Italian Prototypes – Final Round
The final round of the CIP was held at Misano Adriatico yesterday (October 24) and, to the surprise of most of the paddock, the overall winner of the series is Denny Zardo. Michele Serafini had only to finish and stay behind Zardo, but bad luck (or perhaps he was afraid of going for the win?) cost him a spin and any chance of taking the fight to the end of the race.

There were 27 cars on the entry list and 26 started the race (again a notable DNS for the 2003 Champion Francioni in his Lucchini CN2-Honda, still in deep engine trouble…) but things look good for him next year. Alongside the LMP race (LMES plus Sebring and Le Mans) Filippo will again play a big role in the CIP, which he has won three times already, with the same Lucchini. Expect fireworks from him next year.

So the 2004 Champion is Denny Zardo, a deserved win in the end: he and his Osella-BMW have been the best combination, and despite two crashes with Uboldi this year, he took the title by five points. A third place in the final Misano race was more than enough to clinch the title.

Everything was decided in the early laps when Serafini, fourth at the time, and following Zardo like a “shadow”, was forced to retire after his spin. Meanwhile, Uboldi (who had the pole on Saturday) was in the lead, followed by Zardo and Ghiotto. After Serafini’s spin the safety car came out to allow the marshals to move the car to a safe place. At the restart nothing changed, but the race livened up towards the end.

The lead trio (Uboldi Zardo and Ghiotto) engaged in a good battle and thanks to backmarkers, Ghiotto was able to pass Uboldi and go on to take the victory, while Uboldi stayed in second and Zardo was more than happy in third. Fourth overall was Francia, after a stellar performance in his Osella CN2-Honda, in front of Merendino and Gabellini. In the SR2 Class, the win went to Tullio, in front of the title-winning Solieri.
Gabriele Tosi

1. Ghiotto Osella CN4-BMW in 39’04.71
2. Uboldi Lucchini CN4-BMW at 4.02
3. Zardo Osella CN4-BMW at 5.69
4. Francia Osella CN2-Honda at 13.80
5. Merendino Lucchini CN4-Alfa at 14.37
6. Gabellini Centenari CN4-Alfa at 35.86
7. De Pasquale Osella CN2-Honda at 44.81
8. Armetta Osella CN2-Honda at 52.43
9. Vita Lucchini CN4-Alfa at 1’02.57
10. Semeraro Osella CN2-Honda at 1’10.72

Final Standings

1. Zardo 121 pts
2. Serafini 116 pts
3. Ghiotto 87 pts
4. Uboldi 80 pts
5. Solieri 76 pts

CN2 title Francia
CN3 title Manfrè
CN4 title Zardo
SR2 title Solieri


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