The Spielberg circuit in Austria was treated to exciting battles and thrilling action at Race 1 of the third round of the International GT Open. The two Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020s belonging to AF Corse – APM Monaco proved to be key protagonists, with a prized third place in Pro class going to Prette and Abril.
Pro. Louis Prette set off from second place, after having qualified top in Pro class. After the excited initial stages, the driver from the Principality of Monaco settled into third position. From that moment on, a hard-fought tussle began, with Ollie Millroy putting relentless pressure on the #17 Ferrari. The British driver in the #7 McLaren 720 S GT3, however, failed to get the better of his adversary, even with the entrance of the Safety Car at the end of the 14th lap resetting the gaps. On lap 18, Prette handed over to Vincent Abril. Once the whirlwind of driver changes had been completed, Abril now held sixth overall place. The AF Corse – APM Monaco driver recommenced battle with the #7 McLaren of American Brendan Iribe – who had taken over from Millroy – entering in the hunt. This produced an enthralling scuffle which saw Abril emerge the victor, eventually finishing the race in third place in the class, fifth overall.
Pro-Am. A spectacle was guaranteed right from the kick-off as Stéphane Ortelli’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020 and Miguel Ramos’s McLaren locked horns. The two came into contact on both the first and second laps, when the #48 Ferrari of AF Corse – APM Monaco even lost the rear-view mirror. Both drivers received warnings; however, no penalties were meted out. Ortelli managed to fend off the attacks from Ramos until the ninth lap when the Portuguese driver succeeded in getting the better of his rival at the end of a thrilling duel. Ortelli delayed the pit stop as late as the 25th lap, where he handed over the wheel to Angelo Negro. His team-mate brought the vehicle home with a steady stint to post an upbeat 13th place overall – sixth in the Pro-Am class.
The sixty-minute Race 2 is scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, and is due to get underway at 13.30.