The Italo-Argentine pair, with a storming finale, clinch 5th win of the year, more than any other contender this season
Balfe-Keen (Balfe Ferrari) excellent 2nd ahead of new Champions, Ramos-Parente (Teo Martín McLaren)
GT-Am win for the Sports&You Mercedes SLS of Sardinha-Da Costa
Raffaele Giammaria and Ezequiel Pérez-Companc, with their AF Corse Ferrari F458, took the win in the race closing the 2015 season of the International GT Open. With a perfect race and a storming finale by Companc, the Italo-Argentine pair conquered a fifth success, ending as the pair with most wins. They beat the Balfe Motorsport Ferrari of Phil Keen-Shaun Balfe and the Teo Martín Motorsport of the now reigning champions Miguel Ramos-Álvaro Parente.
In GT-Am, the sports&You Mercedes SLS of Miguel Sardinha-Manuel Da Costa won a nice duel with Claudio Sdanewitsch-Ilya Melnikov, with the other AF Corse Ferrari of Yannick Mallégol-Howard Blank taking third.
THE RACE – It was a very lively start, with poleman Hankey keeping the advantage of the pole ahead of Watson of Balzan, while Perera and Pérez-Aicart get in contact at first corner and go in the gravel taking with them Giammaria. Few corners later, Watson hits Hankey, who spins, then the McLaren is passed by Balzan, who takes the lead. Keen is third ahead of Biagi, Kox, Melnikov, Giammaria and Ramos.
Quite quickly, Watson gets a drive-through, rejoining in P10. On top, Balzan has a 2.2 seconds advantage on Keen after 8 laps, with Kox now third ahead of Giammaria, Biagi and Ramos. The Dutchman though gets a drive-through for an earlier contact with Griffin.
Ramos and Lathouras are the first ones to stop as the driver change window opens. After all pit stops, Benucci leads with 4 seconds over Balfe and 8 on Companc, then Pezzucchi, Parente, Camero, Rugolo, Monje, Pronk and Sdanewitsch, first in GT-Am.
As foreseeable, the three first are soon within one second and battling fiercely. A storming Companc passes Balfe at the end of the straight at the beginning of lap 27 and shortly after takes the lead from Benucci. Behind the trio, Parente passes Pezzucchi for 5th, while Da costa takes the GT-Am lead from Sdanewitsch. Last moves see Parente take third and another podium finish.
FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER RACE 14 OF 14
Overall: 1. Parente-Ramos, 212 points; 2. Rugolo-Lathouras, 179; 3. Giammaria-Companc,172;
4. Balzan-Benucci, 132; 5. Keen-Balfe, 87; 6. Sdanewitsch, 72; etc
Pro-Am: 1. Ramos-Parente, 94; 2. Rugolo-Lathouras, 74; 3. Giammaria-Companc, 72; 4. Benucci-Balzan, 53; 5.Keen-Balfe, 37; 6.Griffin-Cameron, 27; etc
GT-Am: 1.Sdanewitsch, 55; 2. Melnikov, 48; 3. Barreiros, 37; 4. Silva-Coimbra, 24; 5. Yoluc-Hankey, 19. 6. Rasmussen, 18; etc
Teams: 1. AF Corse, 157; 2. Teo Martín Motorsport, 107; 3. Villorba Corse, 53; 4. Balfe Motorsport, 37; 5. Baporo Motorsport, 22; 6. Brussels Racing Aston Martin, 14; etc
Cup Am: 1. Abbott, 25; 2. Unzurrunzaga, 14; 3. Hoy, 5