Italian GT Reports & Results, Imola March 28
The first race with 22 cars on the grid saw a furious charge up
the field by the only 550 present, the JMB one, with Casè
/ Mediani driving - writes Gabriele Tosi. The pair started
sixteenth, after a problem in qualifying, while the lead was taken
by the reigning Champion Viper of Perazzini / Matteuzzi, followed
by their teammates’ car, that of Cioci / Baso. Third was the
Lister of Zonca / Lancellotti. The black beauty began a great scrap
with Perazzini, culminating in a brave and clean move at the Acque
Minerali, only to be passed by Perazzini a lap later at Tosa. But
this weekend lady luck wasn’t on the English side (after both
the Listers retired in the Monza race) Lancellotti puncturing a
tyre, losing a lap and finishing ninth.
Just before the halfway
mark Perazzini was leading, then Casè, who by now had passed
both the Lister and the other Racing Box Viper, then Cioci: first
in N-GT was Luca Riccitelli, followed by Chiesa and Monti.
After the pit-stop time
(as in the French series, between the 23rd and 37th minutes), Matteuzzi
was leading in front of Baso then Quester. It was a slow pit-stop
for the 550 but Mediani charged back, passing Baso, while drama
struck the leading Viper: Matteuzzi lost a wheel at the Acque Minerali,
but manage to reach the pits and fixed it.
Kessel had begun a ‘rude’
but sometimes clean battle with Quester, with “bumping action”
from both sides, then at the Rivazza he managed to pass the Austrian.
Race over? Not quite…on
the last lap at Tosa, Baso, while being pressed by Mediani, made
a silly mistake: too much gas too early and he spun out left, leaving
Mediani to take the win, apparently a surprise to himself and the
JMB team. Third place and first in N-GT were Chiesa / Kessel followed
by Francescon-Berton (360 Modena) then Baso / Cioci and Quester
/ Riccitelli (3rd in N-GT).
In the Trofeo
Nazionale Csai (as I called it, the GT3 class, just to make the
things simpler) we lost the Maserati Light Version of Giudici in
the beginning of the race and the victory went to the 996 GT3 cup
version of Sada / Sala in front of Emiliani / Ferrari (Ferrari 355).
1.Casè / Mediani (Ferrari 550) in 1.00"56;
2.Matteuzzi / Perazzini (Chrysler Viper) a 14"19;
3.Chiesa / Kessel (Ferrari 360 GTC) a 18"34;
4.Francescon / Berton (Ferrari 360 Modena) a 30"39;
5.Cioci / Baso (Chrysler Viper) a 31"83;
6.Riccitelli / Quester (Porsche RSR) a 32"76;
7.Monti / Drudi (Ferrari 360 Modena) a 57"64;
8.Galimberti / Pigoli (Porsche RSR) a 1'04"54;
9.Deverikos / Valli (Porsche RS) a 1'17"40;
10.Groppi / Moccia (Porsche RS) a 1'43"98.
The second heat was decided in the closing stages too – but
not quite so near the end as race 1. As usual the grid was a little
‘anaemic’, after all the trouble, so less than 20 cars
took to the grid. We lost the other Viper of Sperati / “Base
Up” after engine failure in race 1.
After the start Mediani
eased away from the Vipers of Perazzini and Baso. While the Lister
of Zonca began a good thrust through the field, it was not without
worries… on almost every lap he lost parts of the bodywork!
At the end. the black Storm seemed more a convertible than a coupe,
but still managed to finish third.
After the pit-stop, Casè
had problem with the 550, the V12 not sounding good and not revving
properly: the cause was a major electrical failure and a little
fire started around the V12, so it wouldn’t be a 550 double.
Matteuzzi took the lead in front of Baso and the Lister.
In the N-GT class Pigoli
/ Galimberti started like demons and took the early lead, in front
of Kessel then Moccia / Groppi, while Quester experienced some brake
problems, his position worsened by a one minute penalty for jumping
After the pit-stop nothing major changed in either class. The real
highlight of the race 2 was the battle in the GT3 class with the
“young” Arturo Merzario battling with the Maserati Light
of Giudici (another “young” driver): also involved was
the Sala / Sada 911 Cup, the winner of race 1.
At the end the victory
went to Giudici / Raimondi, second for Sada / Sala and third for
the 355 of Emiliani - so no finish for Arturo.
At least five more cars are likely for the next pair of races at
Monza, including a Saleen for the DR Sport Equipe a pair of Maserati
Lights and a pair of 355s. 30 cars are likely before the end of
the season, a thriving number in Italy.
1.Perazzini / Matteuzzi (Chrysler Viper) in 1.00"31.82;
2.Baso / Cioci (Chrysler Viper) a 4"76;
3.Zonca / Lancellotti (Lister Storm) a 7"11;
4.Pigoli / Galimberti (Porsche RSR) a 29"13;
5.Kessel / Chiesa (Ferrari 360 GTC) a 32"54;
6.Drudi / Monti (Ferrari 360 Modena) a 59"97;
7.Valli / Deverikos (Porsche RS) a 1'22"79;
8.Berton / Francescon (Ferrari 360 Modena) a 1'35"55;
9.Venier / Bortignon (Ferrari 360 Modena) a 1 giro;
10.Groppi / Moccia (Porsche RS) a 1 giro.
1.Matteuzzi / Perazzini 35;
3.Baso / Cioci 27;
5.Lancellotti / Zonca 22;
7.Casè / Mediani 20.
1.Chiesa / Kessel 35;
3.Pigoli / Galimberti 28;
5.Berton / Francescon 23;
7.Drudi / Monti 22.
Trofeo Nazionale CSAI (similar to a GT3 class)
1. Sada / Sala 35;
3. Emiliani / Ferrari 27;
5. Cipolli / Corradi 22.