International GT Open: Scuderia Playteam SaraFree: third win of the season in race 1 at Brandshatch
Ferrari F430 n.1 Andrea Montermini\Michele Maceratesi no handicap Ferrari F430 n.3 Max Busnelli\Mauro Massironi no handicap
Saturday, September 22, 2007 Brands Hatch (UK) - The weather was unusually nice and warm for the season in the UK, as the Italian drivers took their third win of the season in the Pro-Am race, after a solid race with their Playteam SaraFree Ferrari 430. A busy positive day for Team Scuderia Playteam SaraFree with two successful qualifying sessions for race 1 and race 2 and a win in the first of the two races of the week-end.
Starting from pole for race 1, Scuderia Playteam SaraFree on the Ferrari 430s nr 3 won the race. With Max Busnelli on car nr 3 starting from pole and his team-mate Mauro Massironi managing to keep the command of the second part of the 35-laps-race. The Pro-Am race in Brands Hatch will be remembered as one of the most closely-fought GT races Max Busnelli and Mauro Massironi, at the wheel of their Playteam SaraFree Ferrari 430, took their third victory of the season after an heroic fight with the Advanced Engineering's 430 of Damien Pasini and Stefano Livio. The two cars ended the race side by side, separated by 0.1 seconds til the checkered flag fell at the British round of the International GT Open season this weekend in Brands Hatch, fifth round of the 2007 season.
Montermini on the Maserati MC 12 nr 1 did not keep the benefit from his good start in third after a contact with Aicart in the action of the first laps at the start and later, despite a good performance during the race, a puncture finally prevented his car to finish the race.
An overall incredible performance from Max Busnelli and Mauro Massironi and winning points which allow Scuderia Playteam SaraFree to come back in the leading places of the championship. A perfect day for Max Busnelli and Mauro Massironi even if Andrea Montermini and Michele Maceratesi were not as lucky.
Max Busnelli explains: " What a tough race. I am so happy for the team that we won. I had a good start. In the first part of the race, I tried to get away from Zapatta. But he was trying to fight back. At the end, I got away and on lap 11, I was feeling a bit more comfortable ahead of him. Later, the difference with Pasini stabilized within a close 0.445s. On lap 15, my race was still difficult and we had to use the right window frame to change driver right after mid-race. Later, I found out it may be more difficult to follow the race from the pit-wall than to race!"
Mauro Massironi explained : "This win will be a great souvenir. When I took over from Max Busnelli, I came back in second place and took over the lead again. In a way, the pace car that was deployed after the accident from Euser on Nr 47 played a good part in our win even if we had to work hard to keep the tires warm enough. In the last laps of the race, I had a tough fight with Livio, as I was only 0.240 seconds ahead of S.Livio. He never gave up and was trying to pass me til the checkered flag. I was able to control the game, even if it was close. Overall it feels good for the team to have dominated the race from start to finish. Nothing would have stopped me.
Andrea Montermini adds: "I do not know what to say. This was not the race that I expected. I had a contact with the Mosler from Aicart before the second turn. I had to drive back to the pits for the team to fix the damage. At the end, an unexpected puncture took all of our chances away. This is a race to forget."
Michele Maceratesi completes: "After our positive qualifying session, this race should certainly have worked better for us. A number of unplanned problems developed after the incident at turn two. I hope that the race to morrow will work better."