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Mar 02, 2014 - 06:03 AM
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Paul Ricard Winter Series GT
Posted by: newsla on Mar 02, 2014 - 05:59 AM
Sports Cars
Paul Ricard Winter Series GT

The first races of the year, in the framework of the Winter Series, saw an excellent collective performance of teams and drivers from Central and Eastern Europe. In a sunny but cold and windy day at the Paul Ricard, the SMP Racing Russian Bears took a brilliant double win in Race 1, as Daniel Zampieri-Roman Mavlanov preceeded team mates Vyacheslav Maleev-José Manuel Pérez-Aicart.


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In Race 2, Aleksander Talkanitsa senior and junior, the Belarus pair of father and son that are popular figures in the GT Open since a number of years, took third in Race one and a resounding win in Race 2, after a thrilling finale and a fierce duel with Michal Broniszewski, the Pole of Kessel Racing. Eventually, the Ombra Ferrari of Stefano Gattuso- Mario Cordoni took second ahead of Zampieri-Mavlanov.

RACE 1: Double win for the SMP Racing Ferraris

Race 1 starts without the third-fastest in qualifying Matteo Cairoli (Ombra Ferrari) because of an ignition problem, while Sdanewitsch kicks off from the pits. The two Baporo Ferraris, on row 1, keep control of the situation but it is Pérez-Aicart taking the lead ahead of Zampieri. At first corner, Kemenater is off the track, while shortly after, it’s Gattuso spinning. The Porsche of Dermont has to stop, and one lap later, it’s Seyffarth in the pits because of a punctured tire.

First laps see Aicart ahead of Zampieri, the pair building quickly a 10-second gap on Broniszewski, Talkanitsa, Gattuso, Montermini and Piccini. In lap 7, Broniszewski loses two positions, and one lap later, Zampieri takes the lead from Aicart.

After the pit stop, it’s Mavlanov leading with 6" on Maleev, then Talkanitsa at 15" and Broniszewski at 24" behind, followed by Cordoni and Rugolo. Positions do not change until the finish, with the Seyffarth Mercedes stopping again in the pits in the last lap.

Race 2: The Talkanitsas take maiden win in agitated finale

At the start, poleman Michele Rugolo (AF Corse) keeps the advantage. Mavlanov and Broniszewski fight for second for a couple of turns but it is the Pole keeping the advantage. Fourth is Cordoni, ahead of Maleev, Bianchi, Merckx (who will get a drive-through for overtaking beyond track limits) and Talkanitsa.

After the pit stop, the Ferrari AF of Sdanewitsch is still in the lead, with Broniszewski, Talkanitsa, Gattuso, Zampieri and Aicart chasing it. It’s a wild fold of final laps with the top six cars getting closer and closer and playing with track limits. In lap 18, Broniszewski passes Sdanewitsch, who one lap later has to let past the rest of the quintet. The last two laps see Talkanitsa and Broniszewski fighting, with the Belarus passing and taking the win while Broniszewski slids to fifth.

To be noted, the accident in free practice 1 on Thursday of the Lamborghini Gallardo of Peter Kox. The Dutchman reported two broken ribs.

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