Pasini-Bonetti Give Advanced Engineering Superb First Victory
• The French-Italian duo wins thrilling finale• Montermini-Maceratesi, second, lead the standings• First victory in GTS for the Corvette GT3
Advanced Engineering conquered its maiden victory in the International GT Open after winning a thrilling GT Open race in Vallelunga with Frenchman Damien Pasini and Italian Alessandro Bonetti. The fight in the final laps was absolutely breath-taking between the two AE Ferraris of Casè and Pasini and the sister car of Playteam driven by Montermini. A contact between the leading car of Casè and Montermini left the first one out of the race, but Montermini was later impeccably overtaken by Pasini. Third place in the race was for the Edil Cris Ferrari of Monfardini-Frezza. Championship standings are led by Montermini-Maceratesi (40 points) ahead of Pasini-Bonetti (36), Gião-Couceiro (28) and Monfardini-Frezza (16).
Lively race in GTS as well, with the Twentytwo Motorsport Corvette taking a flag-to-flag first victory for the American car, with andrea Pellizzato and Marco Cioci, who beated the Villois Aston Martins of Ricci-Wiser and Petrini-Romanini.
QUALIFYING 2Qualifying for the GT Open race took place on Saturday afternoon, at the warmest time of the day; no surprise thus that times were higher than in Qualifying 1. The session was shortly red-flagged to rescue from the sand the GPC Ferrari of Faulkner. The result is different too, as reigning champion Richard Lietz manages to put the Autorlando Porsche 997 in pole (1.35.175), a mere 19 hundredths ahead of the Playteam Ferrari of Maceratesi. It’s again 10 cars in one second in the GTA class, with the four Advanced Engineering F430s taking second and third rows with Aguas, Rugolo, Bonetti and Griffin. Sundberg (RSV Ferrari) is seventh sharing the fourth row with young rookie Alejandro Núñez on the Icer Ferrari eighth. In GTS, Marco Cioci at the wheel of the Twentytwo Corvette is fastest (1.38.551), beating in extremis the two Rcing Box Lamborghinis of another young and fast rookie, Andrea Ceccato, and of Fabrizio Armetta.
HANDICAPS GT OPEN RACE#3 – Playteam Ferrari (Maceratesi-Montermini) – 15”#4 – Playteam Ferrari (Gião-Couceiro) – 10”#10- AE Ferrari (Bonetti-Pasini) – 5”#54 – Racing Box Lamborghini (Ceccato-Visconti) – 20”#57 – Villois Aston Martin (Wiser-Ricci) – 15”#53 – Racing Box (Geri-Armetta) – 10’’Time window for driver change : Between minutes 18 and 27.
GT OPEN RACESunny and warm for unday’s GT Open race. Poleman Lietz takes the lead in an orderly start, ahead of the Playteam Ferrari of Maceratesi and the four AE of Aguas, Rugolo, Griffin and Bonetti, followed by Sundberg, Cressoni, Núñez, Frezza and Gião.
Positions are very stable in the first laps, with only Bonetti taking fifth place from Griffin as the main event and Gião passing Frezza first (lap 8) and Cressoni later (lap 12) to conquer provisional 8th place.
The pace is high and the gaps close among the first ten, with Lietz not able to go beyond a 1 second lead on Maceratesi who even seems in a position to attack him shortly before the driver changes, which start in minute 18. When they are over, Casè in on of the AE 430s leads ahead of team-mate Pasini and the other Ferraris of Montermini (Playteam), Monfardini (Edil Cris), Couceiro (Playteam), Pompidou (Trottet) and Sala (RCA), while Roda (Autorlando Porsche) spins because of the consumed tyres.
It doesn’t take much time before the first three are together and start a magnificent fight: Montermini passes Pasini for second in lap 22 and seems able to pass Casè as well but his first attack at the Curva grande (lap 23) ends with a cotact that sends Casè into the gravel. It looks like the blue Ferrari is going to win again but a perfect overtaking of Pasini at the hairpin definitely gives the victory to the AE squad. Last emotion is a contact between Frassineti (GPC Ferrari) and Aicart (SunRed) which leaves again the Spanish GT with the front body damaged.
In GTS, Cioci-Pellizzato in the Corvette of Roman team Twentytwo Motorsport leads from the start. Ceccato, second in the initial laps with the Racing Box Lambo, spins in lap 5, getting out of contention for top positions. Ricci-Wiser (Villois Aston) will repeat the second position after Geri’s Lambo retires in lap 22.
GT OPEN Standings after 2 Rounds
Overall: 1.Montermini-Maceratesi, 40 p - 2. Bonetti-Pasini, 36 – 3. Giao-Couceiro, 28 – 4. Monfardini-Frezza, 16 – 5. Casè-Rugolo, Ceccato-Visconti, 10 – 6. Pompidou-Alexander, 9 – 7. Lietz-Roda, Wiser-Ricci, 8 – etcGTS: 1. Wiser-Ricci, 16 – 2. Ceccato-Visconti, Cioci-Pellizato, 10 – 3. Geri-Armetta, 6.