Gabriele Piana and Razvan Umbrarescu picked up their first win of the season at the Misano World Circuit after a thrilling race this afternoon. The RN Vision STS drivers made no mistakes to take the top step of the podium. Markus Lungstrass and Hamza Owega won in Pro-Am, with Alessandro Giovanelli and Giuseppe Ghezzi claiming their third consecutive victory.
SILVER CUP: RN VISION STS WINS AS RIVALS FALTER
Van der Ende started the race from pole position and held the lead into the first combination of corners. The Equipe Verschuur driver initially pulled away from the #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Nicolaj Møller-Madsen, but the Danish driver was able to close the gap again and a thrilling fight for the lead began to develop.
Møller-Madsen overtook the #10 McLaren 570S GT4 of Van der Ende to take the lead on lap seven, but the Silver Cup points leader ahead of this weekend was unable to drive away from the Dutchman. The field was bunched up again after the #31 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 went off and the safety car was deployed. When the safety car returned to the pits, the battle for the lead also continued until the pit window opened.
The #10 Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4 made its stop one lap earlier than the #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4, but that was not enough to retake the lead. Milan Dontje rejoined right in front of Finlay Hutchison, even despite Møller-Madsen spinning upon entering the pits, which caused bodywork damage to the car. Razvan Umbrarescu in the #111 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4 followed in third.
Dontje and Hutchison continued the battle that was started by their teammates, until the safety car was deployed once more after the #33 Bullitt Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 had gone off into the gravel. The safety car joined the track right behind the Hutchison and Dontje, who raced on and lapped one of the slower cars.
That pass turned out to be decisive for the outcome of the race, as the safety car signs were out and both Dontje and Hutchison were given a 40-second time penalty. Dontje’s day turned even worse when he spun off at high speed with five minutes left on the clock.
Hutchison eventually crossed the line in first place, but his penalty meant Umbrarescu was declared the winner, with the #55 HHC Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 of Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton claiming second place and the #16 Racing One Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Hamza Owega and Markus Lungstrass taking third place overall and the Pro-Am win. With a fifth place overall, MDM Motorsport drivers Simon Knap and Max Koebolt claimed third in Silver Cup.
RACING ONE DOMINATES PRO-AM, AUTORLANDO SPORT WINS IN AM
Racing One’s Markus Lungstrass and Hamza Owega claimed their first win of the season in the Pro-Am class, finishing 1.674s clear of team mates Patrick Zamparini and Csaba Mor. Both cars were not inside the overall top 10 before the pit window opened, but were eventually classified third and fourth overall in the race results.
Third in the Pro-Am class went to the #88 Team GT McLaren 570S GT4 of Felix von der Laden and his new team mate for this weekend, Alain Valente. The German-Swiss pair finished 16.477s behind the class winning Audi, but was able to keep several more experienced line-ups behind. Fourth place went to RN Vision STS drivers Miguel Cristovao and Pavel Lefterov, while Wolf Nathan and Nicky Pastorelli finished in fifth place in their V8 Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. W&D Racing Team finished the first of their two home races sixth in class. Schwede Motorsport, which had won three of the four previous races, did not finish the race.
Autorlando Sport drivers Alessandro Giovanili and Giuseppe Ghezzi won the Am class, with the #76 Autorlando Sport Porsche 911 GT4 crossing the line six seconds ahead of Niki Leutwiler in the #222 Porsche Zentrum Oberer Zürichsee by TFT Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 CS MR. Nicolas Vandierendonck and Johan Vannerum completed the podium with their #30 Selleslagh Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4, while Liesette Braams completed the top 4 in the #11 Las Moras Racing by Equipe Verschuur McLaren 570S GT4.
Hamza Owega, #16 Racing One Audi R8 LMS GT4: “I had a problem with the throttle at the start and I lost some places. After that in traffic, I couldn’t really get past the others and I even had a contact. After that I took more care, but in the end we won. So, I’m happy!”
Markus Lungstrass, #16 Racing One Audi R8 LMS GT4: “This was perfect. The guys did a brilliant job make the car so fast. I pushed all the time, which was amazing. I knew it would be tough, so the safety car did help us a bit, for sure. After that I pushed like hell and we won, finally!”
Alessandro Giovanelli, #76 Autorlando Sport Porsche 911 GT4: “It was a very tough race. The car was very different to what it was in qualifying, so it was difficult to drive. Anyway, our race was against the Am teams, so I handed a lot of places to Silver and Pro-Am drivers, but that doesn’t matter. At the end the most important thing was to reach the podium in first place.”
Gabriele Piana, #111 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4: “It was clear in the race that we had more pace than some of the other cars, especially at the beginning. I managed to recover a few positions right away and then fought all the way back to third place. The safety car wasn’t really helpful, as I was catching the guys in front, so it only brought some guys from behind. The bottom line is that the other guys made mistakes and this time we didn’t do any. Combined with our own performance it was P1.”
Razvan Umbrarescu, #111 RN Vision STS BMW M4 GT4: “I took over the car in a perfect shape, thanks to Gabi. The tires were still in a good condition so I could push a bit. We got a bit unlucky in the first two weekends, but now things cleared out and we got a bit of luck on top of it. But still, the performance was there. Usually things come when you least expect them and now they came fast and I am really happy.”