Thomas Biagi and Giovanni Venturini finally took theirs and Lamborghini’s first win of the season in Race 1 at the Hungaroring, becoming the new points leaders. The Italian duo of Imperiale Racing emerged in a breath-taking finale, after Miguel Ramos (Spirit of Race Ferrari) and Mikkel Mac led in the entire race. The Portuguese, though, was involved in a contact with Johnny Mowlem five minutes from the end, losing first and also second, to Valentin Pierburg-Lance Arnold, who took Pro-Am honours with the SDPS Automotive Performance Mercedes, ahead of Plachutta-Jäger (Lechner Mercedes) and Tappy-Benham (Garage59 McLaren).
Martin Konrad (Mercedes MS Racing) took their third win of the season in Am and are now tied with Moiseev-Rizzo (Kaspersky Ferrari) on top of the category’s standings. In all-Mercedes podium, they beat the Sports&You cars of Basso-Balbiani and Coimbra-Silva.
THE RACE – At the start, poleman Mac keeps the advantage with some difficulty over Arnold, Venturini, Tappy, Monteiro, Costa, Bouveng, Bell, Still and Fontana. Costa passes Monteiro for P5, but in the first laps it’s Liuzzi and Cioci putting the show, with some spectacular overtakes. The Lambo passes Konrad and Still, while the Ferrari, which started from last row following a gearbox failure in qualifying, wins some great duels with Siedler, Ling (who will spin in lap 13) and Konrad, getting in 11th position by lap 10.
In the lead, Mac builds a 3.5 gap over Arnold, with Venturini third and Tappy resisting the attacks of Costa for 4th during the entire first stint. Follow the BMWs of Monteiro and Bouveng, and the McLaren of Bell.
Bouveng, Songyang, West, Ling and Fontana are the first to stop for driver change. After all pit stops, Ramos is in the lead with a 7 second gap over Pierburg, and 12 seconds on Biagi, then Frommenwiler, Beirão, Benham, Balfe, Rueda, Hamaguchi, and Postiglione and Jäger in full fight. In lap 24, as Ledogar tries to pass Perazzini, the Frenchman sends the Ferrari into a spin. The first six positions seem stable, with only Biagi reducing slightly the gap with respect Pierburg, but the race will have an unexpected finale.
Two laps from the end, Ramos and Mowlem have a misunderstanding as the Portuguese tries to lap the Brit in turn 12 and there is contact, with both cars spinning. For a very frustrated Ramos, the victory is gone, and despite some body damage, the Ferrari salvages third. There is lively action also in front, as overtaking lapped cars favours Biagi to catch Pierburg and passing him at turn 1 in the penultimate lap, with a door-to-door contact included. Postiglione and Plachutta pass Benham and Balfe after a fight for the last four spots in the top-10.
[Post-race sanctions: 5 positions on grid of Race 2 for #25 (Mowlem, for collision with Ramos), verbal reprimand for #88 (Ledogar for collision with Perazzini), #23 and #65 (Fontana and Bouveng, for formation lap rules breach) and 1 class position for #99 (Silva, for collision with Rizzo)]
Source. International GT Open