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Jun 03, 2014 - 06:52 AM
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Ombra Racing Take Podium Finish In Paul Ricard 3-Hour Race
Posted by: newsla on Jun 03, 2014 - 06:51 AM
Sports Cars
Ombra Racing Take Podium Finish In Paul Ricard 3-Hour Race

Ombra Racing couldn't have hoped for a better outcome to their first ever endurance commitment: in Le Castellet the Italian team took a deserved podium finish crossing the line in 2nd place at the end of the VdeV GT/Touring 3-hour race, after a flawless performance by Andrea Montermini, Mario Cordoni and Marco Zanuttini.


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Pitted against a very competitive field, Ombra started the weekend in dominant fashion, posting the quickest time in two of the three Free Practice sessions and then doing the same in qualifying thanks to a masterful drive from former F1 racer Montermini. Andrea's performance was unmatched, but despite that the Italian team didn't get pole position: under VdeV's special qualifying formula the quickest laptime from a pro-driver has to be averaged with the fastest time clocked by the line-up's quickest gentleman, and once the maths were completed the yellow/blue Ferrari had to line up in 4th place: not a pole, but still a decent starting position for a three-hour effort.

The race itself proved Ombra's worth once again. The first two one-hour stints saw perfect pit-stops from the team's staff and error-free performances from Cordoni and Zanuttini: the two gentlemen focused on finding a steady pace and avoiding mistakes, an approach that paid off and brought the car to third place with one hour to go, albeit one lap-down compared to the leader. Then, Montermini took the wheel and delivered a staggering recovery drive: lapping three seconds per lap faster than the cars at the front Andrea quickly reduced the two-minute gap to the lead and snatched second place, then setting his sight on the leading Porsche. Pushing as much as he could he managed to recover more than one minute, but the race was a few laps too short for him to complete what would have been an amazing comeback. A cheering team welcomed him when he got back to the pits after having secured both a deserved second place and the fastest lap of the race, with a 1.1s margin on the second quickest car.
Now the team is already on the road to Portimao, ready to take part in the second round of the 2014 GT Open season.

Davide Mazzoleni (Team Manager): "We're really delighted with this 2nd place finish. This weekend saw us cope with many new things, from the 3-hour format to a completely new line-up, but the team's reaction to that was just amazing. The guys were perfect throughout the whole weekend, and our drivers did an amazing job too. They got along well, they worked together to find setup solutions that could suit them all, and from my experience I can tell that it doesn't get much better than that. They all deserve to be praised: Mario and Marco drove two full stints of one hour without any issues, and when the car was handed to Andrea it was still in perfect conditions for the final rush. What Montermini did was just amazing: I knew he was quick, but working with him I could discover an affable individual who has a 360° knowledge of the racing environment. Working with him was a privilege, I hope we will have other opportunities to race together".

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