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COSTA-FROMMENWILER TAKES LIGHTS TO FLAG GT OPEN WIN AT SILVERSTONE

Albert Costa and Philipp Frommenwiler took their third win of the year at the wheel of the Emil Frey Racing Lexus RC F, today in Race 1 at Silverstone, dominating the race flag to flag and reducing to 6 points their gap to the top position in the overall standings. Alone in the lead is now Giovanni Venturini, today second at the wheel of the Imperiale Racing Lamborghini Huracan now shared with Marco Mapelli. The Italian team put on the podium also the car of Thomas Biagi-Raffaele Giammaria.

British racers dominated the Pro-Am, with Shaun Balfe-Rob Bell (Balfe McLaren) taking the win and the championship leadership, after beating Tom Onslow-Cole –Valentin Pierburg (SPS Automotive Mercedes) and the Jordan Racing Bentley of Jordan Witt-Michael Meadows.

In Am, Manuel Da Costa-Miguel Sardinha (Sports&You Mercedes) took their second win of the year ahead of Hrachowina-Konrad (MS Racing Mercedes), with the two pairs now tied at the top of the standings, ahead of Moiseev-Rizzo (Kaspersky Ferrari), today third.

THE RACE – Excellent start for poleman Costa who leads ahead of Mapelli, Onslow-Cole, Keen, Bouveng, Bell, Biagi, Dolby, Cioci and Sini. Moiseev spins in lap 1, while there is some rubbing between Beirão and Fontana for 12th. In the lead, Costa and Mapelli pull away easily and already have a 9-second advantage by lap 4, while Onslow-Cole is third ahead of Keen pressed by Bouveng. M.Farnbacher passes Sini for 10th but there is a contact between the two.

Positions then stabilize, with the nicest battle shifting to the Fontana-Liberati duel for P13. Driver changes start in lap 15, with Bouveng, Fontana, Ramos and Hahn stopping first. Back on track, the BMW of Rueda manages to hold for a while Costa and Mapelli, who are now very close. The Italian though has to serve the 15-sec handicap for new entry.

After all changes (lap 20), Frommenwiler leads by 11 seconds on Venturini, 27 on Pierburg and 34 on Giammaria, with Balfe, Perazzini, Ratcliffe, D.Farnbacher and Rueda following. In Am, Da Costa and Konrad are within one second. The gap between Frommenwiler and Venturini  stabilizes around 10 seconds, while Giammaria takes third from Pierburg in lap 24. The fun is in the fight for 6th between Perazzini, Ratcliffe, D.Farnbacher and Rueda soon joined by Félix Da Costa and Meadows. It’s Farnbacher emerging up to 5th, crossing the line ahead of Pierburg, Félix DA Costa, Ratcliffe, Rueda, Calamia and Perazzni, who got a 3-second penalty for not serving the entire handicap. In Am, it’s victory for Da Costa ahead of Konrad and Rizzo.

Source. International GT Open/Photo. John Patterson

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