Italian Prototypes – Imola & Varano
We’re catching up with the last two events of the Italian
Prototype Championship here.
were on the grid for the mid-point in the CIP, at an Imola track
with African temperatures – air temperature well over 35°
and track over 50°.
At the end
it was the second consecutive victory for Michele Serafini (Osella
CN4-BMW) in front of Solieri (Tampolli SR2-Alfa) and Gabellini (Centenari
CN4-Alfa). Fourth overall and first in the CN2 class was Filippo
Francioni, making his debut in the series with “his new toy”,
the Lucchini CN2-Honda.
At the start of the race, after another pole, Davide Uboldi took
the lead, followed by Serafini and his rival for the Championship,
Zardo: fourth was Ghiotto then Solieri, Francia, Baldi and Francioni
(starting 18th after lots of problem in qualifying with his new
On lap 10 came
the incident that decided the race. Uboldi had lost the lead to
Zardo on lap 4, but was gradually chipping away at the time to the
leader, then tried a very optimistic move at the inside of the Variante
Bassa - but too late to avoid a big contact with Zardo, who didn’t
expect a late lunge from his challenger. The result was a spin for
Uboldi, and later a stop and go penalty for “avoidable contact”.
with a broken radiator. Uboldi also retired later in the race (gearbox),
so Serafini took the lead in his Osella and wasn’t headed.
Meanwhile, Francioni moved through the order to take a spectacular
fourth, first time out.
won from Solieri and Gabellini, with Vita fifth, then Baldi and
Margelli. Francia, the leader in the CN2 points with his Osella,
retired with gearbox problems.
26 cars on the grid this time at a sunny Varano circuit in the north
of Italy. The twisty nature of the circuit should have favoured
the little CN2 cars with the win. The SR2 machines will be more
at home at Monza (for the next round on September 26) and at Misano
(October 24, the last round).
the drivers who shunted and were injured at Mugello in July, the
pole on Saturday went to Davide Uboldi again.
At the start
this time, unlike Imola, Uboldi maintained the lead in front of
Ghiotto and Zardo, who had the upper hand against Francesca Pardini
(making her return) then Serafini.
recovering fast after a spin on the first lap in the Centenari,
but the big names were soon getting into trouble…on lap 7,
Zardo was out with a driveshaft problem, while two laps later Francesca
Pardini was eliminated too (brakes).
In the lead
battle Uboldi struggled a little to hold onto first place from Ghiotto,
who was inspired in this race, and this pair had now opened up quite
a good gap from Serafini, Francisci, Margelli and Gabellini.
On lap 17 Margelli
was out due to a broken engine, while Gabellini was now in third
place passing Serafini, while after another lap Francisci was out
(another engine gone). Everything seemed stable until five laps
from the end when Uboldi began to struggle quite badly, then making
a mistake in the Ickx chicane and finding himself stuck in the deepest
sand trap, out of the race…so Ghiotto took the lead and won
the race in front of Gabellini (a great comeback) and Serafini,
who was in bad gearbox trouble but scored good points for the Championship.
Fourth overall and first in the CN2 class was Francia from Francioni,
who had pressed Francia throughout the race, only to drop back with
First SR2 home
was the Lucchini of Piccone, in seventh.
Next stop is
Monza, for what should be the biggest grid of the season, and an
interesting battle between the CN4, SR2 and best CN2 cars, along
the straights in the royal park.
1. Ghiotto Osella CN4-BMW in 33’ 31.19
2. Gabellini Centenari CN4-Alfa at 24.49
3. Serafini Osella CN4-BMW at 27.07
4. Francia Osella CN2-Honda at 36.91
5. Francioni Lucchini CN2-Honda at 59.26
6. Armetta Osella CN2-Honda at 1 lap
7. Piccone Lucchini SR2-Nissan at 1 lap
8. Semeraro Osella CN2-Honda at 2 laps
9. Amadori Sighinolfi CN4-Alfa at 2 laps
10. Tullio Lucchini SRr2-Alfa at 2 laps
1. Serafini 80 pts
2. Gabellini 61 pts
3. Zardo 59 pts
4. Solieri 50 pts
5. Francia 46 pts
6. Ghiotto 41 pts
7. Uboldi 34 pts
8. Francisci 28 pts
9. Francioni 27 pts
10. Piccone 26 pts
1. Francia 26 pts
2. Francioni 13 pts
3. Armetta 10 pts
1. Solieri 30 pts
2. Piccone 23 pts
3. Tullio 17 pts
4. Bertola 10 pts