09/2023 MONZA INTERNATIONAL GT OPEN
PHOTO BY DIEGO CROTTI
Copyright (C) Diego Crotti
Maximilian Paul and Pierre-Louis Chovet took their fourth win of the season at the wheel of the Lamborghini Huracan of Oregon Team in a Race 1 full of suspense at Monza. On a drying track, the German-French duo beat the Eastalent Racing Audi of Simon Reicher-Christopher Haase and the GetSpeed Marcedes of Aaron Walker and James Wallis, the two 17-year-old Brits being today’s sensation.
The two top title contenders, the Optimum McLaren of De Haan-Fagg and the Motopark Mercedes of Menchaca (now associated with Thomas Neubauer) finished tenth and ninth, respectively, which now ties them at 99 points at the top of the standings!
Steve Jans-Axel Blom took today their maiden win of the season in Pro-Am, with Jean-Claude Saada and Conrad Grunewald (AF Corse Ferrari) scoring their second win in Am.
THE RACE - The start is given behind the safety car (for one lap) as the track is still very wet. At the kick-off, Paul, who signed his fourth pole of the season, pulls away followed by Basz, Arrow, Rumpfkeil, Walker, Schirò, De Haan, and Neubauer. At the end of lap 2, Basz achieves a superb move on Paul, passing him on the outside at the Parabolica to take the lead, with Arrow, Rumpfkeil, Walker, Schirò, and Neubauer, while the track remains treacherous, with several cars cutting the chicanes.
The gaps remain stable, with Basz leading by 1.2 seconds and the biggest battle involving Walker, Schirò, and Neubauer for 5th, with championship leader De Haan in tenth.
The duel between Basz and Paul just increases over time and at the end of lap 11 the two are side by side at the exit of Parabolice, with the German retaking the lead at the first chicane. Arrow is a solid third even seconds behind followed by Rumpfkeil, who dominates the Am but is passed shortly after by Walker, after a slight contact. Schirò, Neubauer, and Cheever continue in a close fight for sixth, with the Frenchman taking the advantage in lap 15 after some changes of positions.
The pit stop window, in the meantime, opened in lap 14. After all stops (lap 19), Chovet is in the lead ahead of teammate Perolini but none of the Lambos can resist the charge of James Wallis, the young Brit at his debut in the GetSpeed Mercedes, who takes the lead in lap 20. Fourth is Jedlinski, leading in pro-Am, then Pulcini, soon passed by Menchaca, Fagg, Haase, and Jans. In Am, Cipriani has taken the lead from Neumann,
The last part of the race sees a heated duel between Wallis (in rain tires) and Chovet (in slicks), who retakes the lead at the Curvone from the outside (lap 25) before the Englishman comes back briefly to first. The Mercedes though has a 3-second penalty to be added post-race because of the initial contact with Rumpfkeil.
Following the end of Race 2 of the International GT Open yesterday at Monza, the Stewards took a number of decisions which impact the final result of Race 2 and the overall standings.
A 3-second penalty for overtaking under yellow flags was imposed on the winning car, the #51 AF Corse Ferrari of Nicola Marinangeli and Riccardo Agostini. The same sanction was imposed on the #11 Kessel Racing Ferrari of Frédéric Jousset-David Fumanelli.
As a consequence, Marinangeli-Agostini drop from first to second, promoting the #20 SPS Automotive Performance Mercedes of Reece Barr and Mikaeel Pitamber to winners of Race 2. It is the maiden win in the series for both the Irishman and the South African.
In another decision, the Stewards have also decided to cancel the 5-second penalty that was imposed during the race to the #69 Optimum Motorsport McLaren of Sam De Haan and Charlie Fagg, after reviewing new evidence made available by the entrant after the race.
As a consequence, De Haan-Fagg raise from 9th to 4th in the final result of Race 2 and retake the lead in the overall standings, which are as follows (changes in bold).
Copyright (C) Diego Crotti