Italian GT Championship – Monza – Race 1
Where did we leave off yesterday (Saturday evening)? “It could be anything sun, rain, wind, snow…” Well we had just about everything. It could be anyone’s victory? Yes we had it (almost). It could be a last lap drama as last year? Yes we had it! It could be better? Well it’s difficult!

Race 1, originally scheduled for 12.05…started at 13.10 At first the cars went out on slicks, then on the grid a steady shower arrived, but in the meantime the formation lap was almost completed, so a decision was needed?

All the cars headed to the pits and changed from slicks to wets. You can guess what happened next: 15 minutes later the rain eased and the sun made its first appearance. So what next? All the cars changed to slicks again and went out (finally) for the race.

dailysportscar.comSlicks on a slippery, cold, drying track like Monza? Sounds beautiful for the spectators…and some drivers. At the start Riccitelli saw off all the big GTs in front of him and flew away at about two and a half seconds per lap. Behind the lightning-quick Luca, the Viper of Cioci and the 550 of Casè passed the Lister Storm - while all of them were passed by another demon, Chiesa in his 360 GTC.

In the meantime Perazzini (below), who had started last, was gradually grabbing positions in his Viper. Lap after lap the track was drying rapidly, thanks to a strong sun and little wind, and Riccitelli and Chiesa were passed by Casè, Lancellotti, who had re-passed Cioci, and the brand new 2004 Viper driven by Spinelli.

After the pit-stops, Guagliardo (550) was in front of Zonca (Lister), Matteuzzi (Viper) and Sabatini (Viper). Behind in the N-GT class Quester (996) was just in front of Kessel (360) and a good battle developed between Pigoli (996) and Francescon (360), with the Porsche man beating the Ferrari driver on the last lap.

In the concluding part of the race we had some more dramas… Quester spun in the first chicane and Kessel said “thanks very much” and went on to win the N-GT class.

Among the big boys class, Zonca’s Lister was just behind Guagliardo’s 550 Ferrari, never more than one or two seconds distant.… and on the penultimate lap, Guagliardo, at the exit of the Ascari, slowed dramatically. No fuel! It’s incredible, even with over five laps in the rainy conditions and with a race shortened by five minutes (from the planned one hour) the 550 couldn’t make the finish. Zonca lifted off the gas by… 20 seconds in one lap, just to make sure he didn’t have to complete another long lap of Monza (the Lister was also very marginal on fuel – but he seemed to cross the line before 55 minutes was up).

dailysportscar.comIn the (distant) runner-up spot, after the exit of the 550, Matteuzzi completed a huge comeback from last spot, and a very good one after the shunt on Saturday. He pipped the black Viper of Sabatini / Spinelli by only a few tenths!

In the GT3 class victory went to the only Porsche present, in front of both Maserati Lights, both sounding wonderful!

Race 2 report later today.
Gabriele Tosi

Race 1 Result

1. Lancellotti-Zonca Lister 28 laps in 54’56.382 GT
2. Matteuzzi-Perezzini Viper at 51.592 GT
3. Spinelli-Sabatini Viper at 52.351 GT
4. Chiesa-Kessel 360 GTC at 1’15.692 N-GT
5. Riccitelli-Quester 996 RSR at 1’27.575 N-GT
6. Baso-Cioci Viper at 1’29.357 GT
7. Pigoli-Galimberti 996 RSR at 1’30.196 N-GT
8. Francescon-Berton 360 GTC at 1’31.513 N-GT
9. Drudi-Monti 360 Modena at 1’44.916 N-GT
10. Valli-Deverikos 996 RS at 2’17.668 N-GT
13. Sada-Sala 996 GT3 cup 2 laps GT3
14. Strano-Piacentini Maserati Light 2 laps GT3
15. Giudici-Raimondi Maserati Light 2 laps GT3


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