They did it again! Just like at Silverstone last year, the Wessex Vehicles Lamborghini Gallardo REX pipped everybody, making a perfect use of the power qualities of its car. Nigel Mustill’s team took its second GT Open win with Craig Dolby, who had put the car in first row in the morning, and former GP3 young gun Seb Morris. The British duo beat the Imperiale Racing Lambo of championship leader Giovanni Venturini, paired with Marco Mapelli, and the Balfe Mclaren of Shaun Balfe and pole-sitter Rob Bell.
In the championship standings, Venturini exgended his advantage to 12 points over Fran Rueda-Victor Bouveng (Teo Martín BMW), today excellent fourth, 14 over Thomas Biagi (today 7th) and 15 over Costa-Frommenwiler, whose Emil Frey Racing Lexus today couldn’t do better than 10th.
Balfe-Bell won in Pro-Am ahead of the other McLaren of West-Ledogar (Garage59) and the SPS Mercedes of Pierburg-Onslow Cole. In GT-Am, Luis Silva-Antonio Coimbra took a lights-to-flag win, resisting the final charge of Hrachowina-Konrad (MS Mercedes) to give Sports&You its third success of the season. Basso-Figueiredo) completed the all-Mercedes podium.
THE RACE – Dolby outpaces everybody at the start and takes the lead while there is some rubbing between Bell and Bouveng at first corner, with many cars cutting the first chicane, including two of the Imperiale cars: Postiglione and Mapelli have had contacts and the former’s car has lost a big piece of front bodywork.
Dolby leads ahead of Bouveng, Bell, Mapelli, M.Farnbacher, Beirão, Frommenwiler, Onslow-Cole, Liuzzi and Tappy. Mapelli passes Bell in lap 3. In lap 6, a small mistake by Bouveng at second chicane allows Mapelli to take second, with also Bell attacking the Swede, while Pampanini spins and Tappy takes tenth having passed Postiglione and Biagi. The three will easily pass Liuzzi shortly after.
By lap 10, Mapelli is very close to Dolby and will manage to outbrake him at the first chicane in lap 16. Immediately after start the driver changes. After all pit stops, Balfe leads with 1.7 second over Morris, who takes the lead in lap 24, Venturini is third, ahead of Rueda, Pierburg, Fontana, Mac, D.Farnbacher, Liberati, Farfus and Giammaria. Silva is first in Am after a very good stint of Coimbra. Soon after there is a collision between Calamia and D.Farnbacher at the Prima Variante, with both cars out and narrowly avoided by others.
In lap 26, Venturini takes second from Balfe. Rueda is fourth ahead of Mac, Fontana, Farfus, Giammaria, Ledogar and Liberati. In the lead, Morris increases his advantage to 4 seconds over Venturini. In lap 32, Farfus is forced to the pits with a broken rear right suspension. Mac is fifth ahead of Fontana attacked by Ledogar (who passes in lap 34) and Giammaria.
The race ends with no further drama, with Morris controlling well his advantage on Venturini and Balfe, Rueda, Mac and Ledogar.
Source. International GT Open/Photo. Riccardo Righetti R99photography.com