Ferrari enjoyed a successful opening round of the Blancpain GT Sports Club, with two podiums and a hat-trick in the Iron Cup, which included a win for Stephen Earle (Kessel Racing). Mario Cordoni (AF Corse) and Murad Sultanov (Kessel Racing) finished the 30-minute race second and third respectively.
Earle on the attack. The race offered lots of excitement especially in the back of the field and with the splendid comeback by reigning champion Stephen Earle. At the front, Cordoni enjoyed a good start and tried to slip past Reno Möller, first under the chequered flag, but didn’t succeed. Behind him, Pavel Strukov held his position but towards mid-race had to defend himself from the return of McKansy. Sultanov and Kogay, after displaying all due caution early on, fought a duel in the wake of Lee Mowle’s Mercedes, which ended with a mistake by the British driver that left the way clear for the two Ferraris, followed by Stephen Earle, leader in the Iron Cup class.
On the podium In the lead, behind Reno Möller and Cordoni, Strukov had to keep an eye on McKansy's Lamborghini, which was increasingly visible in his rear-view mirrors. However, he went wide out of the Lesmo, which allowed both by the German and Sultanov to pass him. Attempting to make up for his mistake, the StileF Squadra Corse driver delayed braking too long at the Parabolica and spun.
This episode left the way clear for the duel between Sultanov and McKansy with the Russian’s Ferrari 488 GT3 winning out to finish on the lowest step of the podium, behind Cordoni. Behind McKansy's car, first in the Titanium category, came Vadim Kogay, who went for it at the end of the race, and Stephen Earle. The American, sixth overall, won the Iron Cup ahead of the two Ferraris driven by Rick Peter Lovat and Loius-Philippe Soenen.
Race-2. Race 2 begins on Sunday 11:10 am and lasts 30 minutes.