Three Ferrari crews claimed the three top places in the Pro, Pro-Am and Am class standings, as well as snatching victory in the GT Light class at the end of a thrill-packed Race-1 in the Italian GT Sprint Championship.
Chaotic start. A wet track, but with no further forecast of downpours, made for a tricky start that saw Fuoco and Rovera enter the first bend wheel to wheel, forcing the Ferrari driver to cut the corner. Behind the pair, chaos ensued as many drivers made contact, span off or ran wide on the very first curve. In spite of a lack of grip on the track, Fuoco had managed to take the race lead by the fourth lap, but fell victim to a rear left puncture and was obliged to re-enter the pits. The episode gave free rein to Rovera out in front, with Crestani busy in full battle with Gersekowski, while Di Amato held second place ahead of Simon Mann.
Key moment. The turning point in the race came shortly after when the Lamborghini of Cuneo suffered tread separation on the rear left tyre destroying the car’s bodywork and shedding bits of carbon fibre all along the length of the main straight leading to the Parabolica. The entrance of the Safety Car was inevitable, and as soon as the window for the mandatory pit-stops opened, there was a mass charge into the pit lane from all the teams. Amid the confusion, Christian Colombo in the 488 GT3, having relieved Japanese newcomer Ken Abe - one of the main protagonists in the Coppa Shell category of Ferrari Challenge - found himself at the head of the course, with Veglia leading Pro class and Vezzoni first in Pro-Am after having swapped for Di Amato, who had spun off while still occupying a place among the front-runners.
Safety Car once more. With twelve minutes left on the clock, an onslaught of tussles among the leading group, on the slippery surface, created the conditions for an abundance of driver errors. Six minutes later the Safety Car was back out, staying on track until one minute forty seconds from the end. From that instance, Colombo, in spite of a furious attempt at a comeback from Veglia, held on to cross the finish-line in first overall place and first in the Am class, 1”4 ahead of the driver in Easy Race livery and the winner in Pro class. Matteo Cressoni and Simon Mann, meanwhile, thanks to sixth overall place, claimed their first success in Pro-Am class ahead of Di Amato-Vezzoni, tenth overall. In between, in eighth place, a fine Giorgio Sernagiotto finished first in the GT Light class at the wheel of the 458 Italia GT3 shared with Alberto Lippi.
Champions in Pro-Am. Although the race itself was far from memorable, the fourth place of Antonio Fuoco and Sean Hudspeth in the class allows the AF Corse team pairing to mathematically seal the Pro-Am title. An excellent season result, particularly for the young driver from the Ferrari Driver Academy who was able to play a key role in which the Piacenza team’s 488 GT3 was often battling among the Pro class crews.