SPA GT Open
• Pole and flag-to-flag victory for the Swiss Ferrari• Montermini-Maceratesi (2 nd ) strengthen overall leadership• EdilCris again in the podium (3 rd ), with Cressoni-Bontempelli• Brilliant first victory for Mik Corse in GTS, thanks to Piccini-Moncada
It took only five races to Swiss team Trottet Racing to clinch its first victory in the International GT Open, in yesterday’s Pro-Am race in the magnificent Spa-Francorchamps circuit, that the series is visiting for the first time. The ‘replacement driver line-up’ of Trottet.
composed of former DTM-star Marcel Fässler and current Euro GT3 champion Henri Moser,who are subbing for Alexander and Pompidou (busy in Le Mans) had no trouble in achieving aflag-to-flag win from the pole, finishing ahead of championship leaders Montermini-Maceratesi(Playteam Ferrari F430), who were out of contention for victory because of their 25” handicapbut reinforce their position in the overall standings. Third and again on the podium one of theEdilCris Ferraris, with Cressoni-Bontempelli.
In GTS, fourth victory in five races for the Lamborghini Gallardo, but this time it is Mik Corseclinching a deserved maiden victory, with Giacomo Piccini and Enrico Moncada, after a superbrace, which saw the car running as high as fourth overall in the initial laps.
Shortly before the start, rain appeared in the Ardennes and everybody prepared for a wetrace but on the grid, dry weather was back and most of the teams changed again to slicks,with the notable exceptions of Mediani, Pasini (Advanced Ferrari) and Aicart (sunRed), whostopped immediately to change tires, losing all chances of a good result.
At the start, poleman Fässler had no trouble in taking the lead, keeping Montermini,Monfardini, Sundberg, Mediani, Piccini, Caffi and Bontempelli behind him. The first laps saw avery inspired Piccini, with the Lambo Mik Corse, climbing up to fourth overall with a GTS car,and Bontempelli taking fourth position after battling with Caffi and Sundberg, who spun in thechicane.
With the support ofഊThe gap between Fässler and Montermini reduced to a couple of seconds shortly before the pit-stop, but the 25” of handicap to be served by the Playteam Ferrari gave an ample security margin to the Trottet F430, with young Henri Moser keeping complete control of events until the chequered flag.
Second part of the race saw a new “charge” of Richard Lietz with the Autorlando Porsche, the Austrian climbing ten positions to finish fourth in between the two Edil Cris of Cressoni and Frezza. The second Playteam of Gião-Couceiro took sixth, ahead of the Drivex Porsche of De Castro-Chacón, also authors of a nice race from last place in the grid.
In GTS, the Mik Corse Lambo slid progressively in the rankings but never lost the class lead,with the Twentwytwo Corvette taking second after that the Roger Ferrari of young Julià-Pamplówas stranded with no fuel left in last lap. The Villois Aston Martin of Romanini-Petrinifinished third, after a lively race which saw also a contact with the sister car of the squad,which obliged Wiser-Ricci to retire.
The Villois Aston Martin#57 (Wiser-Ricci) suffered a broken engine in free practice 2 andmissed Qualifying 1.
Advanced Engineering Ferrari F430 #12 had to be withdrawn after Peter Bamford damaged itseverely in an accident in Qualifying 1.
Cars # 12, 20, 54, 58, 66 sanctioned with loss of best time in Qualifying 1 for over-passingwhite line in track. Car #9 (Drivex Porsche of De Castro-Chacón) had all its times cancelledfor the same reason, having to start last.
Playteam Ferrari F430 #4 (Gião-Couceiro) qualified 6 th but started in 16 th position, followingthe 10-positions sanction in Valencia.
Pro-Am race handicaps were the following:
# 3 Playteam (Montermini-Maceratesi): 25’’# 4 Playteam (Gião-Couceiro): 5’’#11 Advanced (Mediani-Rugolo): 10’’#21 EdilCris (Frezza-Monfardini): 5”#54 Racing Box (Mocci-Visconti): 40”#60 Roger (Julià-Pampló): 10’’#65 Twentwytwo (Cioci-Pellizzato): 45’’