With an authoritative triple, Luzich Racing’s Ferrari 488 GT3, Kessel Racing and Spirit of Race prevailed in the second round of the Le Mans Cup, held today at the Monza circuit. Celebrating on the top step of the podium were Mikkel Mac and Fabien Lavergne, flanked by current champions Sergio Pianezzola and Giacomo Piccini and the team drivers from Spirit of Race, Christoph Ulrich and Maurizio Mediani.
First hour. The Monza asphalt managed to drain the light rain which had fallen between qualifying and the race as the cars took the start-line equipped with slick tires. At the green light, as had happened on previous occasions, Fabien Lavergne got off to a flying start that gave him the race lead, while poleman Sergio Pianezzola was overtaken at the first turn by Calamia too. Even greater difficulties befell the two Ferraris of Hartshorne and Ulrich, who closed the grid. The Swiss driver, spun off during the first lap, set about a furious comeback which soon saw him back in fourth position, twenty-third overall. Meanwhile, in the lead, with Lavergne opening up a gap over his pursuers, Pianezzola got into a notable duel with the Mercedes of Calamia, before the Swill driver got called into the pits for a penalty following a jump start. A few laps later, the entire pitwall of Kessel held their breath when the car of the current champion got rear-ended, luckily non-violently, by a prototype that had braked late at the Roggia chicane, just as the Italian was heading for the first curve to the left of the chicane.
The grey sky which had characterized the start of the race, made way for the sun a few minutes from the opening of the window for the mandatory driver change. The first to pit was the Kessel Racing car, followed a lap later by that of Luzich Racing. The duel that had seen Lavergne and Pianezzola lock horns, was now taken up by two different protagonists, Mikkel Mac and Giacomo Piccini.
Second hour. The final half of the race opened with a Full Course Yellow which offered Luzich Racing’s 488 GT3 tenth overall and leadership in the class, followed by the Ferraris of Kessel Racing and Spirit of Race. After removing the prototype which had provoked the neutralization phase, which span coming out of the second Lesmo curve, the race resumed its normal course some 45 minutes from the chequered flag. As the sky once again began to threaten and the wind began to increase in intensity twenty minutes from the end, Mikkel Mac was able to count on a reassuring advantage of almost 35 seconds over Andrea Piccini, while Mediani’s Ferrari maintained its third position with a good margin over Gunn’s Aston Martin.
Fifteen minutes from the end of the race, the rain began to hit the Lombard circuit and the pits again became the protagonist for hasty tire changes and, with it, the Full Course Yellow needed to safely remove a prototype which had spun off at the second Lesmo curve. Six minutes from time, hostilities resumed but, in spite being forced to drive in extreme conditions, the drivers crossed the finish line without any further hitches and, significantly, with three Ferraris in the first three places.
First success in the category for Luzich Racing, with Fabien Lavergne and Mikkel Mac, ahead of Giacomo Piccini and Sergio Pianezzola (Kessel Racing), while Christoph Ulrich and Maurizio Mediani (Spirit of Race) posted third. Sixth place for the fourth 488 GT3 in the race, that of Kessel Racing in the hands of John Hartshorne and Oliver Hancock.
Standings and dates. The overall ranking is dominated by the Prancing Horse teams which occupy the top two places: Kessel Racing is first with 44, while Luzich follows with 41. Similar scores, of course, in the drivers’ standings which currently awards Piccini-Pianezzola over the Mac-Lavergne duo. Next calendar date is scheduled for June 13th and 15th with the Road to Le Mans, on the legendary La Sarthe track.