ESTORIL GT OPEN - PRO AM RACE REPORT
• Pompidou-Moser (Trottet Racing) second after thrilling finale• Gião-Couceiro, 3rd, delight the crowd and reinforce Playteam’s triumph• Playteam now trusts the two top positions in the standings
Estoril, 12 July 2008
Andrea Montermini and Michele Maceratesi took a superb third victory this season inthe very last lap of the Pro-Am race of the Estoril GT Open, despite a 20-secondhandicap, to further increase their lead in the overall standings of the championship(103 points). Trottet Racing’s Xavier Pompidou and Henri Moser almost repeated theirSpa success with another great performance but the race was a lap too short this timefor the young Swiss. Playteam’s perfect Saturday was completed by the third place oflocal heroes Manuel Gião-Pedro Couceiro, who are now second in the standings (74points), while Alessandro Bonetti – Damien Pasini (Advanced Engineering), fifth today,are now third (64 points).
The 21 cars took the start under the sun and Montermini (on pole after a qualifyingsession that saw Bonetti and Collard lose their best times for having been achievedunder yellow and the two Edil Cris deprived of all their times for using uncorrectlymarked tyres) took the lead with no problem ahead of Pompidou, Couceiro, Collard,Bonetti, Romero, Casè, Fernandez, Roda, De Castro, Caffi and Gellweiler. On lap 2,though, Montermini exits wide in the corner after the straight, leaving the door opento Pompidou, who flies away at a pace of almost half second per lap. Behind, Collardtries to attack Couceiro with no success, De Castro takes eighth from the SunRed ofFernandez and Bontempelli and Roda collide.
Positions stabilize and gaps get stable among the top positions, with fierce fightbetween Fernandez and Frezza being the main entertainement, while Roda spins in lap11. As from lap 10 onwards, Montermini starts to reduce slightly the disadvantage andon minute 24 opens the window for driver change, with Fernandez, Couceiro andMontermini among the first to stop. Most logically, Pompidou and Collard, with nohandicap, were the last to stop.With the support ofഊAs the situation settles after the changes, Moser leads with a 14” seconds advance on Maceratesi, 17” on Gião, 23” on Sundberg, 30” on Cruz, 31” on Pasini and 35” onMonfardini. Follow Cressoni, Aicart, Rugolo and Lietz. Maceratesi is catching up on theleader at steady pace, while behind, Pasini takes fifth from Cruz, who will spin fewlaps later. Shortly after, Monfardini takes fifth from Pasini, who battles hard also withAicart.
But it is the final battle for the win that catches all the attention. Maceratesi catchesMoser in the final lap and passes the young Swiss with a perfect manouver while thelast incident sees Monfardini loosing control of his Ferrari in the straight and hittingthe armco (he will go to the medical center with a twisted finger).
HANDICAPS PRO-AM RACE:
#3- Maceratesi-Montermini (Playteam Ferrari): 20”#4- Gião-Couceiro (Playteam Ferrari): 5”#10- Pasini-Bonetti (AE Ferrari): 10”# 11- Rugolo-Casè (AE Ferrari): 15”Driver change window: between minutes 2’ and 36