A splendid showing from Ferrari at Race 1 of the Blancpain GT World Challenge held today at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. As the sixty minutes of Race-1 concluded, in the second round of the sprint series, 488 GT3s had grabbed the glory in both Pro-Am and Am classes.
Cautious start. It proved to be a shrewd first phase of the race for the Ferrari teams with Salikhov in twentieth position, Scholze in twenty-third and Machiels in twenty-fifth. As the sun began to set over the horizon and the mandatory driver change neared, the 488 GT3s began to pick off positions in the standings. Florian Scholze, courtesy of HB Racing, heading the Am class, dragged out his stint to the final possible moment, leapfrogging positions to make it as high as second overall spot. The German driver handed over to fellow-countryman Wolfgang Triller, while in Pro-Am class Andrea Bertolini relieved Louis Machiels and David Perel substituted for Rinat Salikhov.
Bertolini on the attack. With twenty minutes of the race’s sixty still to run, an Audi skidded off track prompting first a Full Course Yellow followed by a Safety Car. In the Pro-Am class Ferraris were now occupying first and second positions with Perel and Bertolini, while in Am, Triller was keeping the Mercedes of Osieka firmly in check. Once racing recommenced, Andrea Bertolini put on a spurt in car #52 to bring the race to life, overhauling Perel and climbing to eleventh final position, the top spot in the class. Perel, for his part, after having dropped to fourth place, battled back to second after a fighting his way past Keen’s Mercedes, a move which was under investigation by race stewards at the end of the race. The South African driver crossed the finish line second in the Pro-Am class, twelfth overall. On the highest step of the podium in class Am, meanwhile, was the 488 GT3 courtesy of HB Racing with Florian Scholze and Wolfgang Triller, in eighteenth overall.