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Sep 29, 2012 - 08:07 PM
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Monza GT Open Race 1 Report
Posted by: newsla on Sep 29, 2012 - 08:06 PM
Sports Cars
Monza GT Open Race 1 Report

The IMSA Performance Porsche found again the way to victory today in Monza, in a race that had a lively ending given the slippery conditions. This is the 11th win of the French outfit, but the first one this season. Well qualified and without handicap, Raymond Narac and Patrick Pilet conducted a perfect race, beating the V8 Racing Corvette of Ramos-Giammaria and the Manthey Porsche of Tandy-Holzer, who had a close battle with the AF Corse Ferrari of Bruni- Leo, eventually beating the Italians despite one more spin with respect to them, and taking the provisional lead in the standings (162 vs 159 points).


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The GTS race had an even more dramatic finale with the Autorlando Porsche of Mapelli- Hamilton and the Kessel Ferrari of Zampieri-Dalle Stelle, which dominated most of the race, being piped at the very end by the other Autorlando car of Matteo Beretta and Marcello Puglisi taking their second win of the year, ahead of the AF Ferrari of Stefano Bizzarri (who retakes the points lead) and Andrea Rizzoli, and the Kessel Ferrari of Zanuttini-Gattuso.

The start, on a damp track, is quiet, with Bruni taking the lead from the pole over Montermini, Zampieri, Ramos, Bontempelli, Christodoulou, Tandy, Narac and Barba. While there some chicane cuts by Montermini, Bruni and Barba, the biggest fight is for fifth, with Tandy emerging after a few laps but he spins at the second chicane on lap 5, rejoining in 14th place.

After 10 laps, Bruni is first with 10" over Montermini and 12" over Zampieri. Ramos is fourth, then Christodoulou, Peter (who has to stop soon after with fire in the engine compartment), Narac fighting with Moncini, then Bontempelli, Beretta and Tandy. There is big fight between Christodoulou and Zampieri at the top of GTS, shortly before the pit stops.

After the driver changes, Leo (who had a 20" handicap) is still in the lead but on lap 22 is passed by both Pilet and Giammaria (who misses a chicane soon after), while Lopez is fourth 12" behind, preceding Holzer, Sijthoff, Mapelli (first in GTS despite having lost the front bumper), Malucelli, Dalle Stelle and Puglisi. The Autorlando Porsche is losing all sorts of body pieces but continues with obstinacy.

Pilet keeps the lead ahead of Giammaria with Leo third and Holzer now fourth, after having passed Leo. The German though spins at Ascari on lap 29, with Leo retaking third. Still, the final laps, with a slippery track, are exciting: Leo can’t avoid spinning himself in the last lap leaving the third spot on the podium to the Porsche. It’s drama also in GTS as the three leaders (Mapelli, Dalle Stelle and Puglisi) find themselves abreast at Lesmo and collide. Puglisi survives to take the win ahead of Rizzoli and Gattuso, while Dalle Stelle spins off track and Mapelli concludes fourth after pitting to change a tire. In the meantime, the McLaren had stopped on the track with a mechanical problem in the last lap.

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