GT

GTO: Series Imola race 1 report

In Imola Also, Nothing Stops Barba-Kaffer AF pair takes fourth win in dramatic finale with EdilCris' Duo Giammaria-Toccacelo eventually 2nd ahead of Lietz-Roda Double Win for Kessel Racing in GTS, best tribute to late team owner No changes...

In Imola Also, Nothing Stops Barba-Kaffer

AF pair takes fourth win in dramatic finale with EdilCris' Duo Giammaria-Toccacelo eventually 2nd ahead of Lietz-Roda

Double Win for Kessel Racing in GTS, best tribute to late team owner

No changes on top of the International GT Open, as Alvaro Barba and Pierre Kaffer took their fourth win of the season today in Race 1 in Imola. Still, this time the AF Corse Ferrari had to fight hard to keep the advantage and almost lost everything in the final laps when Kaffer spun, but the German reacted with vigor, overtaking in the last lap the EdilCris Ferrari of Raffaele Giammaria-Enrico Toccacelo, who came close to its maiden victory at home but had to consolate with a splendid second. Third was the first Porsche of Lietz-Roda.

In GTS, it was a very emotional day for the Kessel Racing, as Stefano Livio- Lorenzo Bontempelli took a well-deserved first win ahead of team-mates Pedro Couceiro-Marco Frezza: there couldn't be a best way to honour the memory of the team founder Loris Kessel, who passed away exactly one week ago. Third was the Villois Racing Aston Martin of Gabriele Lancieri Angelo Lancelotti.

It is sunny and warm for the start of the first race on Saturday, but the Brinkmann Audi and the Sofrev Ferrari of Balthazard are missing, because of technical problems, joining the second Luxury Ferrari destroyed in free practice.

Barba takes the lead ahead of Peter, Mullen, Toccacelo, Griffin, Dayraut, Livio, Wiser and Roda. The first laps are quite hot, with Mullen taking second place and Griffin fourth on lap 4, while in lap 5 Matthews and Gruber spin out of the track. One lap later, Griffin also passes Peter, while Wiser emerges from the group to pass Toccacelo for fifth. Dayraut leads in GTS, just in front of a trio in close battle composed of Livio, Roda and Narac who will take the advantage in lap 7.

Situation remains relatively stable, with short gaps, until the driver changes. After handicaps are served, it is Niarchos leading on the CRS Ferrari, followed closely by Michal Broniszewski who takes the lead in lap 24. Kaffer and Giammaria follow at 9 seconds, then Guerrero, Lietz and Pilet. In GTS, Bontempelli has taken the lead ahead of team mate Frezza and the Aston of Lancelotti.

Kaffer and Giammaria catch up on Broniszewski, whom they pass in lap 27, while fighthing for the lead. Then Lietz, Niarchos, Guerrero and Pilet. In GTS, it is still Livio, Frezza and Lancelotti leading the operations.

On lap 31, there is a coup de theâtre, when Kaffer spins at Rivazza, leaving the door open for Giammaria to take the lead. The day of glory seems there for the black EdilCris, but Kaffer in furious finale catches up the Italian and passes him in the last lap after a short, beautiful duel, with Lietz taking third in the closing metres.

-source: gtopen

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About this article
Series GT
Drivers Gabriele Lancieri , Pedro Couceiro , Stefano Livio , Loris Kessel , Marco Frezza , Lorenzo Bontempelli
Teams AF Corse