AF Corse Ferrari completes the double to extend FIA GT3 championship lead

Gaetano Ardagna Perez (VEN) and Giuseppe Ciro (ITA) in the No.50 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia completed the double by taking victory in Race Two at Zolder.The fickle weather made it a trip into the unknown regarding tyre choice as had been the case for the whole weekend.The formation lap was red flagged and the race delayed for 10 minutes as heavy rain saturated the track surface. The teams changed from dry to wet tyres as the grid reformed for a second time.Ardagna Perez and Ciro, the Race One winners yesterday, opted to change to slicks at the pit stop from second place and despite a late shower with a few minutes remaining, it was not enough to halt the Ferrari pair’s victory charge.“The car had some good balance, and we were still good in the rain. I was very happy with the way my race went, and congratulations to the other guys who have made the podium,” Ardagna Perez said.Second was the No.11 Rhino’s Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini LP600 of David Mengesdorf (DEU) and Hari Proczyk (AUT).It was a great recovery for the Lamborghini considering Mengesdorf ended up facing backwards after a spin at Turn 1 soon after the start. The mishap dropped the car to seventh before Proczyk mounted a salvage operation.It rounded out a solid weekend for the pair who also finished second in Race One.“I am very happy that we have claimed second place in the race, to fall back to seventh, before I handed the car over then to climb to P2 in the conditions was unbelievable. I am very happy for the team and for Hari, he did a great job,” Mengesdorf said.Procyzk added that the wet-dry track surface made life difficult in the early stages of his stint. “When you first go out on the slicks it is a bit tricky for the first two or three laps, then it starts to work, and we knew from yesterday’s race that the dry set-up could work in those mixed conditions that I had for the majority of my stint.”It was also an eventful race for the third-placed No.1 Heico Gravity-Charouz Team Mercedes SLS AMG of Dominik Baumann (AUT) and Maximilian Buhk (DEU). Buhk struggled with braking and had slipped to fifth place before handing over to Baumann.“It is very strange with the weather to be dry, wet, dry, wet and to have the red flag before the race on the formation lap, but it is something you have to deal with as a driver,” Baumann said.“In my stint the track dried up really fast and with the slick tyres we went really well and we were able to keep a good pace. I am really happy with the result and looking positively ahead to Navarra.”Buhk bemoaned the fact that second place slipped away. “Unfortunately I lost the second position with not long to go, it is not easy with such a heavy car to drive with the slicks in such tricky conditions. That said, P3 still gives us some good points for the Championship.”Fourth was the Russian Bear Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia No.5 of Vyacheslav Maleev and Kiril Ladygin ahead of the second AF Corse Ferrari of Stefano Gai (ITA) and Michael Lyons (GBR).The pole-sitter and early leader of the race the No.15 Sainteloc Racing Audi No.15 of Dino Lunardi (FRA) took a 15-second lead into his pit stop.However, the team chose to stay on wet tyres for Jerome Demay’s finishing stint despite the sun appearing and the track drying out. Demay subsequently tumbled down the order and finished sixth.The rain arrived again with just two minutes left but too late for the Sainteloc Racing team’s gamble on wet tyres to pay dividends. Similarly, the sister Sainteloc car of Gregory Guilvert and Marc Sourd stayed on wets and struggled to seventh.Eighth was the Team Novadriver Audi of Portugal’s Ni Amorim and Ceasr Campanico which recovered from pirouetting at the start.The Heico Gravity-Cherouz Team Mercedes No.2 with Mika Vahamaki(FIN) at the wheel spun into the gravel at Turn 5 on the third lap as the wet conditions took their toll. The car eventually finished ninth.The No.12 Rhino’s Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini of Russian pair Natalia Freidina and Leo Machitski rounded out the top 10 just ahead of thesecond Russian Bear Ferrari of Miguel Toril (ESP) and Sergey Ryabov (RUS).Ardagna Perez and Ciro moved to the top of the drivers’ standings on 69 points ahead of Baumann/Buhk (65) and Gai/Lyons (58). It also enabled AF Corse to consolidate their healthy lead in the teams’ championship. The top three are: AF Corse (128pts), Heico Gravity-Charouz (99) and Sainteloc Racing (73).The championship now moves to Navarra, Spain for the third round on May 25-27th.

Race 2 - Top ten result1 Gaetano Ardagna Perez (VEN)/Giuseppe Ciro (ITA)No.50 AF Corse (ITA) Ferrari 458 Italia 1:01:19.030 33 Laps 2 Hari Proczyk (AUT)/David Mengesdorf (DEU)No.11 Rhino’s Leipert Motorsport (DEU)Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 1:01:31.939 +12.909 3 Dominik Baumann (AUT)/Maximilian Buhk (DEU)No.1 Heico Gravity-Charouz (CZE)Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 1:01:45.458 +26.428 4 Vyacheslav Maleev (RUS)/Kirill Ladygin (RUS) No.5 Russian Bear Motorsport (RUS) Ferrari 458 Italia 1:02:34.393 +1:15.363 5 Stefano Gai (ITA)/Michael Lyons (GBR)No.51 AF Corse (ITA) Ferrari 458 Italia 1:02:49.620 +1:30.590 6 Jerome Demay (FRA)/Dino Lunardi(FRA)No.15 Sainteloc Racing (FRA) Audi R8 LMS 1:03:06.968 +1:47.938 7 Marc Sourd (FRA)/Gregory Guilvert (FRA)No.16 Sainteloc Racing (FRA) Audi R8 LMS 1:03:15.507 +1:56.477 8 Cesar Campanico (PRT)/Ni Amorim (PRT)No.14 Team Novadriver(PRT) Audi R8 LMS 1:01:31.016 +1 lap 9 Mika Vahamaki (FIN)/Max Nilsson (SWE)No.2 Hecio Gravity-Charouz (CZE)Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 1:02:36.999 +1 lap 10 Leo Machitski (RUS)/Natalia Freidina (RUS)No.12 Rhino’s Leipert Motorsport (DEU)Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 1:02:14.295 +2 laps