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DI AMATO-MONTERMINI SCORE THEIR FIRST GT OPEN WIN

The RS Racing Ferrari 488 took its maiden win in the International GT Open, as Daniele Di Amato and Andrea Montermini emerged in a dramatic and closely-fought finale. They beat the two Teo Martín BMs of Juan Cruz Álvarez-Lourenço Beirão (who took the lead after the pit stops) and yesterday’s winners, Fran Rueda-Andrés Saravia. The Spaniard and the Guatemalan are now second in the overall standings, closing to 13 points the gap with respect to Mikkel Mac, today fifth..

In Pro-Am, Marcelo Hahn took his second win of the season, this time with Allan Hellmeister, aboard the Drivex Mercedes, while in Am, Miro Konôpka and Konstantins Calko netted a maiden win for the ARC Bratislava Lambo.

THE RACE – Jäger keeps the advantage of the pole at the start, and the battle is all for second between Saravia and Mac, with the Guatemalan winning the duel. Fourth is Di Amato, ahead of Alvarez, Venturini, Hellmeister, Onslow-Cole and Sowery. West pits to change a tire, after a contact with Kogay,   who also go back to the pits shortly after, while Ling cuts a chicane in lap 2. In lap 3, it’s both Venturini and Agostini having to pit to change a rear tire each. Calko is leading in Am in the initial laps.

By lap 10, the advantage of Jäger is 2.8 seconds but with the first seven within 8 seconds, things remain pretty open: Saravia is second followed by Mac, Di Amato, Alvarez, Onslow-Cole and Hellmeister. Saravia is the first from the top group to stop when the driver change window opens, in lap 12.

After all changes, Plachutta leads with 3 seconds over Beirão and 5 over Montermini. Follow Rueda, Hahn, Fioravanti, Cipriani and Cioci. In lap 21, Beirao and Montermini pass Plachutta and start battling for P1, with Rueda soon third and charging back.  In lap 23 Plachutta goes off-track and retires, as did Pierburg a little bit earlier, for technical reasons.

The last minutes of the race are thrilling, with Montermini taking the lead as Beirão opens slightly the door in one of the fast corners. The veteran Italian keeps up the pressure of the two BMWs, with Rueda not attacking his team mate and staying in third, and nets what is his 20th success in the GT Open. Fioravanti takes third ahead of Mac and Hahn, who wins in Pro-Am despite a 5-second penalty for cutting the pits exit lane. Konopka, on his side, holds perfectly to take victory in Am.

Source. International GT Open

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