Well, if the opening of the Monza season looked like complete madness, then Silverstone did not deny it and gave us a crazy ride with a spectacular duel for the victory.
The drama began in Q1 when, after several red flags after various incidents, a whole series of teams including big names did not manage to go through the necessary qualifying laps resulting in departures from the far end of the grid.
Finally, the top three places were monopolized by Lamborghini, which for the second consecutive event turns out to be a very fast car. Starting from pole position the racing crew from Grasser Racing #63 followed by the two Orange 1 FFF Racing models, #519 and #563. Immediately after the start, carnage at the rear of the platoon was triggered, resulting in a collective accident that resulted in taking a number of cars out of the game, among others the Sainteloc Audi #26, the Rinaldi Ferrari #488, the Aston Garage 59 #59 and Mercedes #88 .
The race returned to the green flag shortly after the track was completely cleared, while the three Lamborghini cars followed by the Attempto Racing Audi #55 and Bentley #107, which of course was having a home race. Unfortunately, the bad luck hit the other car, with the #108 Bentley picking up a puncture after contact with Audi #17.
Along with the passing of the first hour of the race, the pitstops began, and a new puncture would even take the first place out of the race. Christian Engelhart at the wheel of the Driving Grasser #63 is waking up with a tire explosion right after the finish-line and has to go through an entire lap of the circuit under these conditions.
Once again bad luck hit this car while in a very good rhythm and substantial chances even at victory. Thus, the two cars of the Orange 1 FFF team were in the lead, following a new FCY caused by the Ferrari #444 of HB Racing. And to end the series of interruptions, the last serious accident happened about an hour and a half before the end of the race when the Lamborghini #555 FFF Racing came in contact with Aston #97 of Oman Racing immediately after leaving the pitlane. The GT3 Huracan is violently sent into the decor resulting in serious damage to the front of the car.
Finally, with things calmed down, there was about an hour of racing after the last pitstops. This is where we came out with Lamborghini #519 first, followed by the SMP Racing Ferrari #72, the Ferrari which was driven the experienced Davide Rigon. From the rear, he was putting more and more pressure on Giovanni Venturini in the Huracan cockpit. Rigon eventually managed to win the race after a spectacular duel between the two which kept our eyes on the screens, and hence no one could stop Ferrari from the sprint to victory, the first for the Italians since Monza 2013.
But the drama does not end here because there was also the duel for third place between Marco Mapelli in the Orange 1 #563 and Jack Hawksworth in the Strakka Racing #43. The two run into each other, resulting in a Hawksworth spin and damage to the rear suspension for Mapelli. Under these conditions, the last step of the podium went to the Audi #2 coming from the back, while the fourth place is awarded to the #98 ROWE Racing Porsche. Mercedes #43 eventually arriving in fifth place with Lamborghini #563 in sixth.
Overall, although we had quite long periods of neutralization due to multiple accidents, the race was nevertheless spectacular in the already familiar spirit of the competition. With Endurance Cup madness, we will meet again on June 1. for the six-hour race on Paul Ricard where, if we respect the tradition last year, we will have the third winner of the season.
Complete Results Here
- Source: GP24 Author: Cosmin Milcu
- Photocredit: Blancpain GT Series, Ferrari Races, Squadra Corse, Bentley Motorsport, Audi Sport, Strakka Racing, Porsche MotorsportSilverstone