Mikkel Mac and Alessandro Pier Guidi won the first race of the 2018 International GT Open at Estoril, giving the brand new Luzich Racing a first win in its first race appearance. The Ferrari 488 was an authorative leader throughout the race, beating the reigning champion Imperiale Racing Lamborghini of Giovanni Venturini-Jeroen Mul and another 488 of a debuting team, the RS Racing car of Daniele Di Amato-Andrea Montermini.
The SPS Mercedes of Valentin Pierburg-Tom Onslow-Cole took the top honours in the Pro-Am classe, ahead of Ramos-Crestani (Lazarus Racing Lambo) and West-Rugolo (Luzich Ferrari). Reigning Am champions and local heroes António Coimbra-Luis Silva (Sports&You Mercedes) started the year with a home win, ahead of their favorite rivals, Hrachowina-Konrad (HTP/MS Mercedes) and the debuting ARC Bratislava Lamborghini of Konopka-Calko.
THE RACE – It’s a lively start, as poleman Mac has to fend off the attack of Onslow-Cole in the straight to keep advantage over Venturini and the Brit. Shortly after, in one of the tight corners there is an incident involving Breukers, Wilkinson and Hahn, who all spin (the Dutchman retires). In the initial laps, Mac builds a good advantage over Venturini, Onslow-Cole, Rueda, Crestani, Montermini, Rugolo, and Campbell-Walter who is battling with Ling and Beirão. Basso touches Cipriani in lap 6, with the Lambo spinning and pitting shortly after, as does Hahn. Similarly, Montermini also touches Crestani in lap 9, sending the Lambo into a spin. Big battle for 10th, with Beirão having to concede the position to Coimbra and Rees.
Montermini passes Rueda for P4 in lap 14. In the lead, Mac has a 4”5 advantage over Venturini, with Onslow-Cole third 2 seconds further aback. Crestani and Giammaria fight for 7th, and the Imperiale Lambo passes the Lazarus one but there is contact as Crestani tries the inside at T1 and the Imperiale spins off track. In the meantime, the driver change window opens, with Rueda being the first to stop. In lap 22, it’s Mac handing over the wheel to Pier Guidi.
After all stops, PierGuidi leads by 6”5 over Mul and 14” over Saravia, then Pierburg, Di Amato, West, Costa, Fioravanti, Ramos and Cruz, with Silva 11th and keeping the lead in Am. Positions and gaps remain stable in the top 3, with Di Amato taking P4 in lap 30 from Pierburg, who keeps a good margin at the top of the Pro-Am class. Costa and Fioravanti fight for P7, then catch West, which is touched and spun by the Italian. Last thrill is Di Amato taking third from Saravia in lap 39.
Source. International GT Open