Barba-Ceccato take second GT Open win in Austria

The pair wins lively and partly wet Race 1 at Red Bull RingPeter-Broniszewski (Kessel Ferrari), unlucky heroesBizzarri-Rizzoli (AF Corse Ferrari) take maiden win in GTSAyari new championship leader after zero-point day for rivals

RACE 1Álvaro Barba and Andrea Ceccato took their second win of the season with theAutorlando Porsche in a lively and closely-fought first race at the Red Bull Ring, ina hot and stormy afternoon, which also saw the rain on and off. They preceded theEdilCris Ferrari 458 of Miguel Ramos-Matteo Cressoni and the JMB Racing Ferrari458 of Soheil Ayari and his new team-mate Joel Camathias. The Frenchman,despite a heavy handicap (30”) resulting from his double win in Brands Hatch,finished on the podium and is the new leader in the standings, benefitting from the“zero points” day of Moncini-Montermini (Villorba Ferrari) and Frezza-López(Vittoria Ferrari) who had arrived in Austria as points leaders.

In GTS, Stefano Bizzarri and Andrea Rizzoli (AF Corse Ferrari) finally took theirmaiden win, after having collected four second spots, beating the Villois AstonMartin of Lancieri-Malucelli and the Kessel Ferrari of Caccia-Mantovani.The race had an unlucky (local) hero, as Philipp Peter, who posted the pole, andled with authority the first part of the race received a drive-through for havingbeing pushed on the grid. The cause, a faulting ignition system, meant the carreceived a second drive-through, as t had to be pushed again after driver change.The start had also seen Moncini, completely on the inside, touching and sendingGattuso (who was in first row with the Kessel Ferrari GT3) into a spin, with theVillorba car having to retire.

Peter led first part of the race ahead of Camathias, followed by a very lively groupwhich included Bizzarri, Lopez, Ramos, Barba, Talkanitsa, Lancieri, Puglisi andGené. Little by little, it was Barba emerging and taking the lead when Peterstopped to serve his drive-through. The Spaniard had always Camathias on his back,with the Swiss taking the lead in lap 16, shortly before the driver change, and thengot challenged by a charging Peter.

After the driver change, Ceccato had not many difficulties controlling firstBroniszewski, then Cressoni when the Pole served his second drive-through. WhileFrezza retired with a blocked gearbox, Ayari emerged to take final third. Fourthwas Rangoni, ahead of GTS-winner Rizzoli, then Peter, Talkanitsa, the Aston ofMalucelli and the Kessel of Caccia, who survived a suicide attack by the Mercedesof De Marco to salvage third spot in GTS.

GT Open Standings:

Overall: 1. Ayari, 106 p.; 2. Ramos, 101; 3. Montermini-Moncini, 95; 4. Frezza-López, 94; 5. Bontempelli-Gattuso, 89; 6. Barba-Ceccato, 84

GTS: 1. Bontempelli-Gattuso, 60 p.; 2. Babini-μRoda, 55; 3. Bizzarri, 46; 4. Rizzoli,42; 3. Lanceri, 32

Teams SGT: 1. JMB Racing, 47; 2. EdilCris, 46; 3. Villorba Corse & VittoriaCompetizioni, 42; 5. Autorlando Sport, 38

Teams GTS: 1. Kessel Racing, 62 p.; 2. AF Corse, 59; 3. Autorlando Sport, 55; 4.Villois Racing, 33; 5. Deboeuf Raceteam, 32