Italian GTs – Mugello – May 15 / 16 - Race 2
Lister Double Top
After all the action from race one, the second one couldn’t
match it, could it? Probably not, but the weather was still very
warm and sunny as the surviving 20 cars took the start, at mid-afternoon.
It was a very clean one
for the 550, which had the upper hand on the Lister, while behind
a very angry Berton, after the contact in the first race with Drudi,
installed himself in third spot overall – this 360 GTC having
come direct from Michelotto. What did we say about the Mugello track?
“The GTs will be miles away in front of the N-GTs”:
well not really, thanks to the hot conditions making the track quite
slippery and the ever thirsty GTs having to be in an economy run,
both fuel and tyres.
After five minutes, the
550 of Guagliardo was easing away from the Zonca Lister, which was
being pressed very hard by Berton, then the two DR Vipers,the RSR
of Pigoli then the two white Racing Box Vipers split an N-GT car,
the 360 Modena of Kessel. Behind all of them we had Groppi then
Eight minutes and we
had the best move of the race, very similar to the Herbert one at
the exit of the Ascari in the LMES round. Galimberti (Pigoli’s
partner, my mistake wasn’t Mastronardi) was front but chased
down by Perazzini and Bonaldi: they chose the right and left side
of the Porsche and “ate the RSR” before the braking
point for the first curve, what a move!. One lap later Sabatini
too passed the RSR of Galimberti, and in the meantime Perazzini
and Bonaldi blasted through the Correntaio downhill esses and shared
some “rude stuff” between them, some carbon pieces flying
away in all directions. GT racing Italian style!
At 15 minutes, the dramas
began: the current points leader, Perazzini had a puncture on the
main straight, destroying the right rear bodywork. Unfortunately
he had to do an entire lap like this, the suggestion being that
the “rude stuff” between Perazzini and Bonaldi some
laps before was the original cause.
In the meantime the second
“demon” in this race, Sangiulo, was charging back through
the field very quickly, so things calming down now? Absolutely not!
Sabatini entered the pits with flames (not dramatically like the
Coronel Lister in Germany) licking from under the bonnet of his
Viper.. a very rare engine failure for this v10.
End of the dramas? Of
course not, and we are only 20 minutes into the race! At the Casanova
Savelli Monti made a very bad mistake, punting off in a big way
the RSR of Piccini, totally the fault of the 360 driver and race
over for probably the fastest pair in N-GT…and 30 seconds
later, the 550 of Guagliardo slowed dramatically and parked out
on the track!!! What a real mess of event!
22 minutes and the RS
of the new team creaed by Mr. Poli (who owned, and sold, the yellow
Corvette raced last year) is out, stuck in the gravel, driver error
In the GT3 class (here is called GT2, but in reality it is with
GT3 spec cars) we had a very good battle between Sada and Piacentini,
almost door to door.
During the pit-stops
there was nearly a collision between the Spanish Corvette and the
Perazzini Viper taking its second stop, (this one the scheduled
After the pit-stops, we had the Lister and the Viper of Mastracci
(Bonaldi’s teammate) at the front. In N-GT, Francescon was
leading from Chiesa from Drudi, who was enduring a lot of pressure
from Moccia. 32 minutes and the RSR of Galimberti / Pigoli is out,
clutch failure, but at the same time there was a wheel to wheel
battle along the main straight between Sala (GT3 cup) and Raimondi
(Maserati) – reminding me of the Senna-Mansell confrontation
at Barcelona in ’91.
Francescon was now second
overall and first in N-GT, at 11 seconds behind the Lister, then
a “Viper battle” between Scassellati, Bonaldi and Cioci
- then Drudi and Chiesa, who had passed Groppi. One minute later
a stop-and-go was applied to Scassellati (unknown reason).
The order settled down
in the last part of the race, with the Lister staying out in front,
with Mastracci and Sangiuolo passing the 360 of Francescon, but
almost 30 seconds down to the black beauty (the Sorm). Behind the
360 were two other Vipers, those of Scassellati (exiting from a
stop and go) just in front of Cioci, then Chiesa and Drudi and Groppi…and
the order stayed the same until the final minutes when, thanks to
a misunderstanding, a big one, with the Maserati of Raimondi, Drudi
was out at the SanDonato curve.
In the GT3 class, there
was a late drama with a lost wheel from Corradi / Cipolli, leaving
Sada / Sala to the win, then Strano / Piacentini (Maserati) and
a slow but reliable 355 (Emiliani / Ferrari).
So at the end it was
a day full of action, some clean, some dirty, some spins, some crashes,
some other dramas - but a pair of wins for the Italian Lister. What
conclusions can we draw from this pair of races? The JMB 550 (the
Italtecnica one) is still very far from being sufficiently reliable,
the N-GT cars are very much nearer to the big GT guys than in the
FIA Series and in GT3 now the Maserati is the car to have to win
the title. In other news, the DR Saleen will be definitely on the
grid on July 18, for the Salzburgring round.
Next stop in a “crazy”
calendar (we are now at the halfway point already) is 30 May at
Pergusa: expects a smaller grid, and plenty of problems for the
big GTs to get the end of the race without running out of fuel.