Estoril GT Open Race Report

Lietz-Roda (Autorlando) in Another Race Fought up to Last Meter

• Second seasonal win for the Porsche camp• Ricci-Petrobelli take superb second in GPC’s return to the podium• Romero-Sundberg (RSV) third after consistent performance

It was another thrilling race, with victory being fought until the very end, in the Autodrómo Fernanda Pires Da Silva in Estoril. Actors were different (and to some extent, unexpected), but the show was as exciting as yesterday’s. Richard Lietz and Gianluca Roda did a perfect race, starting from pole and keeping the advantage up to the chequered flag, to give Porsche and Autorlando Sport a second win this year and putting Stuttgart again in contention for the second part of the season. GPC Sport made a welcome return to the podium, thanks to a superb performance of its two Giacomos, Ricci and Petrobelli, the latter almost achieving a winning over-take on Roda in the final corners. Third place rewarded the consistent week-end of RSV Motorsport’s Ferrari and Sundberg-Romero.

It was a more difficult day for the top Ferrari teams, but Montermini-Maceratesi managed to slightly increase their toll of points (107) on top of the provisional standings, where they precede team-mates Gião-Couceiro (74) and Advanced Engineering’s Bonetti-Pasini (72), again fifth today.

The start was everything but easy, as all drivers were surprised by the dust coming from the filler that covered the asphalt after marshals dried up the oil overspelt during the previous race. In the confusion Chacón and Aicart collided, with the Sun Red spinning in the middle of the field and hitting the wall but being luckily avoided by everybody, while Chacón was later penalized with a drive-through.

Lietz took the lead ahead of Sundberg, Ricci, Maceratesi, Gião, Belicchi, Moser and Monfardini (whose mechanics worked all night to rebuild his car). While Maceratesi overtakes Ricci for third, in lap 3 Belicchi and Gião collide, with the Portuguese lying trapped in the gravel. Ten minutes into the race, Lietz is leading with 5” ahead of Maceratesi, who has overtaken Sundberg. There is some nice fighting further down the group, but also some casualties with Rugolo out with a broken radiator and, shortly after the driver change, Couceiro off track and back into the pits to change tyres in what was quite a bitter day for the top Portuguese team.

After driver changes, Roda leads with 11” on Petrobelli, 16” on Romero and Frezza, while Zonca, Bontempelli and Pompidou fight further down, followed by Bonetti, Montermini and Collard. Pompidou emerges on fifth from the fight but spins soon after, while Pasini catches up and passes Zonca and Bontempelli and Bamford retires. The attention, still, is on the top of the field, with Petrobelli catching up on Roda at the pace of 1 second a lap. The two get at overtaking distance in the lap before last, with some slower cars to be lapped ahead of them. Fight is intense in the very last lap, with the two side by side in a couple of turns but the attack of Petrobelli does not materialize and Roda manages to keep a 4-tenth advantage on the finishing line. Sundberg is third after a consistent race, while Frezza’s fourth and Cressoni’s eighth are rewarding results for Edil Cris after a difficult week-end. Pasini, fifth, and Montermini, sixth, take some useful points, while newcomer Collard and local star Cruz Martins are seventh.

HANDICAPS PRO-AM RACE:

#3- Maceratesi-Montermini (Playteam Ferrari):30”#4- Gião-Couceiro (Playteam Ferrari): 10”#23- Moser-Pompidou (Trottet Ferrari): 10”Driver change window: between minutes 18 and 27

Overall standings after 8 Rounds:1. Maceratesi-Montermini, 107 p; 2. Gião-Couceiro, 74; 3. Bonetti-Pasini, 72; 4. Lietz-Roda, 69; 5. Rugolo, 63; 6. Frezza-Monfardini, 61; 7. Ricci, 44; 8. Moser, 41; 9. Pompidou, Cressoni-Bontempelli, 38; 10. Sundberg-Romero, 37, etc

GTA Standings:1. Montermini-Maceratesi, 46 p.; 2. Bonetti-Pasini, Gião-Couceiro, 30; 3. Lietz-Roda, 27; 4. Rugolo, 26; 5. Monfardini-Frezza, 24; etcTeam Standings:1. Sc. Playteam, 76 p.; 2. Advanced Engineering, 53; 3. RT Edil Cris, 36; 4. Autorlando Sport, 27; 5. Trottet Racing, 25; 6. RSV Motorsport, 13; 7. GPC Sport, 7; 8. Racing Box, 3.