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RUEDA-SARAVIA TAKE GT OPEN RACE 1 VICTORY AT MONZA

The fight for the International GT Open title is completely reopened, as Andrés Saravia-Fran Rueda imposed their Teo Martín BMW today in Race 1 at Monza, and are now tied up in points and wins (3) with Mikkel Mac (Luzich Racing Ferrari), today fifth with Alessandro Pier Guidi. The ‘Hispanic’ pair is actually first because of better quality of results. Their success of today came after a great duel in the second stint between Rueda and Andrea Montermini, after poleman Daniele Di Amato led in the first stint with the RS Racing Ferrari.

Third were Riccardo Agostini-Rik Breukers, who had to charge again after being victim of a contact in turn 1. It was not a sweet day for Imperiale, as Giovanni Venturini-Jeroen Mul had to retire with fuel pressure problems and are now 20 points behind the leaders.

In their debut in the series, Eddie Cheever-Nicklas Nielsen took victory in Pro-Am with the Luzich Ferrari, ahead of Liang-Giammaria (Imperiale Lambo) and Plachutta-Jäger (Lechner Mercedes), while Marcio Basso-Guilherme Salas rounded Teo Martín’s day by winning the Am class ahead of points leaders Lewandowski-Bolenghi (VSR Lambo) and the MS/HTP Mercedes of Hrachowina-Konrad.

THE RACE – Poleman Di Amato keeps the advantage barely at first corner, while there is some turmoil in the group, with Agostini being touched by Spinelli and sent into a spin, while Costa goes straight through the chicane. Beirão pulls out of the line on the straight at the very start, rejoining the pits at reduced speed. At the end of first lap, Di Amato leads ahead of Venturini, Fioravanti, Onslow-Cole and Baguette, who in the following laps climbs back to fourth.

In lap 5, Wilkinson is out at the Ascari and remains stuck in the sand, following a contact with Salikhov, who stops in the pits. The safety-car is out for two laps. At the restart, gaps are, of course, are very reduced, but the show is in the fight for P3 between Fioravanti, Baguette and Spinelli. In lap 8, Venturini slows down and loses four positions.  In lap 10, it’s West spinning at the Ascari, and prompting again the safety-car out. In the meantime, Crestani has taken the lead from Onslow-Cole in Pro-Am and is 5th overall, while Lewandowski does the same with Mikulasko in Am.

The restart is definitely lethal to Venturini’s  Lambo, which stops for good in the gravel, giving way to …another safety-car period. The restart coincides with thebopening of driver change window, with Costa and Jäger being the first ones to stop.

The race phase during pit stop is quite lively with a contact between Giammaria and Pier Guidi at the first chicane (warning for the latter) and other warnings for Cipriani and Salas for cutting first chicane. After all changes, Rueda leads by 2”4 over Montermini, and 11 on Breukers, Gattuso and Nielsen, first in Pro-Am; then Giammaria, PierGuidi, Guerrieri, Jäger and Ling, with Salas first in Am.

Attention in the final laps is all for the final duel between Rueda and Montermini but the Spaniard will keep the short advantage, with Breukers taking third and first in a compact group including Gattuso, Nielsen (who wins in Pro-Am) and Guerrieri.  Basso wins in Am.

Source. International GT Open

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