• Michele Rugolo and Maurizio Mediani win final duel against team-mates Bonetti-Pasini• Montermini-Maceratesi keep first position in standings• First 2008 victory in GTS for the Villois Aston Martin, with Max Wiser – Giacomo Ricci
GT Open Spa-Francorchamps, 1st June 2008
Advanced Engineering took a resounding double victory in Sunday’s Spa GT Open, with Michele Rugolo and Maurizio Mediani imposing their F430 ahead of sister car of team-mates Alessandro Bonetti and Damien Pasini, in a thrilling finale which saw contact between the two cars in the last corner.
The third car of the Italian team (Maletic-Aguas) finished third. Third place was for the Playteam Ferrari of Portuguese pair Gião-Couceiro. The race, celebrated in perfect weather conditions, was marked by a 3-lap safety car period shortly before the driver changes, because of oil spilled over the track. Montermini-Maceratesi (81 points) keep leadership in the Dunlop-supported championship, and are now followed by Rugolo (61), Gião-Couceiro (60) and Bonetti-Pasini (56).
The battle in GTS ended with the first seasonal success of the Aston Martin DBRS9 and of the Villois Racing, thanks to Max Wiser and GP2 driver Giacomo Ricci, who preceded the Mik Lambo of Piccini-Moncada and the Roger Ferrari of Pampló-Julià.At the start, poleman Lietz (Autorlando Porsche) could not keep for long the advantage, and Maceratesi took the lead in the Playteam Ferrari, while also Bonetti passed the Porsche for a short while. Couceiro, Frezza, Romero, Chacón, Cressoni and Moser followed.
In lap 6, the RB Lambo of Visconti broke the engine, leaving oil in one of the corners in the upper part of the track. Petrini, Frezza and even the leader, Maceratesi, could not avoid spinning, whic led to the intervention of the safety car during three laps. After the yellow period, almost everybody stopped for the driver change. With minimal gaps between the cars, that reshaped the race to the advantage of of the AE Ferraris of Mediani and Pasini, with Roda in third.
The Porsche was soon passed by Giao, Sundberg (who had to stop for a drive-through because of an earlier contact of Romero with Moser), while battle was fierce between Monfardini, Bontempelli, Merino and Aguas. This aggressive group soon catched up and passed Roda, and Aguas won the final sprint for fourth, after Merino (excellent in the GPC Ferrari) was hit by Roda.In GTS, the initial domination of Cioci in the Twentytwo Corvette ended in lap 6 when the car stopped with a technical problem, leaving the lead to yesterday’s winners, the Mik Lambo of Piccini-Moncada and later to the Roger Ferrari of ‘babies’ Julià-Pampló, but after the yellow period and the driver change, it was the Villois Aston of Wiser-Ricci.
Handicaps for this GT Open race were as follows:# 3 Playteam (Montermini-Maceratesi): 30’’#20 EdilCris (Cressoni-Bontempelli): 5”#23 Trottet (Faessler-Moser): 15”#54 Racing Box (Mocci-Visconti): 20”#56 Villois (Petrini-Romanini): 10”#58 Mik Corse (Piccini-Moncada): 20”#65 Twentwytwo (Cioci-Pellizzato): 45’’
Provisional International GT Open standingsOverall: 1. Montermini-Maceratesi, 81 p; 2. Rugolo, 61; 3. Gião-Couceiro, 60; 4. Bonetti-Pasini, 56; 5. Monfardini-Frezza, 51; 6. Lietz-Roda, 44; 7. Cressoni-Bontempelli, 36; 8. Ceccato-Visconti, 35; 9. Pellizzato-Cioci, 32; 10. Tavano, 28, etc.GTA: 1. Montermini-Maceratesi, 36 p.; 2. Rugolo, 26; 3. Pasini-Bonetti, 24; 4. Gião-Couceiro, 24; 5. Lietz-Roda, 17, etcGTS: 1. Cioci-Pellizzato, 32 p.; 2. Ceccato-Visconti, 30; 3. Wiser, 29; 4. Ricci, 26; 5. Moncada, 24; etc
Teams: 1. Scuderia Playteam, 60 p.; 2. Advanced Engineering, 54; 3. Edil Cris, 32; 4. Autorlando Sport, Trottet Racing, 17; 5. Racing Box, RSV motorsport, 3.