 points ahead of teammate and countryman Scott Deroue. Will the gap close come tomorrow afternoon, and how will the weather play its part?
Tomorrow’s race will be held at 15:15 Local Time
Feature Image: MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT