The first of the two title-deciding races of the International GT Open this weekend saw a triumph in the Am class for the crew of Spirit of Race driven by Francesco Piovanetti and Oswaldo Negri. The expert crew dominated to win the 70-minute race held at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. An early withdrawal for the car crewed by Matt Griffin and Duncan Cameron, long-time leader of the Pro-Am class.
In command. After a regular start, Griffin overhauled Kodric at the wheel of the McLaren to take the lead in the Pro Am class, moving up to seventh place, while amongst the Am cars, a vibrant battle was being waged between Piovanetti and Cipriani with the pair repeatedly trading places.
Just minutes before the opening of the mandatory pit-stop window, Danish driver Schandorff got the better of Griffin to take the lead in Pro-Am class, while Piovanetti slipped to third place before handing over to Oswaldo Negri with 39 minutes still to run. A minute later it was the turn of Duncan Cameron who climbed aboard to replace the Irish driver. With the race pace established, Cameron went wide at the first chicane, dropping down the order to thirteenth position, second among the Pro-Am crews. A similar position for Negri, among the Am class. With a damaged car and handling problems due to contact in the early stages of the race, Cameron re-entered the pitlane some 25 minutes from time and withdrew.
Turn of events. The only Ferrari left in the race, belonging to Oswaldo Negri in the Am class, was sent into a spin by Konrad coming out of the Variante Ascari curve while the Brazilian was in full combat for the first position with Cipriani and Silva. The 488 GT3, luckily got away unscathed but dropped a significant amount of time.
Four minutes from the end, a puncture for Cipriani offered Negri the chance of the Am class leadership, a position that the Spirit of Race driver held on to until the chequered flag. It was an excellent debut for both the Brazilian and the American at the wheel of the #51 Ferrari. Tomorrow the series stages its final event of the 2019 season.