An exciting Race 2 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” this weekend concluded with a triumph and podium finishes for Ferrari on track in the opening Sprint race of the Italian GT Championship.
GT3 – The Alessio Rovera-Giorgio Roda (AF Corse) pairing made it onto the lowest step of the podium in GT3 class, but had been forced to concede the race lead in the dying stages after an overtaking manoeuvre at the very limit of the Carro bend which involved contact. Alessio Rovera, the day’s pole-sitter, after having dropped the leadership to his stable-mate Matteo Cressoni as the race got underway, turned out a convincing performance, entering the pit lane for the driver swap in the final moments before the close of the driver-change window. Giorgio Roda come back out on track in first position, leading the pack over the course of several laps behind the Safety Car which had been deployed after an accident at the rear of the field. The driver from Lombardy was able to fend off the attacks from adversaries in the final stages of the race until the decisive overtaking action, which involved contact, finished in the hands of the race stewards and saw him eventually lose second position but hang on to a, nevertheless, cherished third place.
Behind the Rovera-Roda duo a sensational Ferrari triplet was taking shape in the GT3 Pro AM class: sixth overall past the chequered flag – less than 4 seconds from the top – and first in class was the Sean Hudspeth-Mattia Michelotto (Easy Race) crew. The former pulled off a brilliant comeback from the rear of the grid after being involved in contact in the early stages of the race. A convincing performance also for team-mate Michelotto in the #3 Ferrari, which in the end was able to finish ahead of the Ferrari #25 handled by Alessandro Vezzoni and Daniele Di Amato (RS Racing) and the Ferrari #21 paired by Matteo Cressoni and Simon Mann (AF Corse).
Making a fine getaway at the start, Matteo Cressoni, second on the grid, took the leadership on the first curve and held on to it with an authoritative stint until the driver change window. When racing resumed, after the Safety Car came in, squad-mate Simon Mann was forced to concede several positions before posting eighth place overall, but nevertheless finished third in the Pro AM category.
Marginally ahead was the Vezzoni-Di Amato partnership, penalized in the end with a 4-second sanction for a pit lane misdemeanour during the pit stop, which dropped them from third to seventh place. Vezzoni, who had started from eleventh on the grid, performed a very steady opening stint, before handing over to his team-mate, who staged a decisive comeback and notched up the race’s fastest lap, which earned the RS Racing crew the second place in the Pro AM class.
GT CUP – In the class reserved for the single-marque cars, a one-two for the Ferrari 488 Challenge EVO; the #355 belonging to Riccardo Chiesa-Matteo Greco (Easy Race) and the #333 crewed by Gian Piero Cristoni-Luca Demarchi (SR&R) who redeemed themselves after an unfortunate Race 1, finishing in eleventh and twelfth overall place respectively in the general standings. Like Matteo Greco in Race 1, team-mate Riccardo Chiesa also set off from pole position, managing to keep his opponents at a distance to win the class victory ahead of the second Ferrari in the race.
The Italian GT Championship returns at the end of August, with the Endurance formula back on track at the Imola circuit on August 28-30.