Race Win Hands Mondini the Overall Lead Mondini (EuroInternational) finally moved into the overall top spot this afternoon, having been among the championship leaders since the start of the season. Victory in Saturday's Grand Race moves the ...
Race Win Hands Mondini the Overall Lead
Mondini (EuroInternational) finally moved into the overall top spot this afternoon, having been among the championship leaders since the start of the season.
Victory in Saturday's Grand Race moves the Swiss-Italian to the championship lead, with second and third at Imola going to Montanari and Pasini (Victory Eng).
Wearing tired faces as they climbed out of their cars, Imola's heat and the technical Autodromo Dino e Enzo Ferrari clearly took their toll on the drivers.
It was a perfect start for poleman Mondini, with Jani (Dams) and Belicchi (AFC Motorsport) right behind him. The only favourite missing from the lead bunch was Sharp (Jenzer Motorsport), stuck down in the middle of the field.
Mondini set the pace and set the timing screens on fire, as Jani followed his lead. Lap after lap they took it in turns to set the fastest time, thus gradually pulling away from Belicchi, Pasini and Montanari.
While Danielsson (SRTS) ran wide onto the grass, up front the leaders had the hammer down. "This is a technical track," explained Giorgio Mondini later, "and the slightest error costs you dear. I was giving it 100% because I had Jani in my mirrors." As we entered the pitstop section on lap 8, Sharp was first to come in. And despite coming together with Lorgere Roux at the pitlane exit, there was no harm done. The leaders held on until the very last moment on lap 13 before changing tyres. When they did, Mondini, Jani and Belicchi came in together, with Mondini pitting extremely quickly to regain the race lead, Jani still just behind him. But Belicchi's nightmare pitstop put him right down in ninth on the next lap!
Behind them the battle was intense, as Barth got the better of Campanico and Sharp fighting tooth and nail with to pull back up to the leaders.
But the biggest drama was left for the end, as Jani slowed down and retired, abandoning all hope of scoring big and overtaking Belicchi and Sharp in the championship standings. Neel has been no stranger to misfortune this season, but starts on pole Tomorrow, with five races still to go in the title fight. Suspense all the way.
<pre> Grand Race classification 1) Mondini EuroInternational 42'36''469 2) Montanari Victory Eng 05''296 3) Pasini Victory Eng 06''533 4) Barth Interwetten.com 12''305 5) Campanico Cram Competition 17''463 6) Sharp Jenzer Motorsport 18''350 7) Bell David Price Racing 20''386