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    Mann-Cressoni, Pro-Am champions after win at Vallelunga

    Vallelunga 06 dicembre 2020

    With a win claimed at the closing Italian GT Sprint Championship event held at Vallelunga, Simon Mann and Matteo Cressoni, at the wheel of the AF Corse 488 GT3 Evo 2020, were crowned Italian champions, pipping tenacious rivals Sean Hudspeth and Mattia Michelotto at the wheel of the Easy Race-run Ferrari.

    Downpour. The race got underway with an hour-long delay after the Roman circuit had been battered by a violent storm. Conditions, however, remained troublesome, with many rain-drenched areas still scattered around the track. The race-start began under the guidance of the Safety Car, giving competitors the green light with some 38 minutes to race before the chequered flag.

    Safety Car. Cressoni, setting off ahead of the pack, got involved in a fine tussle with Marciello before eventually conceding the position, slipping down to fourth place. The Ferraris of Di Amato and Hudspeth were holding ninth and eleventh positions mid-group, while Chiesa was leading the GT Cup. As the stopwatch signalled the 30-minute mark, the incursion of Cozzi's 488 Challenge into the gravel, triggering a Safety Car outing, coincided with the opening of the mandatory pit stop window. All the cars immediately dived into the pit lane, with the exception of Di Amato, who stayed on track pushing hard. After the RS Racing team driver swap, Vezzoni brought the car back out on-track, but ended up spinning off into the gravel, putting an end to his title hopes. Rovera, having taken over from Roda, attempted a comeback, in a bid to make the podium, while Drudi, in fifth, followed ten seconds behind. The AF Corse driver, after having seen any chances of remaining in title contention vanish yesterday, was lapping at a swift pace, however, not enough to make up the four-second gap from third place.

    Decisive battle. The spotlight then fell onto the duel between Simon Mann and Mattia Michelotto, with the battle for the Pro-Am class title in full swing. The confrontation between the young man from AF Corse and the Easy Race talent, promised to ignite the final minutes of the race, but was however prematurely curtailed by a Safety Car entrance two minutes from time, to allow the removal of Tujula and Cozzi’s vehicles, shored up in the gravel at two separate points on the track. As had previously happened in the first round, the final race of the Sprint series came to a close behind the Safety Car, bringing the 2020 Italian GT Championship season to an end, with both the race victory and Pro-Am class title going to Simon Mann and Matteo Cressoni at the wheel of the AF Corse 488 GT3 Evo 2020.

    GT Cup. In the class reserved for the challenge cars, new champions Matteo Greco and Riccardo Chiesa won for the seventh time aboard the Easy Race 488 Challenge Evo, ahead of rookie Christian Brusborg in the Ferrari belonging to Formula Racing.